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.:.: past awardees/judging panels/jury meeting transcript

 

The 1st Hong Kong Independent Short Film & Video Awards

Grand Prize
A Tragedy Ahead / Chi-hung CHENG / VHS / 55'

 

Drama Category

Gold Award
Long Distance / Vincent Wan-shun CHUI, Alex Tze-kim LAI / 16mm / 19'

Silver Award
I Have a Dream about a Short Video on the Making of a Short Film for Competition/ Bing-fai FUNG/ Beta / 30'
What a Fool! / Kam-fai YIP/ Hi8 / 25'

Distinguished Award
Zip Code / Wai-hau LAI / SVHS / 50'
Hesitation/ Wing-tim CHEUNG / Beta / 20'
100% G / Yuen-yan MAK / SVHS / 15'

 

Documentary Category

Gold Award
A Tragedy Ahead / Chi-hung CHEUNG / VHS / 55'

Silver Award
Diasporama / Ching YAU / U-matic / 23'
These Shoes Weren't Made for Walking / Paul, Tso-yam LEE / 16mm / 27'

 

Animation Category

Gold Award
The Mushroom Paradise / Dick WONG / 35mm / 4'15"

Silver Award
Mean Meanings / Kin-to YUEN/ Beta / 1'30"

Distinguished Award
Hey Man, What You Want!? / Ka-hing CHAN / VHS / 4'30"

 

Experimental Category

Gold Award
Retouch (I) / Mark Kam-lok CHAN / Beta / 5'

Silver Award
Untitled # 2 / Yuk-yiu, IP / VHS / 6'
Yuan Ping / Lik-wai YU / U-matic / 2'

 

Music Video Category

Gold Award
United Power (Post Modern Version) / Cheuk-sang WONG / Hi8 / 5'
Random Noise Experience 1 / Chi-wai NG, Pui-yee KEE / VHS / 6'30"

Silver Award
Red / Kin-chung FUNG / SVHS / 3'
Even Better than the Real Thing / Ernest Wai FUNG / VHS / 4'30"

Distinguished Award
A Fading Flower / Kwok-leung NG / Beta / 10'
The 13 Emotions / Wai-ming YIP / Hi8 / 7'
This is a Film? / Ho-leung LAU / SVHS / 4'
The Way They Walk / Carol Miu-suet LAI / Hi8 / 15'
Music Video III - Ding Dong (AIDS Virus) / Anson MAK / Hi8 / 6'
Ninety-Five, Two or Three / Ernest Wai FUNG / VHS / 6'

Special Prize (Video)
Retouch (I) / Mark Kam-lok CHAN / Beta / 5'
United Power (Post Modern Version) / Cheuk-sang WONG / Hi8 / 5'


 

The 2nd Hong Kong Independent Short Film & Video Awards

Grand Prize
Neon Goddesses / Lik-wai YU / 16mm / 46'

 

Drama Category

Gold Award
Monologues / Chris CHOW / VHS    20'
Xiao Shan Going Home / Chak-piu CHIU, Zhang-ke JIA / Beta / 57'

Distinguished Award
Hidden Love / Che-kiu LAM / Hi8 / 18'42"
A Sea of Sky / Siu-ling LAU / 16mm / 11'
100% Secret Love / Wai-hung BOON / Hi8 / 32'
Ah Ming / Nga-shu HUI / Beta / 15'
Traffic Jam / Hiroshi FUKUZAWA / Beta / 25'

 

Documentary Category

Gold Award
Neon Goddesses / Lik-wai YU / 16mm / 46'

Distinguished Award
No News is Good News / Pui-king LAW, Yin-chun NG / VHS / 21'
This is What Our Country is Like / Chung-toa LAI / Hi8 / 43'
New World / Kal NG / 16mm / 12'
The Last Vestiges of a Bridge / Yin-chun NG / SVHS / 30'
Hong Kong Road Movie / Bing-fai FUNG / Beta / 29'

Animation Category

Silver Award
Foul Ball / Kin-to YUEN / Beta / 2'
《iD》 / Ellen YUEN / Hi8 / 2'30"

Distinguished Award
Sleepy Guy / Raman HUI / 35mm / 4'48"
Union / Shing-yung CHAN / VHS / 4'
(#01) / Tze-hin CHANG / Beta / 3'30"

 
Music Video Category
Gold Award
On the Road / Ernest Wai FUNG / SVHS / 4'

Silver Award
The Ant / Suk-man LEE / VHS / 3'
Raw Memory / Kwong-cho FONG / V8 / 3'30"

Distinguished Award
Pleasure / Kim-keung YUEN / VHS / 2'30"
6947 / Kai-hong SO / Hi8 / 6'

Others Category
Silver Award
Hong Kong Road Movie / Bing-fai FUNG / Beta / 29'
din gei ham lan / Anson Mak, Pui-wai KING, Hin-sau POON, May SZETO, Ellen YUEN / Hi8 VHS SVHS / 60'

Distinguished Award
Life is Elsewhere / Simon CHUNG / 16mm / 15'
Structure Attack / Patrick YIP / U-matic / 8'
I have just used twenty words to describe very exactly about a work of art that is done by me -- A Video Guide To Video Shooting / Cheuk-sang WONG / Hi8 / 5'
Jennifer / Gary LAM / Super8 / 3'
Old Earth / Jo LAW / SVHS / 7'30"

Special Prize (Video)
Foul Ball / Kin-to YUEN / Beta / 2'
din gei ham lan / Anson MAK, Pui-wai KING, Hin-sau POON, May SZETO, Ellen YUEN / Hi8 VHS SVHS / 60'

 

The 3rd Hong Kong Independent Short Film & Video Awards

Grand Prize
Happy Valley (Waiting at T zero) / Kam-lok CHAN / Beta / 20'

 

Drama Category

Gold Award
《我愛水龍頭》/ Ching-po WONG / Hi8 / 43'

Silver Award
In the Dumps / Wai-lun KWOK / 16mm / 60'

Distinguished Award
Easier to Give Up / Siu-ling LAU / DV / 27'
Thin / Wing-kam WONG / 16mm / 15'
《良友梁》/ Chak-piu CHIU、梁友良 / 16mm / 12'

 

Documentary Category

Gold Award
In Search of the Dragon's Tale / Haymann LAU, Stuart Mcgregor RANKIN / Beta /    48'

Silver Award
《胼手胝足》 / Fun YUEN, Chun-kuen PANG / Hi8 / 60'
New Vision on Video Arts (Hong Kong) / Ellen YUEN / Hi8 / 15'

Distinguished Award
Trams / Yan-han LEUNG / Beta / 10'30"
Cavafy - Poet of the City / Konstandinos John MAHONEY, Barry LOWE / DV / 11'30"
Flying Before the Storm / Ming-tat MAK, Chao-wei CHANG / Hi8, DV / 34'

 

Animation Category

Gold Award
Mr. Salmon / Peter Seung-ho NG / VHS / 4'

Silver Award
Dream / Phil Ming-fai SHEK / VHS / 5'

Distinguished Award
0714/ Ulrike HEROLD, Mei-wah MOK / 16mm / 5' 30"
Spinning Forever/ Henry LEE / Beta / 3'
Destiny of City/ Wing-yee MOK / VHS / 3'

Music Video Category
Gold Award
Getting Used to Run / Jamsen LAW / DV / 9'

Silver Award
Business / Daniel Man-ho LEUNG / VHS / 5'

Distinguished Award
Cold Rubbish / Kin-chung FUNG / VHS / 3'
Alice in Hong Kong / Ernest Wai FUNG / DV / 5'
97 Tons of Memories / Shun CHU / DV  / 13'

Others Category
Gold Award
Happy Valley (Waiting at T zero) / Kam-lok CHAN / Beta / 20'

Silver Award
The Journey of Time & Space / Lai CHEUNG, Man-ki SUC / VHS / 20"

Distinguished Award
FOREST/ Keung HUNG / U-matic high band / 13'
IFILM / Ho-leung LAU / 16mm / 22'
Celebration in the Time of Bitter Songs 97 (MOVEment Version) / Anson MAK / Beta / 55'
Red Faces / Man-fai KAM / DV / 22'
diary from the hard-boiled wonderland / Yuk-yiu IP / Super 8mm / 6' 30"

 

Youth Category

Gold Award
I am 17 years old in 1997 / Yuk-man FAN / V8 / 9' 30"
The Colour is Green / Wah-hei AU, Wing-cheung LEE / V8 / 15'

Distinguished Award
《空氣》 / Ka-yan MOK, Wai-chi KAN, Cheuk-yin SHAM, See-min CH'NG, Ching-sze MA, Ellen TJEN, Tsam-yee CHAN, Pui-shan WONG / Hi8 VHS / 9'
Battlefield / Luen-ha TSE, Kar-man CHAN, Yui YEUNG, Fong-ling TONG/ VHS / 11' 30"
Several Thoughts of Blue / Dominic Yu-hin TING  / DV / 8'

Special Prize (Video)
《胼手胝足》 / Fun YUEN, Chun-kuen PANG / Hi8 / 60'
Love / Keung HUNG / U-matic High Band / 9'

Best Potential Videographer
The Colour is Green / Wah-hei AU, Wing-cheung LEE / V8 / 15'

 

The 4th Hong Kong Independent Short Film & Video Awards

Grand Prize
The Window / Kevin Fung-chi TSANG / VHS / 5'

 

Drama Category

Gold Award
What's the View Like / Siu-ling LAU / Beta / 36' 30"

Silver Award
She Makes Me Wanna Die / Rita Nga-shu HUI / Beta / 30'
Killer / Yiu-wah KWOK / Beta / 9'

Distinguished Award
Snapshots / Yuen-yan MAK / Beta / 27'
Memory Chase / Atta CHUI / SVHS / 14' 30"
Father's Toys / Miu-suet LAI / 35mm / 51'
《十七分半漫遊服務》/ Tom Wai-keung CHAN / DV / 17' 30"

 

Documentary Category

Gold Award
Women at the Gay Games Amsterdam / Susan ROYLE, Hong LI / DV / 35'
A Thousand Pieces of Gold / Nuala ROONEY / Beta / 16'

Distinguished Award
I am a Woman / Connie LAM / DV / 10'
King of Kowloon / Joanne SHEN, Martin EGAN / Beta / 29'
Miscellaneous / Yuk-yiu IP / 16mm / 30'
93949678 / Stella LAI, Kin-kai CHAN, Jess LIT, Hung-hung WONG, Chun-chun TING / SVHS / 37'
Mayfly / Leonard LAW / Hi8 / 30'
Route of Transition / Henry Kwok-yin LAM, Peter LI, Angie CHAU, Amy WONG / DV / 15'

 

Animation Category

Gold Award
The Window / Kevin Fung-chi TSANG / VHS / 5'

Silver Award
Y / N / Chi-wah CHAN, Ka-chun SHUM / 2' 30"

Distinguished Award
Frieden - The Tree of Peace / Alina Hiu-fan CHAU/ VHS / 4'
The Magician and the Rabbit / Siu-chi HSU / VHS / 4' 30"
Skull Story / Kwong-chuen CHENG / Beta / 5'

Music Video Category
Gold Award
3/8 24:00 / Karl CHEUNG / Beta / 4'

Silver Award
First 7 Minutes of Creation / Kal NG / Beta / 7'

Distinguished Award
Finding Food / Kin-chung FUNG / VHS / 3'
Apple of Sodom / Hung-kwan CHAN / VHS / 5'
Angel Blue / Alice Shok-han LIU / DV / 6'

Others Category
Gold Award
Transmigration / Keung HUNG / Beta / 8' 30"

Silver Award
Invisible City (Wall) / Rita Nga-shu HUI / DV / 11'

Distinguished Award
Terminated Mail / Kwok-ming TAM / DV / 4' 30"
You Don't Know Me, But … / Kary KWOK  / DV / 30"
http:www.tube & memory.hk/love.97 (Version II) / Keung HUNG / Beta / 15'
I am a Woman / Connie LAM / DV / 10'

 

Youth Category

Gold Award
Hong Kong Guy / Hoi-ying LO / V8 / 56'
Time as a Dimension / Pak-kin TANG / V8 / 9'

Distinguished Award
My "Bounce Ko Gals" / Kwong-yin HUNG / V8 / 15'
The Challenger / Ian KENNY / SVHS / 4' 30"
F=ma / Mei-yee LAI, Hoi-ling MA, Yin-ki AU, Vivian POON / DV / 6'
Expectation / Edmund Wing-hong CHAN / Hi8 / 1'

Special Prize (Video)
Planting / Jeremy WONG / DV / 4'
I am a Woman / Connie LAM / DV / 10'

Special Prize (Film)
Birth/Death of a Painter / Park-huen KWEN / 35mm / 9'

Best Potential Videographer
Magcojaodkal 98 / Yuk-man FAN, Philip KWOK / Hi8 / 8'

 

The 5th Hong Kong Independent Short Film & Video Awards

Grand Prize
17 1/2 / Monica LEE / DV / 23'

 

Youth Category

Gold Award
17 1/2/ Monica LEE / DV / 23'

Silver Award
Untitled / Agnes LAM / DV / 4'

Distinguished Award
Knot / Agnes LAM / DV / 4'
Foor Gei Dai Yeuk Chun / Ming-kit WU / V8 / 6'
No One Control / Yu-ting CHAN / Hi8 / 19'

 

Animation Category

Gold Award
The Museum of "Chou" / Kevin TSANG / DV / 10'

Silver Award
Φ/ Albert YU / DV / 3'

Distinguished Award
Ningxia Journal / Chow-tai YUEN / VHS / 15'
An Office Incident / Wang-cheung LIU / DV / 4'
Story of Goldfish / Wing-sum CHAN / VHS / 11'

 

Open Category

Gold Award
Vivific of Pneuma / Anthony TSE / Beta / 12'

Silver Award
I'm Starving / Ching YAU / 16mm / 13'

Bronze Award
On Our Own / John WONG / Beta / 41'
Distinguished Award
Summer Exercise / Edmond PANG / 35mm / 11'
Bamboo Door, Bamboo Door / Ching-po WONG / Beta / 57'
mei li sheng huo / Jack NG / Beta / 22'
Hong Kong Is Not A Place For Love / Edward LAM / DV / 47'
Ah Wai & Murphy / Adam WONG / DV / 4'

Special Prize (Video)
Knot / Agnes LAM / DV / 4'

Special Prize (Film)
Nil

Special Prize (Best Cinematography)
The Offering / Antonin LHOTSKY (Cinematographer) / 35mm / 10'
Bamboo Door, Bamboo Door / Mun-wah TSE (Cinematographer) / Beta / 57'

Special Prize (Best Sound-Recording)
True Love / Karen LEUNG, Johnny CHEUNG, Fong CHEN (Sound Persons) / Beta / 30'

 

The 6th Hong Kong Independent Short Film & Video Awards

Grand Prize
Glowing / Adam Sau-ping WONG / DV / 60'

 

Youth Category

Gold Award
her mother /red line / Pui-man LUK / DV / 6'

Silver Award
Get Some To People… / Philips KWOK / DV / 18'
Play Around / Lai-ha NGAN / DV / 16' 30"

Distinguished Award
Ah Mei / Siu-tsz YUEN / DV / 8'
Noodles Rhapsody / Esme Kwai-lan CHAN / DV / 3' 30"
Time For Rest / Jay Wing-cheung LEE / VHS / 8'

 

Animation Category

Gold Award
The Quartum of My Century / Snowman Fung-kee TSANG / DV / 7' 30"

Silver Award
COME HOME / John Tat-hung HO / DV / 3'

Distinguished Award
3046 -The Wars Between Mom & Son / Cheuk-man LAU / DV / 1' 30"
Ambiguous Territory / Chik-kin NG / DV / 16'
A Dull's Life / Viper KWAI Bun KWAI / DV / 4'30"

 

Open Category

Gold Award
Glowing / Adam Sau-ping WONG / DV / 60'

Silver Award
The Foreign Bastard Chronicles Part 2 / Leonard Ling-wan KO / DV / 25'

Bronze Award
This Morning, I / Chiu Sing-yan / DV / 14'

Distinguished Award
Sleeping Culture of Tuen Mun / Elizabeth Sau-san LAW / Hi8 / 9'
Flick / Yammie Yan-yan CHAN / DV /  / 4'
The Foreign Bastard Chronicles Part 3 / Leonard Ling-wan KO / DV / 18'
i dream/ Savio Siu-chung WOO / DV / 6'
[:nv:s:b/e peop/e] / Wing-kit HUNG / DV / 33'
Life In The Front / Glori Wing-yiu TANG / Beta / 32'
Rati / Phoebe Ching-ying MAN / DV / 7'30"
Well / Nose Chui-hing CHAN, Tsz-yin WONG / DV / 16'

Best Documentary
Sleeping Culture of Tuen Mun / Elizabeth Sau-san LAW / Hi8 / 9'

Best Sound-Design
This Morning, I / Sing-yan CHIU (Sound Designer) / DV / 14'

Best Script
Glowing / Adam Sau-ping WONG (Scriptwriter) / DV / 60'

Best Mixed-Media Production
Nil

 

The 7th Hong Kong Independent Short Film & Video Awards

Grand Prize


The Circle's Corner / Kin-hung LAM / DV / 30'

Youth Category

Gold Award
Panic In Short Film / Ronald Kin-ho LAI / DV / 16'30"

Silver Award
Private Road / Alpha Ho-yu CHAN / DV / 21'

Bronze Award
Temple Tempo / Anne LUC / DV / 5'

Distinguished Award
A Boy In A Field / Kelvin Kit-wang CHOI / VHS / 11'
Digital Zoom 100X / Sau-yan WONG, Kin-yip CHEUNG / VHS / 22'
Pace / Jacky Chun-kuen CHOI / VHS / 3'

Jury Special Prize
Building The Future / Lilian FU / DV / 3'

 

Animation Category

Gold Award
take a break / Tam-ming WOO / DV / 5' 30"

Silver Award
Dandelion / Peter Seung-ho NG / VHS / 6'

Distinguished Award
E=MC2 / Alina Hiu-fan CHAU / Beta / 8'
Monarch / Andrew CHEN / DV / 3'
Thou Shalt Not Kill / Yuk-ting CHAN / Beta / 4'

Jury Special Prize
Missing The Millennium: An Apocalyptic Painting / Kal NG / DV / 10'

 

Open Category

Gold Award
The Circle's Corner / Kin-hung LAM / DV / 30'

Silver Award
Invisible Body (and so the cities) / Anson MAK / DV / 60'

Bronze Award
A City Constructed On Spider Web / Dominie Yu-hin TING / DV / 40'

Distinguished Award
Chan Sau Chun / Eric Chung-yin HUI, Jessey Tsui-shan TSANG / DV / 48'
Moon Chaser / Wai-yim WONG / Beta / 13'
Na / William TANG / DV / 5'
Overcoat / Bonni CHAN, Sean CURRAN, Pun-leung KWAN, Amos Yip-wah LEE / DV / 31' 30"
shoe-stories / Miranda Ngai TSUI / DV / 36'
THEME: (1) Lifetime of chance, (2) City of chance, (3) Chance encounter / Kenneth Tin-king NGAN / VHS / 11'
Wednesday Creamy Cake / Yuet-na TSE / DV / 9'30"
Weixiao / Hazel Hoi-sue CHANG / Beta / 23' 30"

Jury Special Prize
My Son / Kumiko Wing-chiu CHAN / DV / 24'

Best Documentary
On The Run / Denise Wing-man SHAM, Joey Chung-yee YU / DV / 26'

 

The 8th Hong Kong Independent Short Film & Video Awards

Grand Prize
Rice Distribution / Tammy CHEUNG / DV / 34'

