Scheduled to take place March 15-17, 2021, HAF will run concurrently with the Hong Kong FilMart. Both events were postponed last year to August due to the pandemic and eventually migrated online.
They will return to their usual March slot this year in tweaked virtual format. A new online meeting platform “requiring no download or additional log-on” will be set up for participants this year, said HAF director Jacob Wong.
The 29 shortlisted projects, including nine documentaries, were selected from 321 submissions from 80 countries and regions, HAF said on Monday.
Shortlisted projects include those to be directed by established filmmakers as well as emerging talent. The strongest presences are from Hong Kong, mainland China and India.
Two of the eight mainland Chinese projects are produced by Chinese filmmaker Ning Hao — “The Baby Carriers,” a documentary by first-time feature film director Chen Lingwei, and Xu Lei’s “The Peacemaker.” Wang Bing’s documentary “I Come From Ikotun,” produced by Isabelle Glachant is also shortlisted.
Six Hong Kong projects include “Her Lullaby,” a drama feature on motherhood, by Oliver Chan (“Still Human”). Veteran media executive Bud-ming’s directorial debut “The Way We AD,” a documentary chronicling Hong Kong’s advertising industry produced by Teresa Kwong (“Suk Suk”), and drama “HERs” by television commercial and music video director Susie Au, are among other highlights.
“Birthmark,” a drama directed by Aditya Vikram Sengupta (“Labour Of Love”), and comedy-drama “The Catch,” the feature directorial debut of Rishi Chandna produced by Dina Dattani (“Hotel Salvation”), are among the six Indian projects chosen for this year’s HAF. Afghanistan and Spain co-production “The Forgotten History” directed by Roya Sadat is also on the shortlist.
HAF will offer a total of 17 cash and in-kind awards worth HK$1.2 million ($157,000).