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Fresh Wave 10th Anniversary Cum Award Presentation Ceremony  Fresh Wave Goes Independent Igniting Youth Force into the Film Industry

The Hong Kong Arts Development Council (HKADC) celebrated “Fresh Wave 10th Anniversary Cum Award Presentation Ceremony” yesterday at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Fresh Wave and, at the same time, announce the results of Fresh Wave 2015 Local Competition Section.

To mark this important occasion of double happiness, Mrs Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, Chief Secretary for Administration; Dr Wilfred Wong Ying-wai, Chairman of HKADC; Mr Hou Hsiao-hsien, renowned film director and famous celebrity Mr Louis Koo were invited to officiate at the ceremony.

Fresh Wave, organised by the HKADC, was first launched in 2005 with an aim to nurture aspiring young film talents and provide them with an opportunity to create and screen their works.

Fresh Wave Goes Independent for Diversified Development
To strive for diversified development in future, Dr Wilfred Wong, Chairman of HKADC, announced that Fresh Wave would go independent and be operated as a non-profit-making organisation. The new Fresh Wave will be governed by a Board comprising members including Mr Johnnie To, Founder of Fresh Wave; Mr Shu Kei, Chair of School of Film and Television, The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts; Ms Winnie Tsang, Founder of Golden Scene Company Limited; Ms May Fung, Chair of Art and Culture Outreach; Dr Ng Chun-hung    , Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, The University of Hong Kong; Mr Shum Long-tin, Writer; Mr Louis Koo, Veteran film actor and Ms Susan Wong, Lawyer.

Dr Wong said “Independency” would give Fresh Wave a greater room for development and enable the organisation to solicit more support and participation of the society effectively.

Also speaking at the ceremony, Mr Johnnie To was grateful to the dedicated support of the Hong Kong Arts Development Council in the past years, turning Fresh Wave from a local short film competition into an international short film festival which has established its standing among local and overseas film practitioners.

Mr To hoped the new Fresh Wave would strive for more community resources and take a more strategical approach to nurture aspiring young film talents strategically, creating a new force for the film industry.

Nurturing Local Talents  Ignites Creativity
The 14-day Fresh Wave 2015 – International Short Film Festival has concluded in applause. During the Festival, a total of 70 films, including works from the Local Competition Section, overseas short films and selection from past participating short films for the 10th anniversary were screened. In addition, post-screening Q&A sessions and sharing workshops were held with encouraging response.

Also happening at the occasion was the presentation of various awards of Fresh Wave 2015 - Local Competition Section. The competition includes 34 entries from both Student and Open Divisions. Each division will compete for awards including “Best Film”, “Best Creativity”, “Best Script” and “Best Cinematography” as well as the grand prize “Fresh Wave Award”. This year, the Chief Adjudication Panel is formed by Prof Ian Christie, Anniversary Professor of Film and Media History at Birkbeck, University of London; Mr Shozo Ichiyama, Programme Director of Tokyo FILMeX and Ms Ruby Yang, awardee of the Academy Award for the Best Documentary – Short Subject.

This year, “Fresh Wave Award” as well as “Best Film” (Student Division) went to Chan Kam-hei with his/her work ”Conditioned”. For the full list, please refer to the table below.

Recipient of “Fresh Wave Award” will receive a subsidy of $70,000 to produce another short film for the next edition. Other awardees will also have the chance to attend overseas film festivals. The next edition of Fresh Wave is now opened for application till 15 January 2016.