 

Youth Category

Gold Award
What Are You Gonna Do? / Kin-yip CHENG / DV / 60'

Silver Award
Flourmen / Lilian FU, Vivian FU / DV / 8'

Bronze Award
Grounding / Hoi-yan TANG / DV / 11' 30"

Distinguished Award
980001/ Shirley YUEN, Susan LI / DV / 5' 30"
I Am Fine/ Carlos LAM / DV / 5' 30"
Searching…… / Celia YU / DV / 11 '

Jury Special Prize
The Age of Music Citizens / Susanna WONG / DV / 34' 30"

 

Animation Category

Gold Award
Very Fantastic / Man-yee SO / DV / 8'

Silver Award
Into The Air 's Memory/ Albert Ka-ho YU / DV / 5' 30"

Bronze Award
the edge/ Wing-man SHUM / DV / 3'

Distinguished Award
She Writes a Poem / John HO / DV / 6' 30"
Via Wire/ Ka-fai MOK / DV / 5 '
《一個月零一夜》/ Chi-chung YIP / DV / 4' 30"

Jury Special Prize
My Fantasia / Kwong-chuen CHENG / DV / 4' 30"

 

Open Category

Gold Award
Rice Distribution / Tammy CHEUNG / DV / 34'

Silver Award
BurninNation / Verdy LEUNG, Zero YIU / DV / 2'

Bronze Award
Kou And Jordy / Chung-yin HUI / DV / 15'

Distinguished Award
1201/ Ning WONG / Beta / 12'
Constructing Destruction / Chi-man SIU / DV / 15'
Suicide Hotel / Jervis SUEN / DV / 15'

Jury Special Prize
Toys / Wai-hung CHAN / DV / 32'
Y.M. - Yeung Ming / David Wing-fung CHOW, Sherry Man-nei LEE / DV / 40'

 

Asian New Force Category

Critics Award
15/ Royston TAN / 35mm / 25'
Being Normal / Hyun Jung CHOI / DV / 58'
The Bride / Jian-lin PAN / DV / 48'
Empty Cage / Zhi JIANG / DV / 25' 30"
Mouse Without Tail / Won-chul PARK / Beta / 13' 30"

 

 

The 9th Hong Kong Independent Short Film & Video Awards

Grand Prize
Desire of Egg / Choi-fung WONG / DV / 32'

 

Youth Category

Gold Award
Nightmare / Ka-to CHEUNG, Wai-lok LAW / DV / 10'

Silver Award
Mono-chrome / Ka-to CHEUNG, Wai-lok LAW / DV / 8'
Thirst / Ka-yiu NG, Kam-tung CHEUNG, Tsz-yan CHEUNG, Kane CHAN, Yuen-wai LUK / DV / 7'

Bronze Award
The Letter / Tin-wai SO, Chia-lu CHIANG / DV / 4' 30"

Distinguished Award
980133/ Susan Yi-shan LI / DV / 8'
Bring Me Back In Three Days / Wilson Pok-yin LAU / DV / 12'
Shot and Shoot / Chun-hung CHAN, Siu-fung CHU, Kong-wah CHOI / DV / 12' 30"
Such We Be/ Alex FU, Adam Taekyung KIM / DV / 7'

Jury Special Prize
《白切仔配白痴雞》/ Sze-ka WONG, Cammy KWOK / DV / 2'

 

Animation Category

Gold Award
My Dear Flower / Wai-kuen CHUNG / DV / 9'

Silver Award
Foollee / John Yu-fung CHAN / DV / 9'

Bronze Award
I Don't Think / King-fung IP / DV / 13'

Distinguished Award
Frog At The Bottom Of The Well / Akin Vai-kin VONG / DV / 2' 30"
Santa's Rhapsody / Katherine E-pui LUK, Step Wing-yee CHEUNG / DV / 11'
Tomato Love/ Joey Chung-yee KAN / DV / 6' 30"

Jury Special Prize
Fat Attack / Lok-man YEUNG / DV / 3' 30"

 

Open Category

Gold Award
Desire of Egg / Choi-fung WONG / DV / 32'

Silver Award
The Wild One / Sze-ming NG / DV / 15'

Bronze Award
Acting Out / Ming-kai LEUNG / DV / 15'
Out of Focus: AD/ Frank Hok-man HUI / DV / 4'

Distinguished Award
Jordy & Kou / Chung-yin HUI / DV / 21'
A Moth and A Butterfly / Gilbert Chin-keung KWONG / Beta / 40'
Parasite / Ho-yeung YU / DV / 22'

Jury Special Prize
《Missing Henry》/ Ling-ling WOO / DV / 6'

 

Asian New Force Category

Critics Award
Crammed/ Ellery NGIAM / Beta / 11'
Freezing of Time / Chun-han SHIH / DV / 26'
I Will Follow You/ Jun UEMATSU / DV / 40'
Jasmine Bay / Robin WENG / DV / 18'
The Missing House / Liang YING / DV / 28'

 

The 10th Hong Kong Independent Short Film & Video Awards

Open Category

Gold Award
Mother / Tai-lee Chan / DV / 18’ 20”

Silver Award
Lonely Planet / Tsui-shan Tsang / DV / 25’ 30”

Special Mention
Ladies’ Market Inside Stuff / Ling-yam CHUNG / DV / 37’ 14”
Soldier Crab / Wai-keung Lam / DV / 20’
Meat / Chak-wing Lo / DV / 19’13”

 

Youth Category

Gold Award
Under the Sun / Pok-yin LAU / DV / 27’

Silver Award
Until I Die / Yee-nam LOU / DV / 26’

Special Mention
Until I Die / Yee-nam LOU / DV / 26’

 

Animation Category

Gold Award
Tree as Company / Lai-ming WONG / DV / 10’ 52”

Silver Award
Canned Despair / Chi-wing HUNG / DV / 3’
HK161 / Wai-hang WONG / DV / 15’

Special Mention
Kill AL / Siu-chung CHAN, Ka-hei TSUI, Ka-long TSUI / DV / 13’ 40”  

 

Asian New Force Category

Grand Prize
Year By Year / Wei LIU / DV / 45’

Special Jury Prize
Picture / Yan-jun SHEN / DV / 20’
Exodus / Sherman Beng Ann ONG / DV / 30’

 

The 11th Hong Kong Independent Short Film & Video Awards

Open Category

Gold Award
The 8th / Jervis SUEN / 16mm / 21’ 40”

Silver Award
Just Love / King-long FUNG / DV / 29’ 38”

Special Mentions
Our Steps / Chi-wai LEE, Wing-men KWAN, Hoi-yan NG, Ki-fai YEUNG / 16mm / 25’ 22”
The Blacks / Yuk-ling CHOY / DV / 22’
Name of Wu Mei / Khong-chang KONG / DV / 16’

 

Youth Category

Silver Award
Trapped / Tung-cheuk CHENG / DV / 6’ 40”
Angels' Trumpets / Mei-fung YEUNG, Yik-chung KWAN, Pak-hei LAI / DV / 20’ 50”

Special Mentions
First Second Third Fourth / Helen NG, Cho-yan YUNG, Wing-ying LAU / DV / 5’ 09”
0 Budget / Ling-chi WOO / DV / 11’ 30”
Little Shoes / Hong-ching CHOW / DV / 2’
Seek / Kong-tung WU / DV / 8’ 46”

 

Animation Category

Gold Award
Mum Is Born / John CHAN/ DV / 20’

Silver Award
The Well In 80s' / Pak-ho CHAU / DV / 4’ 45”
Making Love With PA / Wai-hang WONG / DV / 15’ 15”

Special Mentions
A Mid-Night Story / Hoi-chung WONG / DV / 6’ 03”
Who Cares / Ka-hei TSUI, Ka-long TSUI, Siu-chung CHAN / DV / 8’ 23”

Special Mention
Backbone Medley / Bun LEE / DV / 3’ 59”

 

Single-Screen-Based Interactive Media Category

Silver Award
TV Clock / Henry CHU

Special Mention
Offense For Defense / Franky NG
Brain Disorder / Bryan FU

Asian New Force Category

Grand Prize
My 747 / Chi-jan HOU / DV / 11’

Special Mention
My Chamber / Seock-hyun YU / CGI / 5’
Vous Vous Souviens De Moi? / Thunska Pansittivorakul / DV / 14’

 

 

The 12th Hong Kong Independent Short Film & Video Awards

Open Category

Gold Award
《Lovers’ Lover》/ Hei-yan MAK / DV / 30’

Silver Award
《Tomato School 》/ Benjamin Ho-yin LAM / DV / 3’ 58”

Silver Award
《Upstairs 》/ Kwun-wai CHOW / Super 16 / 30’

Special Mentions
《Anna》 / Philip Pak-hung HO / DV / 8’ 40”

 

Youth Category

Gold Award
《Report》/ Yin-ping LUNG, Pui-yi HO, Wing-yiu CHAN, Siu-kei CHU / DV / 30’

Silver Award
《Oronine》/ Yik-chung KWAN, Yu-hang TSOI / DV / 5’

Silver Award
《I Think I 》/ Ho-yin MA, Sin-yu CHENG, Yu-hang TSOI, Kwok-kin YIP / DV / 16’ 10”

特別表揚獎Special Mentions
《Taste of Summer》/ Ling-chi WOO / DV / 15’ 20”

Special Mentions
《Three of a Kind》/ Ka-leung CHAN, Tung-cheuk CHENG, Hok-chi CHEUNG / DV / 11’ 36”

特別表揚獎Special Mentions
《Dejavu》/ Pui-yan LAM, Hoi-u LAM / DV / 16’ 38”
Special Mentions
《Lost》/ Ka-kuen MAK / DV / 6’ 36”

Special Mentions

《Kwai Ching in Perspective》/ Chun-hin CHEUNG / DV / 5’ 46”

 

Animation Category


Gold Award

《The Chronicle of a Drawing; the Footprints of Time》/George Cheuk-hin WONG /  9’ 43”

Silver Award
《Living In The Dark》/ Gong-tsyn LEUNG / 5’

Silver Award
《Sukki's Story》/ Gong-tsyn LEUNG / 5’

Special Mention
《My Lovely Neighbour》/ Tom Benny LEUNG, Wai-mo CHAN, Daniele MANOLI / 3’ 22”

Special Mention

《Cotton》/ Sze-wing TO, Siu-ling SZE / 6’ 50”

 

Single-Screen-Based Interactive Media Category


Gold Award
《MUSICAL LOOM》/ Kingsley NG

Gold Award
《The Sound of Market》/ Henry CHU

Special Mention
《All About my Ho Chung》/ Jessey Tsui-Shan TSANG

Special Mention
《The Peeper》/ Wai-keung LAM

Special Mention
《Bloated City|Skinny Language》 / innov + media lab HUNG Keung and innov + media lab

 

Asian New Force Category

Grand Prize
《Life With Happiness》/ Wan-Yu LIN, Ya-Ting HSU / 29’ 58”

Special Mentions
《Meat Days》/ Joe HSIEH / 12’ 20”

Special Mentions
《Hakko-fermentation》/ Madoka Kumagai / 28’

 

The 13th Hong Kong Independent Short Film & Video Awards

Open Category

Gold Award
Merry X’mas / Jevons Man-kit AU / HD / 24’

Silver Award
Wong Tsz Ching in Search for Wong Tsz Ching / Tsz-ching WONG / DV / 20’
The Young Dream / Tze-chun CHOW, On-ching LAI / 16mm / 21’

Special Mention
Variable / Wai-kit WONG / HD / 7’

 

Youth Category

Gold Award
Voice in the Darkness / Ka-wai LEE, Chiu-ting LAI / DV / 9’

Silver Award
Family / Chun-wai HONG, Chi-Kin LAM, Fu-lim CHAN, Ho-man TANG / DV / 5’

Special Mention
Deliverance / Alan Tsz-wai KWAN / HD / 14’ 10
GameLive / Ching-kui FONG / DV / 8’
Lost View / Kai-lun CHAN, Shun-wa CHAN / DV / 10’ 21

 

Animation Category

Gold Award
The Hole / Cherry Suet-yan LEONG / 2’ 47

Silver Award
Link / Chun-yu CHUI, Wai-yee CHAN / 2’ 30

Special Mention
The Red Buds / Man-ki LEUNG / 11’ 20
Wisdom Tree / Man-kit HO, Ka-hei TSUI, Ka-long TSUI, Siu-chung CHAN / 8’ 30

 

Single-Screen-Based Interactive Media Category

Gold Award
從缺 Nil

銀獎 Silver Award
Alliance / Wing-fat WONG
Rubbing Tool / Yu-ho KWOK, Wai-yu CHAN

Special Mention
Pixsonic Playground / Hon-him CHEUNG, Jason Chi-fai LAM

 

Asian New Force Category

Grand Prize
Half Teaspoon / Ifa ISFANSYAH / DV / 18’
SUWICHAKORNPONG Anocha / DV / 14’

Special Mention
Bare / Santana ISSAR / VHS / 11’ 30

 

 

The 14th Hong Kong Independent Short Film & Video Awards

Interactive Media Category

Gold Award
Stolen Time for Sale / Sum-yu FONG

Silver Award
Textworm / Ashley Chi-lung CHEUNG, Jason Chi-fai LAM

Special Mention
Black Box / Wai-yu CHAN, Yu-ho KWOK

Special Mention
The Happiness of the Fish / Hon-him CHEUNG

Special Mention
Leaf, Living Digit / Lawrence Ming-tat LAU

 

Animation Category

Gold Award
Such is Life / Emily Lai-ming WONG / 16’ 12”

Silver Award
Yim / Chun-yu CHUI, Wai-yee CHAN / 4’ 26”

Special Mention
All Around Me / Hey-chiu YEUNG /5’ 16”

Special Mention
My Mother is an Alien / Sin-ling YEUNG, Sze-kit LAU / 5’ 44”

 

Open Category

Gold Award
Three Boys / Ming-kai LEUNG / 16mm / 19’ 33”

Silver Award
Let's Take a Shower / Chung-yee YU / DV / 19’

Special Mention
The Story of Sun / Fei LONG / HD / 24’23”

 

Youth Category

Gold Award
Life Must Go On / Ka-ki SHAM / DV / 19’ 30”

Gold Award
My Rose / Lok-to TANG / DV / 3’ 19”

Special Mention
The Empty Body / Sze-ming WONG / DV / 3’19”

Special Mention
Let You Know / Kai-tung KWONG, Hiu-kwan WONG / DV / 21’ 09”

Special Mention
Without Title / Toson CHAN / DV / 4’ 28”


Asian New Force Category

Grand Prize
4 Kilometers / Shapiro MIRI / Digital Betacam / 22’ 30”

Special Mention
Fading / Ko-shang SHEN / DV / 15’

Special Mention
The Soliloquist / Kuang-pei MA / 35mm /6’ 05”

 

 

The 15th Hong Kong Independent Short Film & Video Awards

Open Category

Gold Award
Homecoming / Zune KWOK / 16mm / 29’ 35”

Silver Award
Daylily / Wallis Tsz-wai CHAN / DV / 30’

Special Mention
The Life and Times of Ho Chung Village / Tsui-shan TSANG / DV / 14’
The Betrayed Tigers / Stanley Ming-yin LIU / HD / 30’
Camera Gun / Jason Man-kwan YIU / DV / 23’

 

Youth Category

Gold Award
Where / Ho-nin MAK, Ko-nin MAK / DV / 27’ 02”

Silver Award
Three of Us / Wing-yee WONG / DV / 4’ 6”

Special Mention
We Sing We Sing / Hiu-laam CHANG, Chor-man HO / DV / 27’ 2”
Breath / Kwong-san TANG, Chun PANG  / DV / 1’ 42”
The 6th Step / Chun-ki CHEUNG, Yik-fung WONG / DV / 9’ 59”
Story of Our Tuck Shop / Tin-yui PANG / HD / 9’58”

 

Animation Category

Gold Award
Nil

Silver Award
Wu Song Kill Tiger / Buck MOK / 10’ 20”

A Hair Story / Shing-fung MAK / 7’ 15”

Special Mention
Tree / Kok-ning CHEUNG, Suet-ying SIU, Wing-shan CHENG / 4’ 36”
I am I / Ying-lee CHAN / 7’ 28”
Donate Blood Instead of Hot Blooded / Ying-ping MAK / 4’ 18”
Tancho / Oscar SHEIKH / 3’ 43”

 

Interactive Media Category

Gold Award
Nil

Silver Award
Table-Obscura.II : Intimacy / Wing-shan LEE

Silver Award

A Map of Our Own-Kwun Tong Culture and Histories /
Anson MAK, Yammie CHAN, Yuenya, saSa, imjoy, Yvette HUI,
ar On, Stanley NG, Joshua CHEUNG, Chung-fai WONG,
Ronald LEUNG, youthfotologue, Nicole KT YU
Stories of a Cell Phone / Millie Yuet-yung CHIU

Special Mention
Mushroom on the Cassette Tape / Lawrence Ming-tat LAU
5-stars' identity / Winnie SOON
Video Vending Machine / Naomi CHAN

 

Asian New Force Category

Grand Prize
Intoxicant / John HSU / 35mm / 26’
Shred of Hope / Tom SHOVAL / 16mm / 26’ 7”

Special Mention
The Last Day of Bulkin I.S. / Aleksey ANDRIANOV / 35mm / 13’
A Piece of Cake / De-chuen WU, Li-hua CHEN, Jimmy JU, Ching-yun HSU / animation / 11’ 17”

 

 

The 1st Hong Kong Independent Short Film & Video AwardsJury Panel

Drame Category
Kar LAW / Alex LAW / Wai-luk LO / Ho NG

Documentary Category
Jimmy CHOI / Kei SHU / Tai-lok LUI / Ain-ling WONG

Animation Category
Chiu-ping KU / Shun-kit WONG / Ying WONG / Chung-man YEE

Ecperimental Category
Jacob WONG / Yuen-ting CHEUNG / May FUNG

Music Video Category
Bryan CHANG / Warren MOK / Sing-pui O / N K LEUNG

 

The 2nd Hong Kong Independent Short Film & Video Awards Jury Panel

Drama Category
Ping-kwan LEUNG / Lawrence AH MON / May FUNG
 
Documentary Category
Bryan CHANG / Stephen CHAN / Chiu-yu MOK / Freddie WONG / Wai-luk LO

Animation Category
Chiu-ping KU / Craig AU YEUNG / Ain-ling WONG / Ying WONG / Che-ying LO

Music Video Category
Elvin Chi-chung WONG / Herman Lai-to YAU / Thomas CHUNG / Shing-hon LAU

Others Category
King-chung SIU / Danny YUNG / May FUNG / Bryan CHANG / Yuen SZE

 

The 3rd Hong Kong Independent Short Film & Video Awards Jury Panel

Drama Category
Gordon CHAN / Stephen CHAN / Tat-ming CHEUNG / Ping-kwan LEUNG /
Danny YUNG

Documentary Category
Bacon CHENG / Paul FONOROFF / Bono LEE / Wai-luk LO / Freddie WONG

Animation Category
Bryan CHANG / Chi-lik HO / Chiu-ping KU / Ain-ling WONG / Ying WONG

Music Video Category
Derek CHEUNG / Thomas CHUNG / Sik-ying HO / Anthony WONG / Leon YOUNG

Other Category
Edward LAM / Man-tao LEUNG / May FUNG / Sing-pui O / Lai-to YAU

 

The 4th Hong Kong Independent Short Film & Video Awards Jury Panel

Drama Category
Dr Eva Kit-wah MAN / Kee-to LAM / Ka-fai WAI / Bacon Chi-hung CHENG

