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Masato Harada’s “Kakekomi” as the Opening Film Featuring 70 films in 14-day Fostering Exchange between Young Local and Overseas Film Directors

(7 December 2015) Fresh Wave 2015 – International Short Film Festival, organised by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council (HKADC), will be held from 7 to 20 December at the Broadway Cinematheque. The 14-day Festival comprises 70 films in 13 themes, including 34 entries from the Local Competition Section, 26 selected overseas short films (from CILECT, International Short Film Festival Berlin, PIA Film Festival, Golden Harvest Award and Kaohsiung Film Festival) and 9 from previous editions of Fresh Wave.

To mark the opening of the Festival, renowned Japanese director Mr Masato Harada was invited to attend the opening ceremony with his latest work “Kakekomi” as the opening film. Presiding at today’s opening ceremony included Dr Wilfred Wong Ying-wai, Chairman of HKADC, Mr Johnnie To Kei-fung, founder and advisor of Fresh Wave, famous actress/singer Ms Sammi Cheng Sau-man and veteran actor Mr Anthony Wong Chau-sang.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Dr Wilfred Wong praised the efforts of Fresh Wave in nurturing talented young filmmakers and providing a platform for them to showcase their works. He said some of them had even continued their career in different areas of the film industry, making contribution to the Hong Kong’s film sector. Mr Johnnie To was also delighted to see the Fresh Wave short films being highlighted in overseas film festivals in recent years, showing that they were well recognised by the professional film practitioners.

The opening film “Kakekomi”, having its premiere in Hong Kong, is the latest work of Director Masato Harada. Happening in the mid-18th century of Japan, the story is about women’s oppression under the matrimonial system. The film is laced with farcical moments that emanate a comedy flavour, while expressing the sympathy for the weaker sex and the critique of a suppressive system at the same time. Director Harada will conduct the “Master Class with Masato Harada” session tomorrow (8 Dec) and share his experience on film-making with young filmmakers. Public are welcome to join with priority  to be given to ticket holders of “Kakekomi”.

This year, the Festival has invited four young overseas film directors to visit Hong Kong together with their work. They are Piotr Zlotorowicz of “Mother Earth” (Poland), Hayrullah Eker of “Hang in There” (Turkey), Peter Meister of “Parking Love” (Germany) and Kazuhiro Nakagawa of “Day of the Kaiju” (Japan). They will come and exchange their experiences with the directors of the Local Competition section at the “Film Cultural Exchange with Young Filmmakers” session on 19 December and the post-screening sessions of their films.

Fresh Wave 2015 – International Short Film Festival Closing Ceremony cum Award Gala will be held on 20 December at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. Various awards of the Local Competition section will be presented. This year, members of the Chief Adjudication Panel include 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 (Hong Kong veteran filmmaker). They will select winners for the awards of “Best Film”, “Best Creativity”, “Best Script” and “Best Cinematography” in both Open and Student Divisions. The eight awardees will then compete for the grand prize “Fresh Wave Award”.

Official Festival website:http://www.freshwave.hk

Facebook:http://www.facebook.com/freshwavehk

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/freshwavefestival

Box office enquiry:2388 0002(Broadway Cinematheque)

Programme enquiry:2827 8786 (Hong Kong Arts Development Council, 9 am to 6 pm)