Result of Fresh Wave 2015 – Local Competition Section

Division Award Film Name Awardee Synopsis
-- Fresh Wave Award “Conditioned” Chan Kam-hei (Director) In order to fulfill the expectation of her mom and her grandpa, Nam is raised as a boy since she was born. She dresses like a boy every day before going to school, gets changed back to a girl’s uniform, and puts on a boy’s outfit before heading home. Her hysterical mom anticipates the return of her husband, which is a dream never come true. Nam finds her only shelter at her childhood friend Yeung’s house, a place where she can finally be herself, i.e. doing laundry for her underwear. But her life changes on the day when Yeung disappears.
Open Best Film “And Afterwards” Law Sin-yan (Director) What constitutes a “disadvantaged youth”? Man Hang did have noble and lofty goals for his life after graduation, but they were quickly crushed by the harsh reality of life. Working an unglamorous job at a warehouse along a colleague with autism, Man Hang was bullied by his boss with unreasonable demands. His mind wanders back to his school days especially when he was seated next to Wing Lok, a classmate with autism who was constantly ridiculed and taunted by the class. During reunions, Man Hang and his friends mused on the irony: With all of them having similarly unremarkable careers, are their lives more fulfilling than Wing Lok who could remain true to himself?
Best Script “Fish in Puddle” Wong Suk-nga (Screenwriter) Although 15-year old Wing is bounced around in foster homes, he forms a genuine sibling relationship with 9-year old Hoi Lam and the mentally challenged Chi Yan. They are cared for by Chi Yan's grandmother who heads up this makeshift family. Occasionally full of teen angst and bordering on delinquency, Wing nevertheless showers Hoi Lam and Chi Yan with brotherly care. Cheerful Ho Lam dreams of reunion with his mother. Wing, more world-weary, ends up transferring to a youth hostel. In their brief days together, the trio formed a true family bonded by love instead of blood. The immensely likeable and talented trio of actors shines in this poignant and heartwarming tale on how children find strength in each other.
Best Creativity “Angela” Chan Sheung-shing (Director) All clothes have a story to tell. Ma was about to close the Angela laundry shop for the day when Sham appeared. A young man with a head injury and handful of dirty clothes from his stay at the street during the Umbrella Movement, Sham needs his clothes washed. Full of passion for the social cause, Sham initially chided Ma for staying in the comfort of the shop. However, these two strangers slowly opened up to each other when a number of characters passed by the shop, revealing the tumultuous world behind Ma’s stoic silence. Sham also gained new insight on meaningfulness, which exists not only within a worthy cause but also at seemingly abandoned clothes.
Best Cinematography “Blade in Enforcer” Lo Wai-lun (Cinematographer) “Once clothed as an official, you represent law and justice.” This was taught to young detective Xian who worked under Detective “Silent Dog” Ao to catch mountain robbers. To everyone’s dismay, the robbers turned out to be detectives from neighbouring counties who were forced to rob the ruling county to save the poor. Through trickery and lies, Ao started a bloodbath to kill the robbers. Shaken to the core by Ao’s deceit, the originally naïve Xian abandoned his dreams to uphold righteous values. Not to be outdone, he ended up murdering the treacherous Ao for his own gains. With blades and blood, Xian was later hailed as a legendary detective.
Student Best Film “Conditioned” Chan Kam-hei (Director) In order to fulfill the expectation of her mom and her grandpa, Nam is raised as a boy since she was born. She dresses like a boy every day before going to school, gets changed back to a girl’s uniform, and puts on a boy’s outfit before heading home. Her hysterical mom anticipates the return of her husband, which is a dream never come true. Nam finds her only shelter at her childhood friend Yeung’s house, a place where she can finally be herself, i.e. doing laundry for her underwear. But her life changes on the day when Yeung disappears.
Best Script “Conditioned” Wong Wing-yiu, Chan Kam-hei (Screenwriter)
Best Creativity “Where’s the Head?” Lui Mei-fung (Director) Lai Ha, once a notorious mob boss, has always been strategically planning the career of her only son Yan. It is however never in Yan’s intention to follow her mother’s footsteps - instead he aspires to be a filmmaker. As a mob, Yan is highly incompetent, and his disappointing performance already messed up a simple drug deal. Lai Ha desperately tries to save her most sought-after son, but she ends up, along with her son, breaking into her neighbour Mr. Chan's home. They accidentally steal the head of Mrs. Chan, whom they assume was murdered by Mr. Chan. They recklessly decide to blackmail Mr. Chan, and everything goes out of control. Will Lai Ha and her beloved son survive this crisis?
Best Cinematography “Where’s the Head?” Tang Sin-ying (Cinematographer)
-- Special Mention “Two of Us” Lee Ka-yan (Director) Japanese band Aomori Hensou is the only thing that makes Mei Bo feels alive in this mundane city until she meets Lily, her new neighbour. It happens that Lily is also a huge fan of the band so they start to get along with each other like twin sisters. They wander around the city, from second-hand CD shops, to goldfish market, and other secret spots that nobody knows. Lily eventually gets tired of the excitement from Mei Bo and starts exploring the city on her own. One day Lily appears at the door of Mei Bo’s home together with the news of the break up announcement of their favourite band, but there is only an empty room left in front of her.
-- Special Mention “The Autonomous Era” Iu Chung-hong (Director) In the spirit of autonomy, how can the voice of common people be heard and who gets to decide? Lok and his like-minded friends actively participated in the 2010 anti-rail movement through an online radio platform. Passionate about social causes, they eventually parted ways due to ideological differences on spreading their ideas and uniting the public. Fast forward to four years later, a more composed and experienced Lok remained as an organiser of various social movements, notably the Umbrella Movement. Bumping into a past comrade who is now a mere passerby, Lok reminisced about their shared pasts and less-than-amicable split. The cerebral short is also a moving coming-of-age story of Lok, now with evolved ideas, new identity and well-rounded perspectives.
-- Special Mention “An Indigo” Poon Kin-ho (Director) Angela has no doubt that "one of these days, father will come back from the outer space to take her away because he is an alien." This thought was instilled by Angela's mother who committed suicide due to severe mental illness. Ever under the watchful eyes of her grandmother and psychiatrist, Angela starts to hear voices from the sky. Weary and scared, the grandmother has no choice but to send Angela for hospitalisation. Angela's belief and longing for reunion with her parents grow stronger than ever. Eventually, she takes a leap of faith in finding her own destiny.