Documentary Category
Sing-pui O / Tin-shing CHAN / Stephen CHAN / Wai-luk LO

Animation Category
Chi-lik HO / Kee-kwan WONG /Ying WONG / Che-ying LO / Yvonne LO

Music Video Category
Chi-chung YUEN / Jingle MA / Elvin Chi-chung WONG / Leon YOUNG

Others Category
Jacob WONG / Siu-kee HO / Herman YAU / May FUNG / Edward LAM

Youth Category
Connie LAM / Chun-hong NG / Yuen-ling WONG / Eric KOT / Winifred LAI

 

The 5th Hong Kong Independent Short Film & Video Awards Jury Panel

YOUTH Category
Winifred LAI / Herman YAU /Sik-ying HO / Ying WONG / Tin-shing CHAN

ANIMATION Category
Che-ying LO / Toe YUEN / Chun-hong NG / Tak-ping TSANG / Chi-tak LI

OPEN Category
Ain-ling WONG / Tat-ming CHEUNG / Leon YOUNG / Man-tao LEUNG / Lawrence CHENG / Chi-chung YUEN / Siu-kee HO / Linda LAI

 

The 6th Hong Kong Independent Short Film & Video Awards Jury Panel

Youth Category
Chi-wai CHEUNG / Chun-hong NG / Shu Kei / Lin-sum YIP

Animation Category
Kee-to LAM / Tim LEUNG / Che-ying LO / Hark TSUI / Brian WONG

Open Category
May FUNG / Tat-lin KWOK / Chun-yue LAM / Bono LEE / Man-tao LEUNG / Ellen PAO / Yan-kwai WONG / Herman YAU

 

The 7th Hong Kong Independent Short Film & Video Awards Jury Panel

Youth Category
Edward LAM / Lisa LEUNG / Sandra NG / Sing-pui O / Chi-chung WONG

Animation Category
Raman HUI / Kee-to LAM / Michael LAU / Che-ying LO / Ying WONG

Open Category
May FUNG / Linda LAI / Jamsen LAW / Man-tao LEUNG / Kei SHEK / Ain-ling WONG / Yan-kwai WONG / Herman YAU

 

The 8th Hong Kong Independent Short Film & Video Awards Jury Panel

Youth Category
Simon CHUNG / Kee-to LAM / Lik-chee LEE / Ping-kwan LEUNG / Evi YANG

Animation Category
Percy FUNG / Che-ying LO / Henry MA / Ying WONG / Toe YUEN

Open Category
Linda LAI / Ellen PAU / Winnie TSANG / Herman YAU

Asian New Force Category
Hong Kong Film Critics Society Representatives
Bono LEE / Lawrence PUN / Tin LONG

Hong Kong Film Critics Association Representatives
King CHENG / Ka-ming FUNG

 

The 9th Hong Kong Independent Short Film & Video Awards Jury Panel

Youth Category
Chi-yuen TIK / Anthony LEUNG / Pun-leung KWAN / Yi-hing ONG / Evi YANG

Animation Category
Frankie CHUNG / Percy FUNG / Seeman HO / Rosanna LI / Che-ying LO

Open Category
Wallace KWOK / Dante LAM / Phoebe MAN / Emilie YEH / Yuk-yiu IP

Asian New Force Category
Representatives of Hong Kong Film Critics Society
Ka-ming CHAN / Lawrence LAU

Representatives of Hong Kong Film Critics Association
Pak-sang CHAN / Vincent HO / Hiu-lung WONG

 

The 10th Hong Kong Independent Short Film & Video Awards Jury Panel

Youth Category
Chitat CHAN / Eric KOT / Yan Yan MOK / Irene LEUNG / Bottle SHIU

Animation Category
Henry MA / Krates Hing-Ngok NG / Eddy WONG / Craig AU YEUNG / Che Ying LO

Open Category
May FUNG / Gary MAK / Lawrence PUN / Eric TSANG / Lik Wai YU

Asian New Force Category
Philip CHEAH / Zhang-ke JIA / Jimmy CHOI

 

The 11th Hong Kong Independent Short Film & Video Awards Jury Panel

Open Category
Susie AU / Vincent CHUI / Winnie FU / Linda Chiu-han LAI / Ellen PAU

Youth Category
Pik-yu CHAN / Vincci CHEUK / Chun-hung NG / Ho-cheung PANG / Simon SHEN

Animation Category
Neco Che-Ying LO / Hery MA / Eddy WONG / Ying WONG / Elphonso LAM

Single-Screen-Based Interactive Media Category
Bryan CHUNG / May FUNG / Sunny LAM / Frederic LICHTENSTEIN / Yasuhiro SANTO

Asian New Force
Gray MAK / Apichatpong WEERASETHAKUL / Xianmin ZHANG

 

The 12th Hong Kong Independent Short Film & Video Awards Jury Panel

Open Category
Barbara WONG / Daniel YU / Ellen PAU / Makin FUNG / Patrick TAM

Youth Category
Cedric CHAN / Eric POON / Gary TANG / PIXELTOY / Derek TSANG    

Animation Category
Che-ying LO / Peter NG / WONG Ying / Percy FUNG / Man-fa YU

Single-Screen-Based Interactive Media Category
Bryan CHUNG / May FUNG / Pong LAM / Frederic LICHTENSTEIN / Ray CHUNG       

Asian New Force Category
Asai TAKASHI / II-gon SONG / Tammy CHEUNG

 

The 13th Hong Kong Independent Short Film & Video Awards Jury Panel

Open Category
Elaine CHOW / Philip LEE / Anson MAK / Anothermountainman (Stanley WONG) / Herman YAU                               

Youth Category
Pikyu CHAN / Patrick KONG / Yat Fung LAM / Karena LAM / Eric Tat-pui POON

Animation Category
Rice 5 / Neco Che Ying LO / Alan WAN / Vincent YEUNG / Ying WONG

Single-Screen-Based Interactive Media Category
Bryan CHUNG / Draughtzman / Endy FUNG / Frederic LICHTENSTEIN / Ellen PAU      

Asian New Force Category
Ching YAU / Hung Hung / Kazuyuki YANO / May FUNG

 

The 14th Hong Kong Independent Short Film & Video Awards Jury Panel

Open Category
Ka-ming / Oxide PANG / Adam WONG /Yank yan-kwai WONG / Eric K.W. MA         

Youth Category
Pikyu CHAN / Wai CHAN / Wing Chiu CHAN / Juno MAK / John WONG                           

Animation Category
Percy FUNG / Felix IP / Neco Che Ying LO / Alan WAN / Ying WONG

Interactive Media Category
D-Fuse(TBC) / Winnie FU / Jamsen LAW / Frederic LICHTENSTEIN / NG Tsz Kwan  

Asian New Force Category
Keung CHOW / Teresa KWONG / Linda LAI / Kiyong PARK / Ye LOU

 

The 15th Hong Kong Independent Short Film & Video Awards Jury Panel

Open Category
Wai CHAN / Kar Law / Percy FUNG / Ho-Cheung PANG / Ain Ling WONG

Youth Category
Wing Chiu CHAN / Derek Chi-kin KWOK / Sing-pui O / Bottle SHIU / Adam WONG

Animation Category
Kee-to LAM / Neco Che-ying LO / Felix IP / Wong YING / Tamshui

Interactive Media Category
Bryan CHUNG / Endy FUNG / May FUNG / Linda LAI / Jamsen LAW

Asian New Force Category
Winnie FU / Ka Ming FUNG / Yuhang HO / Teresa KWONG / Mary STEPHEN

 

The 12th ifva jury meeting transcript

 

The 12th ifva – Animation Category, Second Round Jury’s Meeting

Jurors in Attendance: Yu Man-fai (Yu), Ng Sheung-ho (Ng), Wong Ying (Wong), Fung Chi-cheong (Fung), Lo Chi-ying (Lo):
Organizer Representatives: Teresa Kwong (Kwong) , Chelsea Man (Man)

 

Kwong: The purpose of this meeting is to select the award winners for the 12th ifva Animation Category. The organizer suggests a gold award winner who is entitled to a cash award of $50,000 and a set of Adobe software, a silver award winner who is entitled to a cash award of $30,000 and a special mentions award with a certificate of merit. Of course the decision rests with the jurors. You can choose none or more than one gold award winners or silver award winners. The cash award will be redistributed on a pro rata basis. What’s more, as we think that jurors’ remarks and comments will mean a lot to the entrants, the meeting will be recorded and the transcript will be posted on the internet in April.
It is ifva’s mission and purpose to encourage media creation, using media as tools for creativity and expression. We also encourage interaction and exchange with other media creation lovers in Asia. The organizer suggests using the content, creativity and skills as judging criteria. You have any questions? If no, then let us go to the 11 finalists.

Yu: This is my first time as a juror. Do we go to the entries one by one or we take turn delivering our comments?

Kwong: We suggest going over the 11 finalists one by one. You can give your comments and remarks, point out the good or the bad points, and where it can be improved. After the first round of discussion, we can go the second round of nomination, voting and deliberation. This is our suggested procedure. What do you think? If you have no questions, we go to the finalists.

Hunters

Lo: It cannot be denied that it is technically mature, rich and varied in modeling, colour, texture and action design. But it is limited to the visual aspect. It is comparatively poor in content. We have seen quite a lot of such exquisite 3D animation in recent years, the thrill has quite gone. The only thing we can say is that the creator is technically fluent. It could be better if it had a better subject matter or were longer with a fuller content.

Fung: Technically it is not bad at all, but it is not the only entry good in this aspect. Hunters has room for greater creativity and more surprises. I agree with what Lo Sir just said. It is very entertaining, but that’s it. If only its story had more depth.

Ng: It looks like a video game.

Fung: The entrant is a regular in competitions. But from the ifva perspective, our focus should be on creativity. Hunters, whether in story or content expression, by expression I mean techniques, is rather run of the mill. From the jurors’ point of view, it gives us no surprises. Though it is a complete work, it is rather thin on the creativity side.

Yu: The creator is skillful in using 3D techniques and characteristics to promote the visuals. Whether technically or in 3D expression, I think this is an excellent work. However, it has two distinctive shortcomings. One is on creativity or freshness. Like Lo Sir said, we have seen too many of such exquisite 3D animations. Hunters offers us no surprises. The other is on subject matter exposition. The work tells a very simple story. But from what I know, the original design is very different from the end product. The original story has much more depth. However, probably the balance was tipped to visual expression, on the expense of story depth. I think marks should be deducted from these two aspects.

Ng: Probably he had no time to complete it.

Yu: No. The balance was tipped. For visual excitement, the story depth was lost.

Ng: Something seems missing.

Kwong: Any more comments?

Wong: No more.

Mind Blossom

Ng: Probably there were too many 3D works before it; I found the stories in Mind Blossom short and pleasing. The character design is outstanding and all the stories have something to say. They have their merits and flaws, say, some can be faster in rhythm and some slower, but creativity speaking it is open-ended. I mean the work has room to grow. And the pictures are not bad, quite fresh.

Lo: A bit too sketchy, and this kind of four-frame cartoon formant is not that difficult to handle. The subject mater is not something grand, but you expect the punch-line of this kind of sketch will do animation justice. Mind Blossom is just animated four-frame cartoon with some unsurprising elaboration. However, if simply judging it from the point of format choice, it has done an adequate job. You can tell the effort put into character design. The picture is simple and the action simple, but it is effective.

Ng: That means, if it was given another punch-line…

Lo: Right, a more hard-hitting one, it would be so much better.

Yu: But I find his design and story unremarkable. It is rather a literal interpretation. His design is very similar to western cartoon. It is likely a reinterpretation of other people’s work, with a very ordinary story. I find the whole work unremarkable and it leaves no impact. Actually many overseas works are in such a format. I expect more for a reinterpretation. But it is very similar to what other people have done before, with no breakthroughs in content. Hence I find the work very commonplace.

Ng: You mean pirated?

Yu: No, not pirated. It is a rework, though not in a very clever way.

Fung: I quite agree with you guys. I find the colour and picture composition quite good, quite refreshing. As what I called a small-team work, it looks professional. On the other hand, as many entries this year are successful in story arrangement, Mind Blossom may have a story, it is not as good when compares with other entries. It may stand out amid entries of last year or a couple of years ago, however, as many of this year’s entries have their unique storytelling style, this one is weak in comparison, and it offers no fresh ideas.

Wong: I find effort has been put into character design. It may be simple but it is well-thought out. How much if it is borrowed, I don’t know. If just judging from character design or the visual aspect, the creator of Mind Blossom appears to be more decisive and incisive than other creators. Such stand-up comedy like short work demands precision in narrative and storytelling. He is a bit weak in timing or the delivery of the punch line. He fails to grasp the pace and timing. This is the place it has fallen short.

Living in the Dark, Sukki's Story

Yu: If Sukki's Story had not existed, Living in the Dark would have caught my eye. However, the presence of Sukki's Story has affected my view of Living in the Dark. Whether from layout or expression, I will pick Sukki's Story.

Wong: You mean Sukki's Story is better?

Yu: Right. It is natural to compare these two works from the same creator. Living in the Dark is immature. You can see the progress in Sukki's Story. Hence I don’t have much to say about Living in the Dark. My focus is on Sukki's Story.

Wong: I too naturally made a comparison between the two works. It is quite interesting. The remarkable thing is that you can see his progress, whether in the visual aspect, picture layout or even his technique. In the earlier work Living in the Dark only simple rotoscoping is employed. In the later work Sukki's Story, besides rotoscoping, there are also simple mise-en-scene and morfing. You can see his technique has matured. As for the script, both works are personal. In such case usually the earlier work is rawer, with more to say and more to the point. The dialogue of the first one Living in the Dark is more refined than Sukki's Story, but the latter has better picture. I think at the end, we may have to deliberate which of his work should win or whether the two should win as a unit.

Fung: To me, if comparing the two like you two did, I will say the first one is more touching in its storytelling. It leads us to think and into its world. As for the technical side, I know retroscoping is not easy;it takes a lot of effort. I can tell he has his idea in the handling of retroscoping and animation. To be, it is easier to go into his world in the first one. Because of the experience of the first work, the second seems a bit distant. He works hard to build up the gap between passion and coldness, colour and colourless….

Wong: A bit affected.

Fung: Exactly! The second one has its good points, like camera execution. It is notmore complicated, but it is better than the first one. Some camera movement, like the mother letting the kids going out, there is this fleeting moment of surge of emotion. It is obvious that Living in the Dark let you go into the world,, and the second one Sukki's Story has set a technical boundary. Personally I don’t find one outshines the other.

My Lovely Neighbour Tom

Fung: I am not sure how it is done. Technically it is not easy at all, with 3D and 2D in one work. It is a very good technical attempt. The score and the use of blood make me feel uneasy and it put me off. But over all speaking it is an innovative work and it is high on my list. I have this feeling that the creator will make it big in the commercial field, I don’t mean we can hold our breath, nut he should have the capability to handle some projects.

Yu: Comparing with other entries, My Lovely Neighbour Tom is a more pleasing work; it has left me an impression, whether in subject matter and content presentation, or storytelling and technique. It is not a boring work. Its only shortcoming is that it is not very innovative. This kind of black humour is quite common. If only he would go further. I think he has potential, he has room for improvement. I have reservation on the creativity side, as for other aspects, it is a balanced work.

Ng: When I got the entry, I found he has put a lot of effort into it. It was carefully packaged, whether in the wrapping or the disk itself. It means he respects his own work. The picture is different from general works. Actually, violence or this kind of handling does have a kind of attraction. I was a bit scared when watching it. It was terrifying. It means the work has touched a chord.

Some Where

Fung: I have seen this work in other competitions and I had the chance to talk with the creator. I understand it was developed from a school project. There are many aids for Ink painting animation and the work can pull it off. Its most outstanding feature is the attempt to put the ink painting framework onto modern city and modern life, like airplanes, cars and means of transportation in the last scene. It is hard to guess how the story will evolve. It is quite a remarkable work as it was developed from a school project.

Ng: I find it a bit too long.

Fung: The feeling probably comes from the ambience created by the score.

Ng: Using ink painting is a good idea, but there are others ways to present ink painting.

Yu: Like Percy, I have met the creator and talked with him. From the script, it seems he wants to use ink painting to convey something we can relate to. But I find him too confined to the ink painting style of the Lingnan school. Whether the splash-ink or other schools, ink painting leaves space for imagination. But what he does here is just the opposite. He fills the picture with ink painting effect and colour. It is too rich and leaves no room for audience to make their own association.

Ng: The key of ink painting is in the space that is left blank. He probably was worried that the audience would not see what he wants to express.

Yu: It feels like you are forced to watch it. But you don’t get what he wants to say afterwards. And it is long.

Ng: 12 minutes!

Wong: I think the modern object design is wanting. He fails to grasp the abstraction in ink painting. For instance, the traffic light and the cars have no design at all. They are just drawn out in with brush and ink. It is not enough. And I don’t much like the score. But it is the artist’s original creation. It shows his effort and it is laudable.

Cotton

Yu: He has a lot to say, but he spends a lot of space to tell story for telling story’s sake, how the dog is raised since small, and how he grows old and dies. Technically it is wanting. The picture is there to tell the story, but I fail the sense the bond between the dog and the family or the main character.

Ng: It is quite an organic work, and it is ambitious in scene and character design. This is one of the few works with dialogues. It is complicated in execution. But if more effort is spent in keeping the dialogue in sync, it will be much better.

Yu: but I think it is a better work if you can get it without the help of dialogue. The purpose of dialogue is to reveal character; it is a style of narration. But it has to rely on dialogues, then why bother do it in animation? It means the visual fails to narrate the story. I don’t think it is good. Dialogue should be used as garnish. If it has to rely on dialogue for narration, then it is a failure in technique.

Wong: I think how to use dialogue and whether dialogue is necessary are two different things. I agree with Peter. He is one of the few that dares to use dialogue. To be honest, for an independent work, dialogue design and dubbing is a very complicated process. You can see many use voice-over instead, or use simple subtitle to say what it wants to say. This work dares to use dialogue, it is one of the reasons it is short-listed for discussion. Though in fact, the dialogue is poorly done.

Lo: The story itself is not complicated and the dialogue is poorly written. It is there just to narrate the story. In comparison, the textual structure and choice of words in Living in the Dark is well-thought out. Here the dialogue is limited to “How are you?” or something like that. It leaves no impression. Moreover, the kid grows up too fast without giving room for emotional development. The general packaging like character design or colour scheme is typically nostalgic and sentimental. Emotional expression like happy or sad is again very typical. It is easy for the audience to get involved, but as a production it is wanting.

Color Scratch

Lo: It is quite a cool work. Technically it is not complicated, but it has its distinctive. The character description and movement are meticulous executed. But that’s all. There really is no content to speak of, just some rhythmic sequences. You can see similar stuff in MVs. His finger is on the pulse, but it is repetitious. It leaves some impression afterwards but not a deep impact.

Ng: Is the score an original creation?

Yu: I think whether he writes the score or not is not important. I find the lines quite cool. I am an animator and this handling of lines strikes a chord with me. The point is it only has pictures and nothing else. It is also a shame that, as the work is about music, why the beat in the latter part doesn’t match the score? I don’t care he writes the score or not, but if the score and movement were in sync, it would be much better. The deejaying in the beginning follows the beat, but it is not followed through. It is just the deejaying. With the fight and the superman part in the latter half the beat is gone. It is quite a pity. Since it is has such a musical rhythm it shouldn’t leave this animation feature untapped. I like this work, but I won’t grade it too highly.

