If you’re tired of franchise reboots and sequels, you might want to check out the Third Culture Film Festival launching next weekend. It features 70 independent short films selected from 1,800 submissions from all over the world, screened in six blocks at Loft 22, California Tower in Central. “I have many filmmaker friends who graduated but could only be videographers in Hong Kong because there aren’t many opportunities,” filmmaker and festival founder Harry Oram tells Young Post. “We want to give a platform for talented people to show their work. Short films because it’s always the first step into a filmmaker’s career, and many are done so simply but so well.”
Together with festival co-founder and curator Fiyaz Jafri, Oram introduces the six blocks:
1. Animation, It Ain’t Disney (April 15, 6:30-8:30pm; Child-friendly version The Animatinee: April 16, noon-1pm)
With 22 films made in countries like Russia, Ireland and France, these aren’t the typical animation you see from Disney or Pixar films. The block features different animation styles, such as hand drawn and stop motion animation. Oram was particularly impressed by David O’Reilly’s The Horse Raised by Spheres. “It’s about a horse that feels social anxiety. The animation is nothing fancy, it’s just a horse talking to itself, but it’s so brilliant. It shows that you just need to have great ideas,” he says.
2. The Realm of Senses (April 15, 9-11pm)
This block features 16 films of abstract animation and experimental filmmaking. The films are more about using the motion picture medium to provide an audio-visual experience, focusing less on the typical narrative format we normally see. “We start off with some extremely abstract, experimental films - they’re more like art. We end with Stark Electric Jesus, an Indian film by Hyash Tanmoy that is very intense but beautiful,” says Jafri.
3. Fairytales & Dystopia (April 16, 6:30-8:30pm)
Fantasy, fairy tale and science fiction lovers would enjoy this compilation of 7 films, which includes a retelling of Red Riding Hood from Israel. One of the films is The Fisherman by Alejandro Suarez, which was shot in Hong Kong. “You’d be amazed by what you can do with the short film format,” says Jafri.
4. The Darkness (April 16, 9-11pm)
This is a collection of 10 darker movies about what happens after midnight. It also features two movies by filmmakers living in Hong Kong, While You Lower Your Head by Anastasia Tsang and God’s Work by Joseph Angelakis. This is one of the longer blocks, with no shortage of criminals, gangsters and morticians...come if you’ve got the guts.
5. Food, Family, Kids, Parents (April 17, 4-6pm)
The name may be a bit misleading, but these 8 films are not children’s films. Rather, they explore the dynamics and tensions of relationship between family members. “Some are funny, some are sad, some are very moving. It’s stories that everybody can relate to. We have an amazing film from a very young Korean director called Park Soo-min. It’s called Family Meal and it’s an interesting take on how a son perceives his mother. It’s endearing how it all comes together, and it’s very well acted,” says Jafri. Another of his favourites from this block is The Chicken, which tells the story of a girl who frees her chicken when she realises that it’s going to be killed and eaten.
6. Love & Confusion (April 17, 6:30-8:30pm)
The 7 films address various stages of relationships, from the beginning, ending, and what happens in between. One film that impressed Jafri is Emily’s Diary, a Chinese film by Shu Zi who films her own relationship with her boyfriend from beginning to end. “It’s amazing because it’s just shot on a phone, and it just proves that you don’t have to have an expensive camera to tell a good story.” The last film of the block is And We’ll Eat Flowers, a French love story by Logic Paillard in which the woman decides to have the the relationship go backwards, choosing to break up first.
Each block contains films with adult content. There will also be an additional screening of all the officially selected Hong Kong Films; and The Hong Kong All Stars shows on Apr 17, from noon to 1pm.
For more ticketing info, visit their website.