The Chronicle of a Drawing; the Footprints of Time

Lo: I find this an awesome work. It is not easy to do at all; it takes a lot of stamina. You can see his effort from beginning to end. It may not seem deep in content or there may not be a complete story, but done in this kind of animation, it gives you a special feeling. You can see time pass and change. The paper gradually rots and the strokes change. The change condenses in a period of time. You can feel time pass. It is fun.

Wong: I can’t agree more. This work is not about what you see on the screen or what you feel on the screen. What you really feel is time. It may be nine minute long, but it is actually a condensation of several months. In certain sense it is like a performance, a performance art. You see how time passes. We may feel differently on seeing this man passes these three months – drawing on paper, patching it up when it gets rotten, then draws on it again. Some may find it silly, some may find it incredible. I think this is where the fun lies.

Fung: This work gives me the strongest feeling. I find this artist very independent. Other works may be a team product or backed up by resources or technology. This work can only be completed with perseverance. It epitomizes the independent spirit. The theme may not be obvious but the technique is appropriate. It shows his exploration in animation style and combination. The Chinese title and English are each meaningful. The former points out that it is done in a period of time, and the latter reveals the three parts. It is an outstanding work.

Ng: In the artist’s statement, he says he locked himself up for months to make it. He didn’t look for a job after graduation. You can feel the fire in his belly. He’s got the drive.

Yu: Drive aside, I too agree that he has perseverance and what he did is a performance art. But he could use a more appropriate format. The rotting process of the paper or the animation is a good idea. But the passage of time would be more outstanding. Take the paper for instance. Could it be still the same piece after three or four months? The piece of paper is being replaced during that period of time. I dare say if a stack of paper is used and they are torn off one by one, with the last piece looking worn and creased, the feeling will be even stronger. We can feel the fire in his belly. But he is not the only one to have the fire or drive. As I remember, there was a similar entry in one year. It is the painting of an oil painting on a piece of glass. The artist used several months to set up the camera and kept it rolling. So, could the artist of The Chronicle of a Drawing; the Footprints of Time go even further? I think it can be explored.

Lo: It is a technical issue, I think he might have tried it.

Ng: Such kind of work stands out, and there aren’t that many around.

Yu: It leaves a very good impression indeed.

Tobacco Embargo

Lo: The drawing effect is quite special, it works well with that kind of director analogy. It is an interesting work that has room for improvement. It is not long and not complicated. It is concise and the voice-over goes straight to the point. It is effective. It appeals to non-smokers. A fun work.

Wong: I think it has the right timing. It comes out when smoking ban is implemented .The timing can’t be more right.

Yu: It could be better in one aspect. The dialogue is not outstanding but it is quite pleasing. It would be better if more effort had been put into speaking part. It is OK to speak in Cantonese and not English. But it fails to capture the tonal rawness of Cantonese. The Cantonese somehow drags the level down. The tone of Cantonese is not like that, it should be a bit loud. It would have been better if more effort had put into this aspect.

Lo: I think it is deliberate. It sounds all right to me. Actually independent production encounters many problems, especial the sound. Dubbing is quite an issue.

Fung: It looks like a school exercise that uses many animation techniques.

Zero Object Circle

Lo: When I watched it for the second time, I found it quite ordinary. The subject matter and the execution are both quite basic. The lines and character design look special the first time you saw it. The first impression it gives is pretty good. Then you find it contrived and weak in character. It is not about something deep or profound. It is a basic exercise.

Fung: It is quite a good work, though you can see the limitation. Talking about school exercise, it probably began as an exercise. In other words, it was created for exercise in some techniques or structure. It is not something bad, but it may be at the expense of depth and dynamic. When technique is given priority we see that the emphasis has gone to the graphics.

Yu: Your expectation is aroused when you see the two people jumping around, but then nothing seems to happen and the story becomes cautious. It is disappointing.

Kwong: Now the first round of discussion is over. We can go to the second, nomination.

Fung: With voting or give them marks for comparison?

Kwong: I suggest we each pick three from the eleven finalists.

Fung: I suggest we pick more, in case some good works are left out. I suggest a marking system, grading our choices with 5, 4, 3, 2 1 in order of preference. Then we can deliberate.

Wong: I think we don’t have to use this marking system. We just each pick five, see if we can eliminate half of the finalists. Then we deliberate and pick the winners.

Kwong: All right, Percy, why don’t you begin?

Fung: I pick Living in the Dark, Sukki's Story, Some Where, Cotton and The Chronicle of a Drawing; the Footprints of Time.

Yu: I pick My Lovely Neighbour Tom, Sukki's Story, Cotton, The Chronicle of a Drawing; the Footprints of Time and Hunter.

Lo: I will pick four: Living in the Dark, Sukki's Story, My Lovely Neighbour Tom and The Chronicle of a Drawing; the Footprints of Time.

Ng: Hunter, Mind Blossom, Living in the Dark, Cotton and The Chronicle of a Drawing; the Footprints of Time。

Wong: Living in the Dark, Sukki's Story, My Lovely Neighbour Tom, Some Where and The Chronicle of a Drawing; the Footprints of Time.

Kwong: We have three works with no votes; they are Color Scratch, Tobacco Embargo and Zero Object Circle respectively. Do you think one of the eight remaining can be gold award winner?

Ng: The Chronicle of a Drawing; the Footprints of Time gets the most votes.

Yu: To be honest, I find creativity wanting this year.

Lo: Yes, their works have come up short in creativity. What The Chronicle of a Drawing; the Footprints of Time has done is not exactly original, it has been done before, but not so frequently. It is even rarer now. Its combination is quite unique. Such direct animation can be executed on glass or sand with distinctive visual effect. But the creator chooses drawing on paper with pencil. It gives a special feeling with the texture and lines. Though like Wong Ying said, the movement is not that good. It is not that easy to do and it is not what he is after, so it is forgivable.

Wong: The running or other movements are not that good. But I find it forgivable. When it is executed, it raises feeling in other people. It has become a means. I find it fun.

Lo: Yes, it is a long work. You can see he perseveres to the end and never wavers. Many works start big, but it becomes too big a burden and then end in nothing.

Ng: Or in reverse. From the end to the beginning, then rewind.

Lo: Actually you can watch it reverse. The characters just walk backwards.

Wong: Yes, you can watch it in reverse. Hence, in the level, he has transcended this medium.

Yu: You can feel the fire in the artist’s belly. You can feel he really wants his creation to be screened.

Lo: it is forgivable in the ending credit.

Ng: I think he is worried that the audience don’t get how it is produced. Ha.

Lo: Yes, but I do believe many really know nothing about it.

Kwong: It can be used as teaching material.

Lo: It is a demonstration. Nowadays few will do this kind of animation.

Wong: Actually it is a bit stupid for him to use this method. He draws on paper, then erases it, then draws on it again. Why doesn’t he use some more durable material, such as glass or sand? It is a bit foolish.

Lo: Right, and it needs rearrangement.

Fung: I too think it is well-planned. He wants this texture and this method. As I have said, I like it for its independent spirit. If you too think it is up to scratch, I nominate it for the gold award.

Kwong: Good. Percy nominates it for gold award. Are there other nominations?

Yu: It is a work of love and I too think it is better than other entries. But I doubt it is good enough for gold award. It really doesn’t touch me that much. We can talk about whether it really deserves the gold award.

Wong: So which work you think deserves the gold award?

Yu: I really have no nomination for gold award. They leave no deep impact with me.

Fung: I used jurors for two years. I find that this year’s entry standard is much higher than the works I used to see. I was not on last year’s juror panel, I am not sure about the details. But I really want the gold award to be given out, the same for silver award and special mentions.

Ng: Actually, what is shown on the work aside, we should also consider the effort and perseverance put into it.

Fung: Yes, I agree.

Ng: If he continues his creation or work with this mindset, outstanding works will come out sooner or later.

Fung: As I just mentioned, some creators will become commercial success, like the creators of My Lovely Neighbour Tom, Living in the Dark, Sukki's Story and Hunter. Even the creator of Cotton , though technically wanting, but with help in art direction, script and score, he will stand out. But The Chronicle of a Drawing; the Footprints of Time really touches my chord. What worries me though, is that he may not become a commercially success animator. He can be an indie filmmaker or artist.

Kwong: Different paths.

Lo: Right, try out different things.

Kwong: any other nominations?

Fung: If you have others in mind, we can consider them.

Kwong: May be we can take a break here. We go to silver award first.

Fung: I nominate Living in the Dark, I quite like it.

Yu: For silver award I prefer My Lovely Neighbour Tom.

Lo: I will give the silver award to Living in the Dark and Sukki's Story. There isn’t that great a difference between the two. We can see them as a whole, one precedes the other. They look more complete in juxtaposition.

Yu: As a formal expression.

Lo: Right, I think it can be so decided.

Wong: I agree. As I have said, the two works are created by the same artist, should they can be treated as one work or as two independent work? I think My Lovely Neighbour Tom deserves a silver award, so there are three silver award winners in total.

Ng: I too nominate Living in the Dark and Sukki's Story for silver award.

Kwong: These three aside, any more silver award nominations? If no, we can deliberate these three.

Yu: There can be more than one silver award winners?

Wong: And more than one gold award winners.

Kwong: The cash award will be shared on a pro rata basis.

Fung: Let me be straight-forward. I think Living in the Dark and Sukki's Story deserve the silver award. Both are good and each has its own central idea. The latter is just a tad less good that the former. The former gets extra points for emotional reason. The latter is not as good because it doesn’t have the emotional resonance. And I will pick My Lovely Neighbour Tom for special mentions. It is quite good.

Wong: I find the latter a bit affected. I think he does the English dialogue himself. I find this a bad choice. The former uses a westerner for the English voice-ovr. It feels like a monologue and it does convey. The latter sounds like telling someone else’s story and the content is not as good as the former. I too think these two should be given the silver award, but it is for the artist’s combined effort. I also like My Lovely Neighbour Tom, but I am insistent that it should get the silver award. I have no objection if it only gets special mentions.

Lo: I will pick The Chronicle of a Drawing; the Footprints of Time for the gold award, Living in the Dark and Sukki's Story for silver award and My Lovely Neighbour Tom for special mentions.

Wong: I find our choice and this combination quite balanced. There are no 3D works in the winners. There are too many 3d works and they are not that well done. If My Lovely Neighbour Tom gets special mentions, then I nominate Cotton for special mentions as well. I like its approach and execution. These two works have three nominations. Why don’t we use three nominations as the bottom line?

Fung: No objection.

Kwong: You have anything to add or suggest? So our final decision is: the gold award goes to The Chronicle of a Drawing; the Footprints of Time ,the silver award goes to Living in the Dark and Sukki's Story, which are the works of the same artist. Special Mentions goes to My Lovely Neighbour Tom and Cotton.

Lo: No objection.

Ng: Aye

Fung: Aye.

Yu: I stand by my insistence. But it is my personal opinion only. I think that no entry this year has reached the gold award level, and Living in the Dark and Sukki's Story should be judged as a whole. Not one is better than the other; they both have flaws. So they should be regarded as one. The director gets one silver award for the two works, and The Chronicle of a Drawing; the Footprints of Time gets another silver award. My Lovely Neighbour Tom and Cotton get special mentions.

Kwong: We have a consensus on giving special mentions to My Lovely Neighbour Tom and Cotton. The problem now is: should we give out the gold award?

Yu: It is my personal opinion. The creator of The Chronicle of a Drawing; the Footprints of Time locked himself up for 3 to 4 months to bring the work into being. It does show his independent spirit and perseverance.

Lo: To be honest, it is hard to compare The Chronicle of a Drawing; the Footprints of Time with Living in the Dark and Sukki's Story. They are totally different.

Fung: You can tell Living in the Dark and Sukki's Story have a lot of outside help. All the parts look professional.

All: Right.

Lo: They probably are in animation field.

Fung: I still would like to give it the gold award.

Wong: Fai, you think no gold award should be given this year, or The Chronicle of a Drawing; the Footprints of Time doesn’t deserve the cash award?

Fu: It is not about the cash award, but the gold award represent the most outstanding work. Though this is my first time as ifva juror, I find this year’s entries are not up to the level.

Lo: Whether you have been juror before is not important, you have seen the works.。

Yu: Yes, I have. I have no problems giving the gold award to last year’s entries, because they are outstanding. I don’t have this feeling this year. But I am not that insistent. It is my personal feeling only. I will accept your decision. This year’s entries have come up short on the creativity side, it is regrettable. They do exhibit the independent spirit. Whether a work is a team production or individual creation very much depends on resources and other fortuitous factors. What counts is whether it is a work of love and labour. On the other hand, I think independent spirit aside, creativity is also important. Otherwise, if sweat alone can win the jurors’ approval, why bother to be creative? This is my personal feeling only.

Wong: I think we have to pick a gold award winner, and we shouldn’t compare this year’s entries with last year’s, because many things have changed. Though I myself don’t approve of it, there is another way, and that is by splitting up the award. That means, The Chronicle of a Drawing; the Footprints of Time, Living in the Dark and Sukki's Story share the gold award, and move up the rest. That means, My Lovely Neighbour Tom and Cotton become silver award winners. We pick other two as special mentions winners. It has to be documented that the creativity level has not reached the stage the jurors agreed on. If we have to give out the gold award, we can talk about whether it should give to one entry or to be shared by several.

Fung: Creativity is one of the criteria and not the sole criterion. I stand by my nomination, the gold award goes to The Chronicle of a Drawing; the Footprints of Time. ifva is different from other short film festivals. They may have to consider things like box office. ifva is for independent and artistic films. You don’t have to be a professional animator, screenwriter, score composer or sound technician to enter. I think at the end of the day, it is the spirit that counts. For instance, could Sukki's Story be better? Yes. If we use this as a yardstick, then every entry could be better. What I want to say is, ifva entrants have to realize their independent spirit and create with limited resources. As a result, technically they may be wanting. I am not saying that creativity is not important. In comparison, the entries I saw in my past experience as juror were mostly school exercises. You can check it out in past juror meeting minute, I have remarked that I didn’t want to see any more exercises. Exercise is for technical training and mental training. This year’s entries have taken me by surprise, my thanks to jurors of the first round for the selection. I always said I wanted the works to have a story, whether it is good or bad is another matter. They at least have to say something as an independent spirit. What has The Chronicle of a Drawing; the Footprints of Time said? I think I have picked up what I wanted to pick up. Of course it doesn’t mean that others have picked up what I have picked up. To be true to myself, I do hope that the gold award can be given out. As a process or keeping balance, I think that among the eleven finalists, he is the true loner. By loner I mean he has only himself to rely on in saying what he wants to say, completing what he wants to do. As I have said, this is the reason he should be given extra marks. Comparing to other entries, the 11 finalists are good, but only comparatively. In comparing the works, I give more emphasis to independent spirit. I want it to be a yardstick for selection. I remember in my past experiences as juror, I wanted to see works with a story, with an independent spirit. I have seen many fantastic 3D works, but they are all school exercises that have no content at all. They are just exercise in 3D technique. They look great and professional. I may not be able to do some of them. It is not easy to be a juror this year, the standard of the entries is much better than what I used to know.

Kwong: Actually entry standard has made great jumps since last year.

Fung: I have not watched last year’s entries. But the standard of this year’s entries is much better than those of a couple of years or three years ago when I was a juror.

Yu: I want to add in a few words. By the independent spirit criterion, I think The Chronicle of a Drawing; the Footprints of Time is not up to the gold award level. I can make two concessions. One, it does stand out among this year’s entries; it deserves an award whether for perseverance or execution. Two, we shouldn’t compare this year’s entries with other year’s. I agree that solely on this year’s entry standard, it deserves the gold award. But I still think that it not as good when comparing to past winners, such as Mr Dick Wong (1st ifva). Back then there were more artistic creations. They have become fewer and fewer.

Ng: Granting the gold award to him can bring out a message: there are many possibilities in animation creation. As an competition entry, it really beats other entries.

Yu: I absolute agree he beats other entries.

Ng: I too think he deserves the gold award.

Kwong: All right, so it is decided that the gold award goes to The Chronicle of a Drawing; the Footprints of Time, silver award goes to Living in the Dark and Sukki's Story, special mentions goes to My Lovely Neighbour Tom and Cotton.You have any more comments on the animation category or other overall comments?

Yu: I have to thank fellow jurors for picking these finalists from screening all the entries. They have spared me from watching so many works. Since I have not watched all, I have no overall comments.。

Lo: The average standard really has improved. Some entries several years ago were really outrageous. The credit rolls after 30 seconds. Some are not animation at all. Some dared to shoot a footage of finger puppets and entered it as animation. It really was an eyeful. But the situation has improved a lot in recent years. Most entries are up to a certain standard. It is not difficult to pick a dozen finalists. There may not be really outstanding works, but I think the foundation is very important. Many are the entrant’s first work. It is not possible to ask for breakthroughs in their first work. But you can tell they have mastered the technique and the animation medium. They can do better in future.

Kwong: You have anything to add? Thank you for coming to the meeting. Thank you.

Animation Category
Gold Award
The Chronicle of a Drawing; the Footprints of Time
George WONG Cheuk-hin

Silver Award
Living In The Dark
LEUNG Gong-tsyn

Silver Award
Sukki's Story
LEUNG Gong-tsyn

Special Mentions
My Lovely Neighbour Tom
Benny LEUNG, CHAN Wai-mo, Daniele MANOLI

Special Mentions
Cotton
TO Sze-wing, SZE Siu-ling

TOP

 

 

 

 

The 12th ifva “Asia New Forces” Jury Meeting Transcript

Jurors Present: Song Ilgon (Song), Asai Takashi (Asai), Tammy Cheung (Cheung)

Organizer Representative: Teresa Kwong (Kwong), Chelsea Man (Man)

Finalist List
- Meat Days Joe HSIEH
- The Trainee Craig ROSENTHAL
- Glasshouse Aaron KIM
- The Drawer of Memory CHI Po-chou
- GUNG Yu-ling
- Sixteen Shots About Mr. C WANG Yun-lin
- Life With Happiness LIN Wan-Yu, HSU Ya-Ting
- Hakko-fermentation Madoka KUMAGAI
- Life Show Thunska PANSITTIVORAKUL
- Wall James LEE
- The Silence of Nu-jiang WU Jie.

KWONG: This year we have over 300 entries for the Asian New Force category. After the first and the second round selections, we end up with 11 finalists. These works are entitled to compete for the Grand Prize and Special Mentions. Now, may I suggest the rundown? First, I would like to invite the Jury Panel to go through the finalist works one by one. You may each briefly talk about how you think about the work – its pros and cons. And after the discussion, we can go on with the voting. Three of you may vote the work which can be considered to get the award. This is the rundown we adopt in all other categories. . Do you have any question? If no, we can start the discussion.

CHEUNG: I wonder if you two will consider giving prize to different kinds of films because there are mainly three types of film: animation, documentary and drama. I found there are many films in animation which are very good. In drama, there are also really good films. I found very difficult to select which one is the best because they’re in different categories.

KWONG: Maybe we can address to this issue later in the meeting.

CHEUNG: Okay.

Meat Days by Joe HSIEH

SONG: To me, I really like the film. It’s beautifully drawn. It gives me a lot of new emotion. It’s beautiful.

CHEUNG: I like it a lot, even though it’s a horrifying story.

ASAI: The film is cute, “kawaii”. The style of painting is original. That’s very interesting.

CHEUNG: I agree.

KWONG: Is there any weakness in the film?

CHEUNG: Who is the old lady in the film? I was curious.

SONG: You may say the story-telling is a little bit…

CHEUNG: It’s not clear.

SONG: Yes.

CHEUNG: Who is the old lady? Is she the mother of the woman?

SONG: It’s her sister, as the subtitles say.

CHEUNG: Oh really? The subtitles say it’s her sister.

SONG: Old sister.

CHEUNG: The subtitles are translated from Chinese. As far as I understand, when you call someone “older sister”, it doesn’t mean the person is really your sister. You know what I mean. We call everyone sisters and brothers.

SONG: She’s very old. But the young lady called her “sister.”

MAN: The character’s original name in Chinese is “六嬸”.

CHEUNG: So she is Auntie.

SONG: Aunt?

CHEUNG: Yes.

SONG: She looks like the mother.

CHEUNG: She is an aunt, according to the Chinese name.

ASAI: Does the director himself produce everything?

MAN: According to the film credits, he did everything, including the animation. And the music is by another person.

Trainee by Craig ROSENTHAL

CHEUNG: Technically it’s very good.

ASAI: Yes.

CHEUNG: But I found the story a bit too clever.

ASAI: Too clever?

CHEUNG: Too clever for me. I mean, like a very smart kid making a fun story.

ASAI: It’s a typical story for a short film.

SONG: It’s from Singapore but the director is not from Singapore, right?

KWONG: He’s from Australia, or New Zealand, but he moved to Singapore and stayed there for six years. He’s already got the citizenship. And according to our regulations, as long as you have the residence in Asia, you’re qualified.

Glasshouse by Aaron Kim.

CHEUNG: Well, it’s a very well-made film.

ASAI: Is this the only work that shot on film?

KWONG: We got another entry shot on film, but only Glasshouse submits the film copy.

ASAI: Oh, I see. But I have one question. Glasshouse is a very exciting work but according to its credit, the production year is 2005.

KWONG: It’s okay because we accept work made within the past two years.

ASAI: So does he enter the film himself?

KWONG: The film is distributed by IndieStory.

SONG: So somebody from IndieStory entered the film?

ASAI: So IndieStory is…?

SONG: A distribution company in Korea.

KWONG: We have good contact with them and they have kept submitting their works to us. So Glasshouse is one of them.

SONG: I wonder how you think about the film.

CHEUNG: I think it’s a very well-made film but it’s not my choice. Amongst the fiction films, I prefer the Japanese one, Hakko-fermentation. I don’t know it’s a matter of taste or experience. Glasshouse talks about detachment, alienation, how people don’t communicate with each other. The whole presentation also gives me the feeling that I can’t really feel for the characters. I can’t really get close to them. I think that’s the problem.

ASAI: I found the same problem. Technically, it’s very professional.

CHEUNG: Yes, very professional.

ASAI: And it’s shot on 35mm.

CHEUNG: It’s beautifully made.

ASAI: But the story is weak, I think. It’s about people in modern cities. It’s kind of typical.

SONG: I agree with what the two said. But the acting is not very professional. I found it strange. Sure, the film is really well-made by the director. Take the images as example. I have seen many Korean short films. And in this film, the images of flowers, birds and the cage can be taken as a kind of symbolization. Some shots are really good.

CHEUNG: It has a lot of details which are very good, for example the dogs, the flowers…

ASAI: I think it’s important for the images to say things. The Glasshouse is itself a metaphor. It’s about isolation in modern city.

The Drawer of Memory by CHI Po-chou.

CHEUNG: The music is a problem for me.

ASAI: What kind of music? I forgot.

SONG: Beethoven.

CHEUNG: It’s kind of cliché.

KWONG: So it would be better if the music is original?

CHEUNG: I don’t know but the music just took all my attention.

SONG: Technically it’s very interesting but the problem is the story. The way how the director developed the story is weak. I expected a lot at the beginning of the film, which looks really nice. I also saw a lot of creative elements there but…

ASAI: I think it may be a result of one-man production. Nowadays, digitial filmmaking allows one to make animation on one’s own. Unlike the production of fiction films which often involves a crew and a cast as well as a scenario, many animation works are done by one man and there’s no discussion during the production. Everything is to be solved by himself/ herself. That’s what I think the problem is. If a producer joins in, maybe it’ll be much better, especially the script, because most of the animators concern more about the animation than the script. I think this filmmaker has created a very good 3-D animation himself but the script is weak and the music is not good. I think it’d be more interesting if the music was originally made or sound effects were used.

CHEUNG: The music is too familiar. If the music is so well-known, it hurts the film actually.

Equally Red in Tooth and Claw is Fur by GUNG Yu-ling.

CHEUNG: Do you think it’s possible that I watch it again? I wanted to view it again last night but I couldn’t. I just want to remind myself.

(The Jury is watching Equally Red in Tooth and Claw is Fur.)

CHEUNG: I think it has a big problem – it has too much text as a film. It looks like a children book when you have so much text.

ASAI: I think it is a very good propaganda short film.

CHEUNG: I found it too much text and I think it’s not necessary.

ASAI: It’s fashionably made and it makes sense.
0
SONG: I think so.

Sixteen Shots About Mr. C by WANG Yun-lin

CHEUNG: It’s a lot of fun. I like the film.

SONG: I have seen many Tsai Ming-liang’s films and it looks very similar, for example, the style.

ASAI: The director said he likes Tsai Ming-liang’s films and so he did the same style.

SONG: I think this is a good project. The subject is very private and individual. I enjoy the film though there’re some parts rather boring. There are many possibilities to be a very good film. Two more thing to note though: one is the film has too much influence from Tsai Ming-liang; the second is he couldn’t have his own new ideas.

Life With Happinese by Lin Wan-Yu, Hsu Ya-Ting

SONG: So many Taiwanese films…

KWONG: Yes. A lot young filmmakers from Taiwan submitted to the festival this year.

SONG: Amongst the 11 works, I like this most. It’s because this film did not bore me. This documentary could show me more about the subject. I can see the directors have spent more time with the subject. From the film, I can see what’s going on in Taiwan and its social problem.

ASAI: From an audience point of film, some of these finalist works are boring. But I really enjoy seeing this film. The subject of the film is good and it’s good that the filmmakers made a strong focus on it.

CHEUNG: I think this is a good film. I really like the way they treat their characters – with a lot of respects and dignity. The people there are very interesting. You really want to look at them and know more about their lives. As a student film, it’s very good.

KWONG: It’s a graduation project, I remember.

CHEUNG: About the structure of the documentary, I think they need more materials to edit the film. But still, it has good images and a powerful theme.

Hakko-fermentation by Madoka KUMAGAI.

CHEUNG: I really like it, personally.

ASAI: I like it very much too. Both the techniques and the acting are good.

CHEUNG: And it’s really funny.

ASAI: Yes, it’s funny and entertaining.

Wall by James Lee

SONG: The music is not original score.

CHEUNG: I found it’s a bit student-ish. I mean it’s like the films I saw when I was a student. We did this kind of films when we’re young.

Life Show by Thunska PANSITTIVORAKUL

CHEUNG: I don’t really like it.

ASAI: You don’t? Why?

CHEUNG: I found it again too smart. I mean the way he made it. It’s gimmicky. Technically it’s very interesting. Can I call it technically? Sorry. I mean it’s different. When you see it, you know he’s doing something different but it doesn’t really reach any goal. When you interview someone, you don’t do that. And it’s not necessary.

KWONG: It’s kind of mockumentary.

CHEUNG: But clearly when you look at it, it’s not a documentary. When you make a mockumentary, you want people to believe at the very beginning it’s a documentary.

ASAI: I found it interesting. I think different countries have different cultures and different censorship. Perhaps, for people in Japan, in Hong Kong or in Korea, this kind of mockumentary doesn’t make sense. But maybe it makes sense in Thailand. I take into consideration of the cultural background of Thailand and that’s why I found it must be an interesting work in Thailand.

The Silence of Nu-jiang by Wu Jie.

SONG: The images are very good. The places are beautiful. The people look very nice. But the director needs more concentration on the story and the script. I think he needs more time on editing. He has some shots repeated. The storytelling also needs to be polished. I think it should be developed into a full story.

CHEUNG: Yes, I agree. There’s not much story in the film.

SONG: The nature is good but I think he needs more stories.

ASAI: Yes. It’d be interesting to compare Life With Happinese with The Silence of Nu-jiang. Both of the films focus on local political and social issues but The Silence of Nu-jiang uses western music while Life With Happinese uses Japanese music.

CHEUNG: They use Japanese music?

ASAI: Yes. They are singing in Japanese language. Taiwan was occupied by Japan so the old people know about Japanese. In The Silence of Nu-jiang, western music was used. It’s so hidden, like the deep side of China. People in China are singing that kind of western music. So, in a totally Taiwan subject, the old people are thinking about Japanese music and in Japanese language. I don’t know. It’s just a point of view, but it is really interesting to see their use of music. But for The Silence of Nu-jiang, I think there is too much use of music.

CHEUNG: Yes, the story is itself a bit weak.

ASAI: Music is a very important part of a film. Sometimes the audience will cry when the music play. Without music, it’s very difficult for the filmmaker to move the audience. But when a documentary uses music, it must be very careful. When the music comes out in the documentary, it might interrupt the audience’s thinking. So, I think there’s too much music in The Silence of Nu-jiang.

CHEUNG: Yes, I agree.

KWONG: Shall we now go to the second round? You can nominate the works that can be given the Grand Prize.

SONG: There are 3 films I am interested. They are the Meat Days, Life With Happinese and Hakko-fermentation.

CHEUNG: Mine happened to be the same.

ASAI: I go for the same.

CHEUNG: These three look good. I mean, one is animation, one is documentary and one is drama. It looks very good. And you have a Special Mentions.

KWONG: Shall we go to the nomination of the Grand Prize?

CHEUNG: Can we give the Grand Prize to three films? Is it possible? What do you think? Because they’re three different types of films. Maybe it’s a bad idea because the money is not much. But they’re different types of films. I don’t know how to compare them.

KWONG: You can further discuss this. But according to the history of ifva, we never have 3 works got the Grand Prize.

ASAI: So we have to choose.

CHEUNG: We can choose two films or only one?

KWONG: It’s a decision made by three of you.

SONG: For me, I want the Grand Prize go to Life With Happinese because I want them to continue their work of making documentary.

KWONG: So one nomination for Life With Happinese?

SONG: And I like Meat Days to have the Special Mentions. It’s my opinion.

CHEUNG: I would choose Hakko-fermentation as the Grand Prize. I really like the story. I think it’s better made than Life With Happinese. For Special Mentions, I would choose Meat Days. Can we have 2 Special Mentions?

KWONG: Yes.

CHEUNG: Then, Special Mentions for both Meat Days and Life With Happinese.

KWONG: Is there any other nomination for the Grand Prize? If not, we can do the voting. Or lobbying? Because we got 2 nominees for the Grand Prize.

ASAI: Personally, I like the Japanese film Hakko-fermentation very much. It already got the Grand Prize in the Pia Film Festival in Japan. If we can give the winning director the energy of making films in the future, I prefer giving the Prize to other works.

CHEUNG: I know what you mean. I agree with you. Well, as the winner of the Grand Prize will be the model of other young people, and they will look at the film and say, “this is the film that wins the prize.” For me, I would like them to look at Hakko-fermentation, because it’s better made than Life With Happinese. Life With Happinese is good too, made with a lot of devotion and dedication. I hope again, as you said, both of the girls will keep on making documentaries.

ASAI: So Hakko-fermentation is Special Mentions?

CHEUNG: Actually, it’s very difficult for me because I want people to make documentaries. That’s why I want to choose a documentary.

ASAI: So you let Life With Happinese be the model.

CHEUNG: But as a documentary, it’s not that outstanding. And Hakko-fermentation is a better-made film. But of course, I understand both of your points.

SONG: I enjoy Hakko-fermentation but strangely I read a lot about this kind of stories about woman.

CHEUNG: You have seen similar films before?

SONG: I mean I have read many novels about strange things, like a girl of fetish. So, it’s not new to me. Of course, I think it’s very well-made.

CHEUNG: I know at it from a Hong Kong audience’s point of view. I agree with you. At the beginning of the film, the reverse scene is not necessary. I think she just cut those out. It’s really not necessary.

ASAI: Why is it meaningful to the Hong Kong audience?

CHEUNG: Because the story about the woman who went crazy is not common in Hong Kong. I am talking about the young people I met, for example my students. They don’t really understand those issues and they are not familiar with those stories.

ASAI: Because they are students. But this is a baby-mother story.

CHEUNG: I mean the young people here might not read as much as you do. Are you talking about Yellow Wallpaper, that kind of story? About women being alone… they don’t read those things.

ASAI: They don’t read?

CHEUNG: They don’t read those things. So, a story like this is something new to them. Maybe I am looking at it from a Hong Kong audience’s point of view and I want the young people here to look at it.

ASAI: How about other Hong Kong audience?

CHEUNG: Actually, I will say most of the Hong Kong people don’t really know much about this kind of story.

ASAI: But it’s a kind of mother’s experience. Do they have friends who have similar experience?

CHEUNG: You can’t find this kind of story in Hong Kong cinema.

ASAI: But is a mother’s life difficult here in Hong Kong?

CHEUNG: Yes, but they don’t point it out. For example, at the end of this film when the woman went a bit crazy, it pointed out someone’s so confined and got lost…

SONG: What does “Hakko” mean?

CHEUNG: Does it mean “fermentation”?

ASAI: Yes.

CHEUNG: I think it’s about her life and a lot of women’s life. I know in Japan there are a lot of women who don’t go out to work. They stay at home.

ASAI: How about in Hong Kong?

CHEUNG: A lot of women go out to work because they hire foreign domestic workers. They still have to take care of the babies and the housework. They do two jobs. I guess, from a woman’s point of view, this film is very good.

KWONG: When the director was asked about the meaning of the title and why did she use a lot photos, she said it’s because the film was shot in a small town, in Kyoto, and the place is surrounded by river. The second reason is that she got the inspiration from seeing how some water got rotten, which led her to think how it would be to life if it goes rotten. That’s why she wants to make a film about how human being goes through the process of getting rotten.

CHEUNG: The film is very universal. For example, during the fifties in the United States, a lot of women stay at home and they got really bored and didn’t know what to do…

ASAI: So we are now comparing the two films?

CHEUNG: It’s difficult to compare because they’re completely different.

ASAI: I change my mind. I vote Life With Happinese for the Grand Prize and the other two, Hakko-fermentation and Meat Days for Special Mentions.

KWONG: So, we still have two nominees. One is Hakko-fermentation and one is Life With Happinese. Should we vote now?

SONG: It’s difficult to compare. If we have to choose one film, I prefer Life With Happinese because Hakko-fermentation is a good film but it can be more creative. There’s also some cliché in the film and familiar metaphors – people getting crazy, summer heating. Some images in the film is very fresh and new. I hope someday she can be a really good director. But still, the film has too much images from the French novel and I want to see something new from a Japanese film.

CHEUNG: You mean you have a higher expectation.

SONG: I believe she can make a better film next time, with her own creativity. For the documentary Life With Happinese, it has weakness in story but it has a power to draw the audience. I really want to see what happens in Taiwan. Compared with other films, this is the one I could fully concentrate on. This is my opinion.

CHEUNG: Sure.

KWONG: So let’s vote.

CHEUNG: It’s really clear. We don’t have to vote. We did it. It’s Life With Happinese.

KWONG: So, may I say this year, the Grand Prize goes to Life With Happinese from Taiwan. For Special Mentions, we have two films. They are Hakko-fermentation and Meat Days.

 

Award List - Asian New Force
大獎Grand Prize
Life With Happiness
LIN Wan-Yu, HSU Ya-Ting

Special Mentions
Meat Days
Joe HSIEH

Special Mentions
Hakko-fermentation
Madoka Kumagai

TOP

 

 

 

 

The 12th ifva Single-Screen-Based Interactive Media Category, Second Round Jury Meeting

Jurors Present: Bryan Chung (Chung), May Fung (Fung), Frederic Lichtenstein (Fred), Ray Chung (Ray), Pong Lam (Lam)
Organizer Representatives: Teresa Kwong (Kwong), Chelsea Man (Man)

Kwong:
We are going to have the jury meeting for the Single-Screen-Base Interactive Media Category. Today is the second round, which means we will choose the awards for this year and this is the main objective for today. During the meeting, we are going to do some audio documentation. The reason for that is the discussion you guys are going to have will be very important for the finalists, especially when you give comments and advices. We are going to transcribe this audio documentation, and post it on the web so that the finalists can see it in April.
I just go through briefly the objective: the reason why we have the ifva competition is to discover and nurture the next current of moving images both in Hong Kong and Asia. And we also hope to encourage the exchange within the Region. For the regulations for the jury members, the criteria will base on the content, creativity, form and all the technical details. This year, we have eight finalist works. We have already seen them a moment ago in the exhibition. I have to tell you first about the awarding structure. What we propose is, for this category, we will have one gold award, and the winner will be entitled to have $30,000 and software. The silver award will have $20,000. There will also be three special mentions, who will only be given a certificate. So this is the structure that we propose, but of course we are very flexible. Maybe you guys can decide this year, we may give out two gold awards, or two silver awards, or something like that. We will redistribute the cash prizes according to the original ratio among specific awards assigned to this category. We will take care of that. So that’s the introduction.

May:
What is the software?

Kwong:
It is sponsored by Adobe, the latest version. So may I propose five of you to discuss about each of the works. Then maybe we can do some voting for the second round to decide the awards.

Her home.

May:
The gate, the iron gate. We open the gate and nothing happened.

Bryan:
Some of the buttons do not work.

May:
It’s an incomplete work, or to be explored further.

Kwong:
Full stop?

May:
Yes. (Laugh) Because you guys will definitely have something to say.

Fred:
I remember that in the first meeting, obviously, it had some technical problems, and I am expecting to see a fixed version today. It’s embarrassing because I don’t think I would have selected it if it is not to be fixed. I tried it in Mac, in some of the platforms, and in one of the platforms – I don’t remember which one - I can see more.

May:
Yes, there are some words, some texts. There should be something more, but today, it doesn’t happen.

Kwong:
So, any advice for improvement?

All together:
Fix it! (Laugh)

All about Ho Chung

May:
A work with content, to a certain depth, various kinds of, for example, sounds images, documentary…there are all kinds of visual variations, I should say, there is style. In some parts, it foretells something. It’s not only the pass or the present, but also about the future. So it’s quite developed – I don’t know if I should use the word – but it is.

Pong:
It’s kind of completed.

May:
Yes, kind of completed.

Ray:
I clicked out a video, and when I tried to click on another video, it didn’t work. You have to close the opened video first. You can only see the videos one by one. The work can be developed better, technically.

Pong:
I think we should first decide how we judge these pieces; because I see that some of them (the finalists) are professionals from the industry. They may be very good technically. So it may not be fair for the others – for sure, if they did not fix the works, it’s their faults. But it may still be not fair to talk about the techniques, because some of them have been doing it for a long time in the industry. I want to ask if we should find a method to judge.

May:
So there should be two dimensions, the content and the technique. Should there be a percentage? I don’t think so. At the end, we will combine the two things, to see if the work is technically well-supported to reflect the content.

Pong:
Right now, we are talking about content, because at first, you(Fred) are addressing the contents, and then you(Ray) talk about the technical issues. So I think we may first talk about the content, and then the technical aspects.

Ray:
I think the first two works have too many technical problems, so that’s why it’s difficult to talk about the content. We cannot see some of the scenes, and some buttons didn’t work. So it’s difficult to talk about the content.

May:
But All About My Ho Chung is not that bad! I think, technically, it’s not excellent, but it’s manageable. And Her Home? What should we do about Her Home?

Fred:
For All About My Ho Chung, I still consider it as a nice work. It’s not great, but I think it fits rather nicely to the identity of ifva that it’s also built a bridge between movie-making and interactivity. In this sense, it is one of the few in-depth works we’ve seen that are more exploratory in using video and interaction. And obviously it’s not a very great piece neither, but it’s touching…I love the grannies.

Bryan:
For All About My Ho Chung, I tried to approach it as similar to a documentary film which is more related to research of ethnography or other kinds of social researches. The author has done a lot in collecting information for the content, in reflection of her opinions about the area where she has lived for long. The way to present it may not be very technically convincing, in terms of the creative interface or the interactive design. But the work is kind of a carrier to let the audience to assessaccess the different materials that she has collected for years and months. I try not to focus too much of the technical issues like the use of programming, but rather to see the approaches she used to present the materials collected.

Fred:
If I may suggest something, I think it is a bit too long, (Laugh) because you can appreciate it only if you spend a bit of time. Most of the other pieces, few seconds or a few minutes are enough. It would not give many credits to the depth of All About My Ho Chung. It’s inviting people to stay. Obviously, the work was not great for its graphic design or interactive fun, but for its in-depth content.

The Sound of Market

Fred:
I still like it very much. It’s so relevant to Hong Kong.

Ray:
The graphic is nice, I think. It’s somewhat creative, but I think it can be further developed, like, when the price drop, then you can hear some tragic sound…I think it may be just too simplistic to associate just the stock price with the notes.

Fred:
The convention of music in a system is rather complex to talk about, but the overall idea is very good. The other thing to add as information about that piece is that it’s assuming live from the internet, but it’s not real-time. It needs the statistic of a whole year in order to have enough data for the fluctuations to create the music. I think that should be explained a bit better…I would also be interested to see some historical events had affected the market, like the 97 handover, the financial crisis and some other positive elements. The work can display them on and off. It’s more interesting to know more.

Bryan:
I have similar thoughts. I think this work, and also Henry’s pervious works, are very nice programs about visualization and consolidation of data. What Frederic mentioned is the content – what facts these data has reflected our society as related to a broader sense of the life of the people…I think this work has stopped at the point of visualizing the data, in real-time or not, in which the visualization of or the mapping between the data/information and the visual/sound seems to can be feasible for anything.
In a sense, it can be anything which seems to be detached from the content of historical moments which are actually reflected from the data of the stock market.

Meta-fishpond

Pong:
It has nothing special for me.

Kwong:
No comment on the content?

Fred:
I think the Meta-fishpond is a nice and to of a certain type of interactive installation. I don’t think it can really go further. I see more and more of these devices in shopping malls. I am sure that he has found a nice way to make it, and it’s relevant to China…it’s nice, it’s visually pleasing, it’s relaxing…but it’s almost a decline of a certain type of interactive exploration. If next year someone proposes something like that, what are we going to do? We are going to turn it down, but in fact, it’s something that’s already been done for many many times. It’s just that he has found a nice way to display.

Pong:
And all the interactions are not what the artists made – it’s the software. A good idea work should be able to make good use of those skills to speak your ideas. And maybe it will become another transformation, but I don’t see such transformation in such case. For example, The Sound of Market, as you see it, is data transformation from numbers to music. I would say that was the good use of technology, making use of technology to transform your idea. But in the Meta-fishpond, I see so many fishes. My job is to make such things so I know how easy it is. So I would say the Meta-fishpond is good, pretty, but what else it brings to us?

Musical Loom

Fred:
…even if it is in simplistic form, I was totally amazed by the initial piece, and I understand all the logistical problems, because the original piece is a massive, industrial work. And it would be very costly and it would take all the space to exhibit it.

Kwong:
The space is not a major problem, but also the cost and insurance.

Fred:
It’s now presented in a bare-bones way, and it loses part of the poetic values. We did suggest that we could have a kind of a simple Loom of some of the Asian countries like Burma, Cambodia and Laos where they have Looms and the factories. They do have looms…The loom presented in the piece should be pretty different from any others…So, it would not be exactly the same thing, but it’s just very bare to present it like that. It’s not giving the full depth of what it could be. What I really like about the piece is the music generated, and the force of the users’ immersion.

Ray:
So do we judge from this work or from the original piece?

Fred:
Very good question! What has been submitted for the selection was the written one. What we are given today is the piece presented. So I have also thought of your question: what are we judging? The piece submitted, or the piece we saw today?

Kwong:
I think this kind of questions is also related to other works, like the TV Clock last year. The ideal presentation was not what we saw last time. We have just presented the idea. We have discussed with the artist about the Musical Loom. At the end, because of limited budget, he chose to present his work in this way. Maybe we should judge the works in reference to the example of the TV Clock.

May:
I don’t know, but for this moment, we will see the completeness, or at least the incompleteness of the works, because it’s really their choice. For ifva there is such limitation, and actually they should consider how much of their work could convey to the juries. And now we have to use our imagination. Is it fair? I don’t know. Of course we can. There is a Loom, and then it’s very poetic. Honestly speaking, it’s the best work, but it’s not completed.

Fred:
…to add a little money to display also the original piece, so that the people can really understand how the best original piece is, . and bBecause of the technical and logistic problems, it is not possible to have it entirely seen in Hong Kong. So you can only experience a lower version of it. In this way they can still be able to have a vision of the original work that they may only be seeing 10% of what it is…So is it possible to spend a small amount of money to add a DVD player to loop on the side? So for the visitors of the exhibition, they can at least view the video (of the original concept).

Kwong:
Yes, we will look into it. That’s the question we will discuss about, but for this time we can only present the backbare- bones of some of the works. Actually we have the intentions to discuss with other partners in Hong Kong to show some of the works in their ideal set-up.

The Peeper

Fred:
The Peeper is one of my favorite pieces, and I still like the concept very much, although the display is disappointing…But more than anything else the picture that we view is not sharp enough. Unless you actually take the video and review the whole picture, it’s very difficult to have an idea of what the picture would become. It questions the whole piece itself, because if people can’t understand what is behind, then they would not be interested in playing. And if they are not interested in playing, they would not get that sense of eroticism.

May:
It’s okay; they cannot really be the peepers!

Fred:
Exactly! They don’t get teased.

Bryan:
My question is whether the set-up is done by the artists of the students of IVE or the organizers?

Kwong:
It’s done by the designers, which is the students from IVE.

May:
Was it under the instruction of the artist? So the artist would just let the people to treat his work like this? Who was the designer of the whole set-up?

Kwong:
The original concept was designed by the students, but the artist has participated in the discussion.

Bloated City/Skinny Language

Ray:
This one is not creative, except of the morphing of Chinese characters. It’s similar to the Meta-fishpond, there are too many of this kind.

May:
But I think the content of it is a little bit more. I can appreciate the title “Skinny Language”, but I don’t quite see “the Bloated City”, to be honest. I think it’s a little bit more than the Meta-fishpond, I mean, intellectually. It’s also because the characters go with the human beings. So it adds a certain kind of dimension.

Pong:
The Meta-fishpond also goes with human…

May:
But it’s not that. I don’t know how to explain.

Pong:
That’s what I am trying to say.

May:
There is certain kind of – if I could use the word - transcendence. But for the Meta-fishpond, it’s just interesting and that’s all. You stop there. For the Bloated City/Skinny Language, you can think a little bit more.

Pong:
I think the artist to do with the Chinese characters is clever.

May:
Clever, but not intelligent? (Laugh)

Pong:
I agree with you that, as comparing with the Meta-fishpond, it doesn’t convey more things.

May:
But when the characters cover you all up, it gives you a certain kind of psychological discomfort. I tried to stand there that all the words cover me and subsume me and you feel that you are not in existence. Although you say that the artist is clever, to be honest, I didn’t like his works. But his time he is better than before. He has really thought a little more. He gives a scary psychological experience. I looked at you when you played and I found it very scary. And then I stood there by myself, it was really scary.

Pong:
I don’t have that feeling… (Laugh)

May:
It goes with you. But the work is actually fragmented, not completed. I worked a little bit more in my mind; it’s very spontaneous that I don’t want to try to interpret his work. That’s my reaction, and it’s definitely different from the Meta-fishpond, which is very shallow.

Bryan:
One of the misreading or misunderstandings is the use of the double screens. Is it the original designs?

Kwong:
I would like to explain that. Originally the artist requested for a bigger screen, but by that time we could not get it. So that’s why he presented it in double screens. He did some adjustments. Last week, we finally found a bigger one, but he did not have enough time to readjust everything. So that’s why he presents in this way.

May:
But initially, were there always two screens? When I stood in front of the two monitors, it’s kind of swinging. Sometimes I wanted to go from one side to another side. I really felt a kind of tension. But you have to be patient with the work.

Bryan:
The interesting things about this piece are, firstly, the single projection. The other point is that the interaction between the player and the Chinese characters is much more complicated than the Meta-fishpond. When you move or stop, it is reflected in those animated characters. It takes some time to familiarize with those movements of the characters. I guess it will be more impressive if it was with only one screen.

Fred:
I think the artist has found something very interesting and very relevant with Chinese characters. In Chinese characters you have the strokes and you also have the empty spaces between the strokes. I found that the motion and stillness are very much related to Chinese characters. At the same time, a bit like Meta-fishpond, I think we are saturated with this kind of installation. I am kind of worried about what are we going to see next year. It’s just repeating that people make small adjustments to explore different things, but the basic vocabulary is very limited in this kind of setting. I kind of like this piece, but I do not push the next contestants to explore this very stereotype interactive setting.

May:
It’s just like the development of film. In the beginning, there would definitely be technical copying, if you’d like to use the word, but then people would find it necessary to develop a theme or something like that. So it’s kind of a gradual development of a new media, and, again, I cannot see the bloated city! It’s too big a name…it’s exaggerating.

Homage to Ando Tadao

Fred:
Homage to Ando Tadao really raises the question of what we propose for next year. What we have discussed previously is that, if the competition should open for pure simulations or documentations. Then the piece does not have to be presented, or even visible, because there is something that technically cannot be achieved, for money or whatever technical reasons. But at least, the idea will be there. I personally believe that, like what I wrote for the catalogue, it will open up creativity and enable more artists to join this category. Since we haven’t decided this year; it’s very difficult to judge these pieces, in comparison to the others. Additionally, I don’t think they are very well-documented neither. We don’t understand what is interactive and what is not. It’s totally fine for me to have an interactive DVD and an interview with the artist to explain the concept and technical problems. Also we can have a simulation or a documentation of these. But now, we are only confronted to images which are not clear and it’s up to us to decide what happened. If next year, the competition is open for simulations and documentations, the participating works should also be better documented.

May:
There should always be a section for these simulations and documentations, but there should also be a different category for those which can actually, physically be presented…

Kwong:
So there should be two divisions?

May:
If we really want to have more simulations for creativity, it’s a good idea. Also it does not take a lot of resources for us to do. But still it’s different from what we can really see as physically set-up.

Fred:
For that it’s very much like in the academic world. Most students’ assignments do not have to be finalized, but at least they have to present it well enough so that the teacher can really understand…although if we really have the pieces, we will all be stopped. If we neither have the piece nor a good documentation, it’s like neither here nor there.

Kwong:
Do you think you are ready for the nominations?

Ray:
Do we have a conclusion of if the Musical Loom be considered?

Fred:
The question is should we consider it as the submitted work or the final work.

May:
\The Homage to Ando Tadao may have a good idea…I would try to put the Musical Loom as better than All About My Ho Chung. But All About My Ho Chung is more localized than the others, it’s good…for the Musical Loom, if the whole piece is set up, it will probably get the gold award.

Fred:
Why don’t we just vote for each of them?

Ray:
Actually I don’t really like All About My Ho Chung. I think there are not enough layers. For example, when I clicked on the hoist, nothing went further. And I clicked the “back” icon, it just went back.

Pong:
For All About My Ho Chung, the problem is the technical insufficiency, but the worst, in terms of technical issues, should be Her Home.

Fred:
I like All About My Ho Chung, it’s nice, but it’s only average. Frankly I don’t see any future of this kind of works like All About My Ho Chung. I would like to see some works with really good movie-making, really good graphic and in-depth content… like the Meta-fishpond or the Bloated City/Skinny Language. It’s , which are technically better. However, All About My Ho Chung is like a book. Books will be there after a thousand years. A format like that of All About My Ho Chung is a format that I don’t think I will ever get bored of. But for the Meta-fishpond or the Bloated City/Skinny Language, in a few more years, everyone will not play with it anymore. At the same time, I don’t think it’s graphically, or in terms of video-making, editing, graphic and storytelling, I don’t think that it’s deep enough.

Pong:
In some pieces, we don’t see love inside. There is no passion and love. But All About My Ho Chung got it. It’s very intense.

May:
I never knew Ho Chung, not even of such a name. But after this piece, I want to see more of the place; I want to go to Ho Chung. It’s quite a three-dimensional description of the people and the space.

Kwong:
How about Her Home?

Fred:
She could have fixed it for the exhibition. I remember that, in the pervious meeting, we would consider it in the exhibition assuming that it would be fixed…

Fred:
Technically, Meta-fishpond is not very satisfying in the display.

May:
I support it.

Kwong:
Shall we then go immediately to nominate the gold award or you want to have more discussion?

Fred:
Instead of just voting, I would suggest us to vote for the titles…gold, silver or the special mentions. For All About My Ho Chung, I would definitely vote for special mention. But not for gold, you see what I mean.

May:
Works should be really completed in order to get gold, as to be fair to the festival. It’s a pity that Her Home is not fixed…

Ray:
Even if it fixed, it is still not very creative.

Pong:
I think I can give The Sound of Market the gold award.

May:
But technically it’s not very good…the sounds do not change fast enough, isn’t it?

Pong:
It’s quite smooth. If you type in a set of 4-digits code, it will work.

May:
How can you know it should be 4-digits? It is not clearly instructed.

Pong:
If you are an insider of the Stock Market, you would definitely know…

Fred:
It’s not the clearest part, but I figured it out pretty quickly.

Kwong:
So there are two works to be nominated for the gold award – Musical Loom and The Sound of Market.

May:
You really have to convince me because I see several imperfections in The Sound of Market It is not user-friendly. It doesn’t create a lot of variations; it doesn’t transform a lot, only from data to musical notes. You cannot feel its relation with the Stock Market.

Pong:
I have listened to the stock codes from four corporations. I heard that the work, apart from just transforming, it has added something. It does not follow merely to the trends of the Stoke price. I heard the layers in the music, which is not directly reflecting the up-and-down of the Stock Market. He is playing with the figures. He is trying to transform the figures to something in-depth. He is telling us the possibilities after the numbers.

May:
But it’s called The Sound of Market. It framed the work. It’s not like “The Sound of Digits”, or “The Sound of Numbers”…it’s fine. It’s reasonable in that way, but not now. The Musical Loom is much better in the sense that it gives me the feeling of transcendence. You can feel something of higher level.

Fred:
The two pieces are the most related to the environment. The Musical Loom is an interpretation of the French city that the artist lived in where was the textile industry in the 19th Century. It was an industrial centre, but it declined because of globalization and urbanization. The piece is responding the current situation of the city: the quotation mentioned that there is a 44% unemployment rate. As it’s difficult to find jobs, there are also alcoholism and family problems. The Sound of Market is also very much related to the city, the environment of Hong Kong. I really appreciate this dimension and The Sound of Market at least presents in a way that it works fine without bug in the flow. If the Musical Loom was really presented physically, it would obviously be more achieved. For The Sound of Market, we hear the sound but we don’t know which company it is creating the data to form the music. However, it’s working very well! In the way it’s presented, it’s working very very well. So I don’t think it is very unfair to give the gold award to The Sound of Market.

May:
So you think that it’s perfect?

Fred:
No, I am saying it’s perfect.

Pong:
It’s nothing perfect here. (Laugh)

Fred:
If you judge on the documentation, I will place the Musical Loom much higher. But by what we have seen in the exhibition, The Sound of Market is a bit better. I would give a slight advantage to the Musical Loom. But, again, do you think it would be possible to add a little screen to show the documentation, so as to be justice for the piece?

Bryan:
Did the artist know that they could only have a discounted version for the exhibition? The artist may want to only show the work with full content, that if they could not do, they would only show the documentation; or the artist may prefer showing the discounted version, in the way that he thinks the discounted version would still show an impression of the work.

Man:
He wanted to put a TV there to show the documentation, but as the TV was too large, so we asked him to put it away.

Fred:
But even a small one will do!

Man:
Maybe he wasn’t able to find a smaller one, but anyway, he did want to show the documentation.

May:
I still think that the name “Sound of the Market” is not appropriate…he should be more careful naming the work.

Ray:
I don’t find it inappropriate. It’s really the Stock Market and the Stock Price!

May:
But it needs to be assessable!accessible.

Ray:
For the Musical Loom, as it is a documented version, it has avoided all the practical problems. Maybe it is actually difficult to play with it, but as it is just a documented version, you cannot tell.

Bryan:
One more comment on the Musical Loom: it’s site-specific to the area where he selected to show the work. It’s about the textile industry (of the Northern France). But when it is transported to Hong Kong, all the contextual meanings would be absent for the Hong Kong audience. It’s similar to the Homage to Ando Tadao, which is also a site-specific work that if it is transported to another area, there will be another kind of interpretation. In this case, it’d be better if he allows the showing of another version in our own context, but still relating to or reflecting his original idea. It’s not contextually suitable to show this work in Hong Kong, as it talks about a French city since the industrial revolution. That’s the problem of creating site-specific works; the artist should have considered these problems.

Fred:
I think that it will lead to deduction or loss of the context, but he made his choice to present the work their way. It’s really depending on the artist. We have no doubt about the potential of this work. In this case, Kingsley has made a decision which is lowering his work, so as to speak.

Kwong:
As we are discussing only these two works, shall we give one of them gold and another one silver, or two gold awards?

May:
Both of the two artists are locals?

Kwong:
Yes, Kingsley has studied in France and is just back in Hong Kong. And Henry studied in New Zealand.

Fred:
I would vote for the two of them to share the gold award.

May:
It’s a little bit reluctant for me. A gold award for me is something perfect, but these are not really perfect.

Fred:
You know, in the Races of Olympic Games, the one who wins the gold medal is not the perfect one, he just wins the race! So a gold award never means perfect!

May:
Good metaphor! (Laugh)

Kwong:
So we have two gold awards, and the rest will be awarded as special mentions.

Fred:
As a matter of fact, it is very difficult to outstand one out of the three left.

Kwong:
So, we now have the results!

Kwong:
This category is still very young; it’s only the second year to have this category. And the interactive media is very complicated. I really appreciate your advice of how to make this category better next year. Last time Frederic has given a very good suggestion in his article that we can put the focus on the concept and idea that we will accept the documentation. At the same time May also suggested that there can be two divisions in the category that we also open for works of realizations. Given these two suggestions, I am thinking of the logistic details. For example, for the participants who would join with the simulations, we should give them the guidelines of what materials we are looking for, and to what extents. I can imagine that the judging criteria will pretty much depend on how well the artists prepare for the presentation. You have been talking about the Homage of Ando Takao, and criticizing the video documentation of it. I am thinking if we should have some briefing sessions with some more experienced artists, maybe during the period when we call for entry, to tell the people what materials we are looking for and all the related details.

Fred:
I think there should be a fixed format. If we have a very complex, boring website or paper-work, it’s not engaging for the audience, it takes too long and it’s not fun. A DVD would be a good format. The artists can build as many chapters as he can. There can be 3D (graphics), drawings etc., as long as they are in a fixed format. Because in the past, the most difficult part is to compare apples and oranges (the different formats).

Ray:
What about the 3D simulations? Some may make a 3D simulation but the actual work is not done and not documented, should it be in another division?

Fred:
It doesn’t matter if it is 3D, as long as they can explain their works, maybe in voice-over or in subtitles.

Ray:
What if the artists do not do the works that they only have some plans and illustrations…a kind proposal.

Fred:
Yea, exactly. So we have simulation or documentation. Documentation is the work has really existed, it has been realized, but for whatever reason, you can’t have it exhibited here. It’s only documented, but we can really appreciate the concept. The simulation is that the work did not really existed, but the idea is there. For some documentation, we don’t even know it did really exist, but to some extents, I don’t really care if it did! In the future, we would not have to be worried whether it existed or not.

Ray:
So should there be three categories? The first one is the real work, the second one is the documentary, and the third one is the just the proposal. Like the competition of Microsoft Software, they only need a proposal.

Fred:
Theoretically, having three categories is the most logical way, but we may not have enough works for each category.

Kwong:
Next year we hope that we will find a better space to display the work as well.

 

Single-Screen-Based Interactive Media Category
Gold Award
MUSICAL LOOM
Kingsley NG

Gold Award
The Sound of Market
Henry CHU

Special Mentions
All About my Ho Chung
Jessey TSANG Tsui-Shan

Special Mentions
The Peeper
LAM Wai-keung

Special Mentions
Bloated City|Skinny Language
HUNG Keung and innov + media lab

TOP

 

 

 

The 12th ifva – Open Category, Second Round Jury’s Meeting

Present:
Patrick Tam (Tam), Wong Chun-chun (Wong), Daniel Yu, Makin Fung (Fung), Ellen Pau (Pau)
ifva representatives:
Teresa Kwong (Kwong), Chelsea Man (Man)

 

Kwong: First of all, I would like to thank all of you for joining the 12th ifva Open Category Jury’s Meeting. The aim of today’s meeting is to select works for this year’s awards. We have almost 400 works received this year and there are totally 12 finalists after rounds of jury meetings. For this year’s competition, we suggest to have a Gold Award with cash prize of HK$50,000 and a Sony HDV camcorder, a Silver Award with cash prize of HK$30,000, and a Special Mentions Award with a certificate as reinforcement. Of course, you can have your own choice in the jury panel. If there are no Gold Award, two Gold Awards, two Silver Awards, so on and so forth, the cash prize will be given pro-rata. The objective of the ifva competition is to encourage media creativity by using media as a means of expression. You are suggested to judge the works by criteria such as contents, creativity and use of techniques. Today we will first go through each of the 12 shortlisted works one by one. Next, we will nominate and then vote for the works for the awards after some discussion. Please feel free to start the meeting if there is no question.

Yu: What does the marks mean on the marking sheet?

Kwong: This is to make the evaluation easier and let you roughly have an idea how good or bad the works are. According to our experience in the last few years, the marks not necessarily mean anything. Even some works scored high marks, they are not the best works in everybody’s mind.

Anna

Tam: I think it is Godardian, but not really in depth. It is quite an easy production, without difficulties. It is quite a dull work.

Fung: I agree.

Yu: I like this work very much. It is not difficult to produce, but with very nice shots.

Wong: I think it’s ok.

Tam: I think this is not a creative work. Such idea has been worked on by lots of people already and the idea is not especially exciting or original.

Fung: I think not many people would do this.

Wong: Also this is a very economic way of work – no actor needed.

Tam: So clever!

(Everybody laughs.)

Yu: I think it has a kind of mood capturing Hong Kong. This is good.

Tam: But this is not difficult to do. The subject matter itself is interesting. The story goes with transition from blindness to imaginative dreams, and from seeing Hong Kong with open eyes to an alienated feeling of Hong Kong, but the feeling does is not conveyed in illustration, but is more than a statement or monologue. This work is rather shallow.

Tomato School

Tam: Can I have some background information about the director?

Kwong: As I know, he studied Architecture in London, UK. He intends to capture the urban space with moving images. If I get it right, there is really the Tomato School in the UK and he is shooting promotional trailer for them.

Yu: I think this work demonstrates very good skills. Just that maybe I am too remote and can’t understand it. Also I have difficulties in comparing this with other works.

Wong: Very good skills.

Fung: He belongs to the technical school. I select his work because it conveys skills and content – lots of work in the technical school actually do not have contents. In the first round, I have seen lots of work like that, but this one is comparatively more complete with skills. Therefore it is here.

Tam: What do you mean by technical school?

Fung: He is merely playing around with technology, with composition, etc. He merges a lot of layers in a city. He does make a very pleasant work, not in a blunt way and not merely for the sake of technology. However, its content is not strong enough. As there’s no other work in such style available, I have selected this work then.

Tam: I personally quite like this work. It’s striking. I think having those effects is not a easy thing, but he set the pace very accurately. My only complaint is that it is too short, and I am not contented. This work is about modern living in which people are being controlled and monitored. It does create such feelings but is under-developed. I’ve no idea whether this can be viewed as a complete work. If this is just a fragment, I’d think this is brilliant.

Kwong: So you mean this work should be lengthened? Which part should be lengthened then?

Tam: I don’t know. For example, there should be a process of development in an avant garde piece of work. It would be a pity if a piece of work is too short and ends abruptly and ambiguously. He is not a film student but studying architecture, that’s why he may not be aware of that. So he has the feelings but doesn’t know how to fully develop and explore his ideas though sound and images. What a shame. However, I give 8 marks for this work, which is my second most favourite work here.

Wong: I give 8 marks for this work too.

Moment

Tam: An average work.

Wong: I’ve also marked it as average.

Yu: Nothing special.

Tam: I think this work is very similar to “Within a Letter of Love”, ie, like scratching an itch across the boots and very shallow but processed in a clean and neat way. “Within a Letter of Love” is a work created by my undergraduate student but I think it is not good enough. Indeed both works are very hackneyed and the acting are not natural enough too.

Within a Letter of Love

Tam: I am not convinced by the kind of adolescent love feelings. It’s very stereotyped.

Wong: This is really boring.

Lovers' Lover

Tam: I like this work best. I didn’t take part in it, but I don’t want to talk too much about it. She is my student and I am her advisor. I find this work very mature, natural, with very good acting and casting. Also I think she manages to capture that kind of feelings and does the whole work at ease. But I think you’d better exclude my opinion.

Wong: I like it. It’s very fluent. The story is pleasant, technically or dramatically. I find this work a bit like “Twelve Night” by Aubrey Lam. Also, the cast is very good and the casting really contribute to the good work.

Tam: I think she is capable of mastering film language. For example, she is not constrained by the narrow space and can make good use of it. This is quite difficult indeed.

Yu: I think it’s ok. The shots in the opening scene is really powerful and striking…

Tam: daring!

Wong: But the middle part is dragged.

Yu: Yes, it’s ok overall, of very high standard. But it’s dragged in the middle. The script should be more concise.

Wong: I think the work can be a bit shortened. I think the film would best end at the taxi scene when the lovers’ lover is discovered.

Yu: Indeed only the middle part is too long. Overall, the story and the script are ok, but the treatment is not strong enough.

Tam: 30 minutes is very long indeed, but she manages to set the pace and the flow of the whole work. Other works are very conscious how to show off in front of the lens pretentiously whereas this work is very natural and is capable of capturing feelings of people nowadays and their views on love matters. I can’t make this as I don’t have such sense.

Yu: I feel the work is not good-looking enough. The shots are rather simple, rather realistic and ordinary. I think now the set is a limitation and I would suggest to have a better setting for it.

Tam: Indeed there is very good casting and acting – I didn’t mean the actors or actress, but the sense of direction of the director. As an artist, I think she has got a balance among everything.

About Romance or Something Else

Tam: At first glance I expect something. Except the 13 minutes of documentary, I can’t figure out the reason for the long take. At the beginning, there was a mirror image about taking part in love. I didn’t see any transition in that character and I was not convinced. I think this work is just a gimmick but nothing else.

Yu: The long take is used as a gimmick, but the whole work has only one gimmick.

Tam: Comparing to other works, the actors are somehow natural.

Yu: The leading actor is ok.

Tam: Yes, he’s pleasant.

Fung: Let me make a remark here. Ellen and me selected this work because of the shot after that long shot. The character is listening to walkman, somehow like an illusion, somehow realistic. We think that the ending is interesting, but the composition before that, as Patrick says, is very loose.

Yu: The long take should be used only if it’s necessary. The part in the toilet does not mean anything and can be cut with dissolve lens. The director should adjust the story and razor the part which has no meaning.

Tam: That means the part with no necessity.

Wong: Is he a student?

Fung: He is a student at the Baptist University.

Kwong: Also in the post-screening discussion, he mentioned that the exploded part at the end is just a technical mistake – lot of people thought that he made it deliberately.

Yu: Instead, that is the most interesting part, but that is a wrong shot, a mistaken shot. He shouldn’t send us the NG-take and uses the subtitle to hide away his mistake. I don’t like this. Never mind. Anyway, we all agree that the work is more a gimmick than anything else.

Wong: I would like to emphasize again that this work should be shortlisted. The objective of the ifva competition is to encourage non-professionals to try to deal with the problems faced – they have no limitation, but professionals do. Although that long take is not a good one and it seems everyone can make it, we promote creativity and not anyone would have the courage to make a film for a competition. Therefore, it should be shortlisted.

Fung: So this should be encouraged.

 

Upstairs

Wong: (To Yu and Fung) It’s your favourite.

Tam: I think the whole film is bad and I give only 4 marks for it. I think it’s about mental illness, but the whole thing is hackneyed. Technically it’s good, very neatly and carefully done. He seems to have spent a long time writing up the story, but the very pretentious acting fails to engage me in the kind of pain and suffering. Very bad acting, especially for the male characcters.

Fung: The most interesting thing about this work is that the director employs the multi-perspectives approach popularized in Hollywood after “The Butterfly Effect”. Does the female role really exist? Details are conscientiously planned and you can’t find a seam in it. To certain extent, it is quite “Hollywood”. Also in the middle there is a female mental patient in the street. I think this is all calculated. The artist attempts to add some rises and falls and side plots to balance the story. I most appreciate its point of view. This a student work, and the film is mostly shot at night instead of daytime.

Tam: Indeed the artist has paid a lot of effects in the technical aspects. Issues such as dreams and fantasy of mental patients can be very emotionally touching. But I think this work lacks the intensity of emotional vibration and therefore fails to convince me by the acting, etc. The female character is alright, but the male character who often hides away, doing monologues plus very painful facial expressions is poorly superficial and pretentious. I really can’t stand this kind of presentation. Maybe the director indeed cannot direct him in acting too.

Fung: I agree indeed. I wonder why there is a kind of Hiroyuki Sanada-style acting and actors. Well, I have never thought about mental illness when I watch this film.

Tam: One of the shots is nice and creates some very little feelings, with the man on the bed and the mother being sort of very understanding and putting a toilet roll on the bed. But other shots such as stripping off in the street, in theory should be very powerful, but mean nothing to me. I can’t get into it.

Yu: I’m fine. I think it’s really hard to join them if you don’t agree with the actors.

Tam: This is not a problem of agreeing or not. It is more than a matter of the actors, but the whole thing – what are the suffering and the pain indeed in the story? How to illustrate such things? I think it is not detailed and in depth enough. I think the kind of pain of everybody in the film is over-exaggerated. Also I think the point of views mentioned by Makin is not very accurate and nothing special at all.

Yu: I don’t know much about mental illness. This work makes me think that such problem is really serious in our society. From a commercial point of view, the ambiguity you mentioned would be quite attractive. The use of lens is not bad too. Of course, the actors are incapable of delivering the play, but after all, they are non-professional actors.

Fung: The artist also creates a sense of suspense.

Tam: The director shows his sincerity, but his ambition doesn’t match his ability. I think his work is too conscious and pretentious. I want to be thrown into the film but I can’t.

Fung: It’s overdone.

Wong: I also find it pretentious.

Yu: Yes, it’s overdone.

Tam: For me, “Within a Letter of Love” and “Moment” are of the same level overall. Techniques are not the most important, but sincerity, feeling and emotion.

Face/ lift

Wong: This is quite a creative work – not to mention the execution, she can’t execute it. But I like this more than other works such as “Within a Letter of Love”. This work arouses my curiosity and makes me think about what it is about.

Tam: She is my student too, but I have never seen this work before ifva. I can’t get into its state. I have no idea what’s going on. I think she just can’t take control of it.

Toilet Paper

Yu: Very playful, but that’s it.

Fung: The second part is fun, but at the beginning the colourful scene inside the hosue is not very interesting – it’s almost disgusting and lacks the comic feelings that it should have.

Yu: The visual representation of the toilet is too realistic.

Tam: But I like its energy, that is, the artist’s impetuousness and confidence. The problem is that it’s dragged too long.

Fung: This is a work by a student at the Polytechnic University for last year’s Fresh Wave Short Film Competition. There was length limit of the film in the competition and this work just fulfilled the criteria.

Little Girl Lost

Wong: Not bad.

Tam: It’s a cliché.

Wong: Very pretentious, and all the relations are not going smooth.

Kwong: Ellen found this work touching previously.

Yu & Tam: I don’t have such feeling.

Wong: Maybe it touched her in some personal aspects.

The Easter Egg

Wong: It’s ok.

Fung: I select this work because it’s interesting.

Tam: But it’s boring to mention the salty duck egg (a Cantonese slang for someone who is dead) all the time. The kids are not natural in acting and look like RTHK drama.

Yu: The character of mother is not doing well. Also there is a very grand shot of the tree, which doesn’t match with other shots at all. This shows the poor coordination between the camera-person and the director.

Fung: That’s a careless mistake, but it’s an interesting work as there are all outdoor scenes of kids and streets shot on location.

Tam: But the kids are not doing well, not very special too.

Fung: I can’t understand why there is the character of mother at the end.

TAGSPOTTING

Tam: An average work, with nothing special. There is no information in it and it’s not in depth enough.

Yu: There are not much techniques involved, just that the subject matter is extraordinary.

Wong: You can see this kind of work in television.

Fung: The difference is that the way they are not doing this kind of subject matter.
Television drama would be better analyzed – I don’t know whether it’s good or bad – but there’s no such analysis in this work. It just presents a story.

Tam: It attempts to present different perspectives on the same issues but not in depth at all.

Kwong: Now you can nominate a few works for the Awards: 1 Gold Award, 1 Silver Award and 1 Special Mentions Award, as we suggest. So please nominate 3 works.

Tam: “Lovers' Lover” and “Tomato School”, and if possible, “About Romance or Something Else” as well as “Toilet Paper”.

Fung: You can nominate more than one work for each award.

Tam: Can I select only two in total?

Kwong: Yes, you can.

Tam: So I don’t have the third one.

Yu: “Anna”, “Upstairs” and “Lovers' Lover”.

Tam: So I’ll have “Anna” as the third one.

Fung: “Upstairs” and “Lovers' Lover” – I’ve not decided on the third one, either “Anna” or “Tomato School”.

Wong: Not in particular order: “Tomato School”, “Lovers' Lover” and “Toilet Paper”.

Pau: “Little Girl Lost” is of not the top three and “Anna” is very bad in the audio part. So I’ll have “Tomato School”, “Upstairs” and “Toilet Paper”.

Kwong: “Moment”, “Romance or Something Else”, “Within a Letter of Love”, “The Easter Egg”, “Face/lift” and “Little Girl Lost” have no vote. So please nominate one of the following 5 works for the Gold Award: “Anna”, “Tomato School”, “Lovers' Lover”, “Upstairs” and “Toilet Paper”. Then we’ll discuss and vote again.

Tam: “Lovers' Lover”.

Yu: “Upstairs”.

Fung: “Upstairs”.

Kwong: Alright, there’re two works nominated for the Gold Award, “Lovers' Lover” and “Upstairs”. Do you want to lobby each other?

Pau: Let’s vote straight away.

Yu: I think “Upstairs” is very interesting as a whole. The artist manages to keep a boring story in control and makes it very engaging. I am impressed by the last shot in which the female character comes out and you can’t really hear things clearly. From this I think the director is capable of making commercial movie and I really support this kind of directors. There is no big difference between this work and “Lovers’ Lover”, maybe only 1 or 2 marks indeed. I’d like to promote film-making to a wider range of people and I do hope that some other people can be as successful as Pang’s Brothers. This is what I think.

Fung: I agree that the work itself is boring and clichéd, but the artist works very hard in attempt to obtain a balance among many things in order not to fall in the kind of the form of RTHK-like production. Indeed the work is not clichéd, and is better than the RTHK production. I think this is its newness.

Yu: I think he is accomplished in photography, with a tremendous momentum. He is able to capture the mood of darkness, although there are some defects.

Tam: I think it’s incomplete and very superficial in dealing with mental illness. Unlike “Lovers’ Lover” which is expressive and genuine by capturing the feelings, the actors here are pretentious and self-consicuous.

Wong: I agree that “Upstairs” is pretentious. I can see that the director works very hard and thinks about all the things carefully, but does he execute the things well? I won’t take his accomplishment as for the Gold Award.

Tam: His work is awkward and I don’t feel the kind of creativity or freedom in it. The mise-en-scene is not very impressive for me. He can create the mood in many ways. However, although “Lovers’ Lover” is set in a single room, the artist is not constrained by that. She has mastered film language and works things out freely – this is good. Also the director takes up the key role and make the overall work done. Casting and acting are all very natural.

Pau: But is it something new?

Tam: I think it’s new as she captures the adolescent love life. In term of newness, I will take “Tomato School”, but I think it is not well-developed. Maybe it’s because he is an architecture student, or he doesn’t want to make a narrative work. But I find his visual sense, use of space and style of expression very interesting. What a shame that it’s too short and under-developed and therefore it’s not the first. But I think he would be the second.

Pau: For me, it is more less the same whether we have the Gold Award either for “Lovers’ Lover” or “Upstairs”, because both of them are not very outstanding. What are we commending for?

Wong: Indeed I want to ask what ifva is commending for? The Gold Award stands for ifva’s praises for something which would be the core and our starting point. If we are promoting creativity but not technique and execution, for example, “Lovers’ Lover” and “Tomato School” should not be shortlisted, and in this case maybe “About Romance or Something Else” would be the best. Again, if we’re selecting directors for commercial movies, we’ll have something else.

Tam: Yes, what’s ifva’s focus?

Kwong: As mentioned at the beginning, we promote creativity and the essence of independent production. Of course, content, skills and forms are all important. Indeed every year the jury panel would adjust their emphasis according to the combination of works then. For example, one year in the Asian Force category, the jury panel opt for directors with great potentials and who tends to continue creating works.

Yu: Indeed we all think that “Lovers’ Lover” is very good.

Pau: Well, I think we need not to have the Gold Award this year as the works are not very outstanding at all. I think we can have the first and the second runners-up. We really haven’t got a very outstanding work for the Gold Award.

Tam: Who’s got the Gold Award in the last few years?

Kwong: This year is not the same as last few years, as we have different pools of works.

Yu: Yes, I also think that we can’t compare this year with last few years.

Tam: Is there any good work among the unselected ones?

Pau: I think by average this year’s works are quite weak.

Fung: This year’s work is weak in creativity. Also the works can be divided into 2 categories: technically accomplished or not. The level of creativity is more less the same.

Yu: This is my first time to be a jury. I think the standard is ok, because they are not professionals anyway.

Pau: Saying that “Lovers’ Lover” is made by a young person would get extra marks. But if the work introduces a new perspective introduced instead of the mainstream one, there would be bonus points.

Wong: I think “Lovers’ Lover” is in the mainstream.

Tam: It’s mainstream, but not submitting to it. The way it deals with love is not mainstream.

Yu: She is brave enough and capable enough, just like the kind of “Before Sunset Before Sunrise”.

Tam: Being at ease is the best thing of the film. It’s energetic and not awkward. This is rare too see.

Yu: I don’t think we should have no Gold Award.

Tam: I think we should have the Gold Award.

Wong: No comment.

Fung: No comment too. To be or not to be, that’s the question.

Pau: Just that I think this year’s standard should be reflected.

Tam: Be more positive, and think about giving more encouragement. From the perspective of creativity, “Lovers’ Lover” is good enough. Criticism is an easy thing, but producing the work is rather difficult. She manages to make the work at ease, without resources and working in such a space. Comparatively, this work is not pretentious and complete. One can see her ability to master all the key things such as casting. As a filmmaker, we can see her potential. I hope she would be encouraged and continue her development in another work.

Kwong: Let’s vote now: “Lovers’ Lover” or “Upstairs”.

(Voting: “Lovers’ Lover” Vs. “Upstairs”: 4:1)

Kwong: Alright. Here comes the result: the Gold Award goes to “Lovers’ Lover”, and Silver Award to “Upstairs”?

Tam: I think it should go to “Tomato School”.

Pau: I agree.

Kwong: Other than “Tomato School”, any other nomination for the Silver Award?

Yu: “Upstairs”.

Kwong: So are we having 2 Silver Awards or selecting 1 out of two? Let’s vote!

Wong: Is it possible if I don’t vote?

Pau: Indeed the 2 works are of different genres and therefore difficult to be compared.

Wong: “Tomato School” is really different.

Tam: If you abstain, we’ll have 2 Silver Awards then.

Fung: I propose for 2 Silver Awards.

Yu: Ok for me.

Wong: Let’s have 2 Silver Awards.

Pau: Ok for me.

Tam: Frankly speaking, “Tomato School” is really too short.

Kwong: Alright. Let’s nominate for the Special Mentions Award.

Yu: “Anna”.

Wong: “Toilet Paper”.

Fung: Both.

Yu: Both for me too.

Pau: Both are ok.

Tam: Are we having too many works then?

Wong: Let’s vote.

Pau: I think indeed “Tomato School” is complete. It’s about 24 hours, day and night. For the artist, it’s complete.

Wong: But we find this not enough.

Tam: What a pity.

Pau: I think we can have 2 Special Mentions Awards indeed.

Fung: I agree to have “Anna” which has more the essence of independent production than “Toilet Paper”. “Toilet Paper” is not fulfilling such criteria.

Tam: I also opt for “Anna”.

Yu: I opt for only 1 Special Mentions Award. “Toilet Paper” is not creative enough.

Fung: It’s like the commercials of KMB (Kowloon Motor Bus).

Kwong: Any general comments for this year’s entries?

Tam: They can be more creative.

Yu: They can be more conscientious and careful. Do not shoot scenes that you have seen already. It’s ok to be influenced by others, but not to copy.

Tam: I hope to see a feature film using the form of presentation like “Tomato School”.

Pau: Only Peter Greenaway can make it then.

Tam: What a shame that “Tomato School” is not well developed.

 

The 12th ifva
Gold Award
"Lovers' Lover" by MAK Hei-yan
Silver Award
“Tomato School” by Benjamin LAM Ho-yin
"Upstairs" by CHOW Kwun-wai
Special Mentions
"Anna" by Philip HO Pak-hung

 

 

The 13th ifva jury meeting transcript


The 13th ifva Youth Category Award Panel Jury Meeting

Present Jurors:
POON Tat-pui (PT)﹑Chat LAM (CL)﹑Patrick KONG (PK)﹑CHAN Pikyu (CP)

Absent Juror:
Karena LAM

ifva representatives:
Connie LAM (Connie), Mickey CHOI (MC)

Connie: We’d like to encourage more people to develop [on making film and video], and hope that the ifva will become a platform for encouraging cross-fertilization of creativity, knowledge and experience on media creation among different regions in Asia. Hope we all consider the following aspects in your judgments: content, creativity, form, structure, techniques, and whether it has made good use of the medium of video, and the overall completeness of the work… Please elaborate about your selections.

PT: My choice is “Family”, I think it is simple and clear, it has got the mood, and can express the kind of emptiness in the father-and-son relationship.

CL: I have chosen “Voice in the Darkness”, based on its plot, and the overall feeling it gave me, because I’m not a technical person. It is very real, the filmmakers used what they know instead of trying to create some void, emptiness or love stories that they have never experienced before. The genuineness is touching, the way they bring out the world of the blind in different angles and situations, such as Christmas. How do you let a blind man feels the atmosphere of Christmas? And they have used various documentary methods such as street interview, it makes the film rich in perspective. The final scene of the road sign is like Mida’s touch, I am touched and I think it is successful.

PK: Actually I like this one too, because it is the most down-to-earth and authentic. Eight out of ten of the films attained high technical level, but for Youth Category, shouldn’t we hear the voice and see from the perspective of young people instead? This is the most important, I think the works should be young, should show how young people see the world and things around them, but most of the works lack this. Too much somniloquy too self-obsessed. If the filmmakers are here I’d like to ask them why they made the films like this. Such as “Deliverance”, why are the dialogues in English? Cinematography, editing and composition are very good, but I have doubts about their creative style and I don’t know what they are talking about. And I don’t know if it is because today’s young people are very anxious, many films also show sadness and doubts about life. Such as “Dreams”, why it has to be so sick? Is it what they are looking for, or are they actually like this? Isn’t it too pretentious? So “Voice in the Darkness” is the most down-to-earth. Actually art doesn’t always mean you have to do the most challenging things, even in a competition we are not looking for the one which is the most difficult to make, rather we want the one which can express the most in a given format. [“Voice in the Darkness”] is very clear, as Yat Fung has said, the road sign at the end, and the numbers at the beginning are well designed, simple and effective, and then the fake interviews follows.

My comment as written earlier is: The subject matter comes from everyday life. It can bring forth discussion, though is too close to news documentary, it is the most realistic work among all.

This work impresses me most among the ten finalists.

CP: “Family” moved me as I watched. I think this student is very wonderful. He doesn’t overact, but is so immersed in his role, maybe that is himself in real life. The whole work is concise and direct, no need to ponder about it for long, it sounds very real to me. This teenager used a variety of ways to express his emotion. This one and “Voice in the Darkness” impress me most. And “Lost View” too, it is very special in terms of creative methods, though it misses the point in a number of places.

PT: There’s one point I want to add about “Voice in the Darkness”. Since I’m a documentary filmmaker, its only failure is, they should have found a real blind person instead of faking it, which makes it looks like they are playing a trick, although I know this is not what they intended to do. They are actually trying to show us what a blind man’s world is like, what kind of things he will encounter. Then the conflict appears, and this conflict will destroy the whole thing. This is a pity, if the blind man is real, I’d have given them much higher marks. I agree that this is a very thoughtful piece, but it is a pity that the core element is faked, maybe the [fake blind man] is the director himself? If they could find a real blind person – I believe it is possible—then the whole thing would be very complete, and will arouse people’s compassion, to really think about how the blind man faces reality.

PK: The other work I like is “Lost View” because the artist has a deeply felt awareness of the environment around him. The other theme is the concern about society and life, not just confined to the personal. Other works mostly focus on the self, like about their own future, or just about their own happiness or sadness. It is not the most technically accomplished work, but it feels good after seeing it. For example the dream about running up the hill, he “Dreams” that this place becomes a metropolis, then when he wakes up he sees construction work has already begun near the village. It is the common scenery of our rural land being turned into container dumps. It is very real and he creates the dreamy scene in a realistic background. The imageries are touching and observations about the transformation of the community and the environment are made with sensitivity and are tinted with subtle sadness. I like the understated ending, it’s not making a definite statement, but is rather melancholy. I like this way better.

Connie:Now three works stand out. Poon Tat-pui please make your selection before you go.

PT: “Family” comes first, second comes “GameLive”. My view actually cannot escape the adult’s perspective, but I can see this film carries the message about kids’ love of the video games and we can see that the director loves to play too. On the whole it is good, but I don’t know if it is required by the school or not, the ending had to make a critical statement about the games. While “Family” is very genuine, you can feel it. I don’t have a third piece to recommend. Some pieces maybe worth mentioning, such as “My Own World”, it is too self-obsessed, while “Deliverance” is too ambitious, its scale makes it looks as if it is going to win, technically. But as it is too ambitious, the messages become too wild, though interesting, it loses focus. What he needs to learn is how to convey his many messages in a focused manner, so as to effectively deliver the themes. For me I recommend this, because he worked hard on it. Another recommendation is “Lost View”, but unfortunately the picture quality is not good, as if shot on a cell phone, unless that is what is intended.

CP: I think so. Actually there are different picture qualities in the film. So I think it is more experimental in the way they try to speak to the audience by means of images.

PK: Ko Chiu II is my biggest doubt. It is about the life of a teacher and is his memoirs, it tells how a kung-fu fighting kid becomes a teacher. This is a very strange film, kind of interesting, and is worth discussion.

PT: The filmmaking technique is OK.

PK: I don’t mind the technical side of “Lost View”, as today’s equipment is very developed, and the new generation is very precocious technically. If you ask me, I still think that “Voice in the Darkness” is the best, as it is the only one which actually goes out to the streets to do a project. Even though they couldn’t find a blind man, but it is willing to face people and to get in touch with society. Other films were just made in the school or at home, even the most ambitious work is not having any communication with the world outside. But what is challenging about making a film is whether you dare to go out in the street and face real challenges. You may be unable to finish the shooting, you maybe scolded or given a lot of pressure. I appreciate this work as a young people’s project.

PT: I’m open about “Lost View”. At last I want to mention “Detective Clumsy – A Campus Homicide”. Making a film can be fun, and it’s got it, and they have done a good job. A film with a message is good, but as kids, they want to enjoy themselves, and this one is fun. I think such freedom is necessary, and in comparison with “My Own World”, you can see the sharp contrast. The latter is totally obsessed with whatever mood of adolescence.

CP: Actually I’m considering whether it should be “Family” or “Voice in the Darkness”, but I agree with your point about communication, among all the films I appreciate that … it is more outstanding, so I’ll give it my vote for Gold Award. While “Family” I’d vote for it for the Silver. I’d choose “Lost View” and “Deliverance” as Special Mention. I don’t like “My Own World”.

PK: I pick “Voice in the Darkness” for Gold Award. I can’t comment on “Family” because my version of the DVD is faulty. The second film I like is “Lost View”, because these two are closer to everyday life. I recommend “Timeless” for Special Mention, I am the only one who votes for it, but I like it. Though this one is also self-indulgent, but we have not yet considered acting. The girl gave a superb performance here. I am a film director so I am more sensitive about actors. The whole film only shows her talking to herself and to a doll, it is very natural, not pretentious. I don’t know she is the director herself or she is acting under the director’s orders, her solos… I like the story, it is about escaping from reality, in the end she knows she has to face it, and that the watch will tick again. The idea is not new, that time stops, then that you can think and do whatever you want during the void but then in the end the watch ticks again and you have to face reality. This story is told a million times, but in this framework, it is kind of positive, the protagonist won’t sink further into indulgence. In the end it cited a quotation by Picasso, which means something like an old person with a young mind is like being imprisoned. It is pretty complete. And I recommend this actress. When young people make films, they only care about fancy shots, editing, music, being stylish and trendy, on the other hand they don’t care much about acting, content and whether that has already been done before. They reproduce without caring what the original is. I don’t like “GameLive”, because such images we have seen many times already, though the theme about the bad influence of video games is controversial. But gun shooting scenes we have seen too many times already, there’s no meaning for you to make what has been made before. What we expect of young folks are things fresh to our eyes, they have to be daring. They have to know that filmmaking is not just about shooting something, but actors are very important too. “Dreams” intended to be a drama film, but the actors just failed to deliver.

CL: I would like to talk about “Deliverance”. The director has cited a quotation from Fight Club. It gives me the feeling that he just bases his work on something else, without his own creation, and then they start to masturbate. After watching ten films I think over half of them have the same problem, they are so self-obsessed, just like masturbating. If I continue on the metaphor of sex, love-making between two people will be much fulfilling than doing it yourself! So why does he have to film it and show us? What does he want to talk about? If you feel something about the quotation written by the author of “Fight Club”, why don’t you develop something yourself? But here we can’t see his own things. And his English is a very big problem. As a performance art, this is a good masturbation, it doesn’t matter if nobody understands what he said, but in a short film I expect to get something. The most important thing about short filmmaking is to deliver your point within a very short period of time. Another is “My Own World”. She said “the feeling of reality torments them”, but what exactly is tormenting them? Aren’t you sentimentalizing over nothing? Why do these teenagers feel so much emptiness? Then comes “Timeless” and its quote from Picasso, about a young soul trapped in an old body, their message is so helpless and discontent, and then they put forward a question: how do you choose? But actually Picasso’s question doesn’t leave you with a choice at all, you can only die if you want to avoid it. Isn’t it because they are guilty after masturbation so they need to make up some kind of message? But these just come out of nowhere and make people feel uncomfortable.

PK: For example, these works quoted “Fight Club” and Picasso. The problem with today’s young people is that they like to show off what they know. My doubt is whether they are influenced by those quotes to make the film, or because they feel that the films lack something, so they just add some quotes to play safe? If there’s a quotation, it isn’t totally original, it needs footnotes, but if the audience has to read the footnotes before understanding your work, then there’s a problem.

CL: Whether they have thoroughly understood the message is a big problem. I like “Family”, it is simple and direct, the symbols are good. The only problem with “Lost View” is that it is too long, and they should not fail in basic technical thing, such as spitting into the microphone. I like “Voice in the Darkness” too, I’ll vote it for Gold Award. I like “GameLive” too, I don’t know whether the director has thought about it, today’s images are product designed to stimulate our senses, such as very fast music, synchronizing frames, and high speed jumping frames, but there’s nothing left afterwards. If the director could catch this point, this will be very successful. A lot of editing techniques are employed and messages are effectively conveyed. “Ko Chiu II” is as Patrick has said, why do they have to choose Mr Ko?

PK: And why is it called Ko Chiu II? Does it mean that they have made “Ko Chiu I” before ? Or they start directly with a sequel?

CL: If we are making a portrait of a well-known political figure, you can film it like this, but as an audience we don’t know who Mr. KO is. So the way it makes him look like a celebrity doesn’t convince us. If it doesn’t portray him as being so handsome, it will be more realistic.

PK: But Mr. KO acted with style and confidence.

CP: But it’s too much.

CL: “Dreams” is a very beautiful film of 18 minutes, it is artistic and worth credit. But the final scene shows the girl squeezing tears from her eyes for a whole minute, then I start to withdraw and think, the film is masturbating again! I don’t know how it could be better. It is about the vicious cycle of hurting and be hurt, the pace could be faster. “Detective Clumsy – A Campus Homicide” as the last one in the screening serves as a delighting dessert. I like it, it’s a happy film. As Poon Tat-pui said, you’ve got to enjoy yourself in filmmaking, and they’ve got it in this film.

PK: I have to add that “Ko Chiu II” even includes NG footages, it’s interesting why they have to show us. This is a really strange film.

CL: My second choice is “Family”, it’s clear and concise. I recommend “GameLive” and “Detective Clumsy – A Campus Homicide” for Special Mention.

Connie: According to our votes and discussion, “Voice in the Darkness” will get the Gold while “Family” gets the Silver coz it has 2 votes. Now we need to see whether Patrick will disagree.

PK: I need to see “Family” again.

[Watching “Family” ]

CL: The lyrics of Coldplay have something to do with it.

CP: I don’t feel good about the use of songs, actually it’s not necessary, just ends like this is OK.

PK: They lack confidence, thinking that more is better.

CP: Isn’t it boring?

PK: If the youngsters could make their own songs it will be much more creative and I would appreciate that.

CP: But they didn’t give credit to the songs at all, they should have listed that in the rollers.

Connie: We have instructed them about this.

PK: I have no objection against “Family” getting an award.

Connie: There are several nominations for Special Mention, they are “Deliverance” 2 votes; “Timeless” 1 vote; “Lost View” 2 votes; “GameLive” 2 votes, and “Detective Clumsy—A Campus Homicide” 1 vote. Based on the number of votes, the awardees should be “Deliverance”, “Lost View” and “GameLive”. Does anybody have any objection?

CP: No, in general.

PK: As it is called Special Mention, there should be something we can mention about the works? Can we ask the filmmakers to explain why their English is like that [at the award ceremony]? We can Special Mention your technical achievement, but isn’t there something we need to bring out, to ask them why they choose to use English, and tell them their grammar is problematic? I’d agree if we can ask.

CP: This is good, because this can help them.

Connie: Do you think that even though “Detective Clumsy” doesn’t get the Special Mention, from our discussion, probably we can mention the point about the joy of movie making? You can think about it.

CP: I think each of the works can be mentioned.

PK: Yes, each can be discussed. “Detective Clumsy” is representative too, fun is the most important thing.

CP: And they need to know why they are given or not given an award.

Mickey: So “Voice in the Darkness” is the winner of Gold Award, while “Family” gets the Silver. Special Mention goes to “Deliverance”, “Lost View” and “GameLive”.

[ifva: Karena Lam’s comments are as follows:]

First Choice﹕“Lost View”
The P.O.V’s of the directors were nicely done. Presented a kind of helplessness between people, city, & inevitable changes in our modern society.

Second Choice﹕“My Own World”
The humming of the O.S was nice. The storyline is simple and simply shot.

Third Choice﹕“GameLive”
Liked the imagination of the boy & his ‘game’ world. Short created suspense and humor relief in the end.

Comment to other works﹕“Deliverance”
The content of this short was not delivered clearly.

TOP

 

 

 

 

The 13th ifva Open Category Award Panel Jury Meeting

Present Jurors:
Herman YAU(HY), anothermountainman (A),Anson MAK(AM),Elaine CHOW (EC), Dr. Philip LEE (PL)

Ifva representatives:
Bobo LEE (B), Mickey CHOI (MC)

HY: Some of the films are well made. What makes it difficult to make a choice is that some of those films with have good content were made with poor techniques, and vice versa, so it is difficult to make a decision. I like “Merry X’mas”, because it shows concern for the underprivileged, and among the trend of showy techniques employed by young filmmakers nowadays, it is a drama made with the down-to-earth style of a documentary. Many scenes of the film hit the nail right on the head, I like it.

The script of “Siu Ming” is pretty ordinary, although with professional actors, the film is made in a very ordinary manner.

Acting in “Game Boy”is very imbalanced. On the one hand we have Lee Ting Fung, an actor we often see in commercial films, who shows traditional professionalism, on the other hand the rest of the actors demonstrate traditional amateurism. The same editing method applied to three separate plots actually weakens the tension in the drama. It uses flashbacks inter-cut to express a scene that is not represented in the main narrative, this should be better saved for the final scene. The choice of adopting the style of a genre film to an otherwise humanistic film doesn’t seem to work.

“Variable” is experimental in its content, but the form is traditional, which doesn’t match. Artistically, the masks used in the film look very unprofessional in today’s standard and in comparison with other finalists.

“Hearse Driver” is very ordinary, a typical film about life, death and love that young people would make. It seems everybody would have made such a film in their twenties.

“Wong Tsz Ching in Search for Wong Tsz Ching” is fun to watch and playful, from my perspective as a film-maker. I think making a movie isn’t always that serious. He talks about identity with playfulness in today’s cyber context.

“Salmon” has an extraordinary script, but the whole film isn’t well managed, the acting and the directing are awkward, with lighting and cinematography not in tune with the script.

“Lover Psychosis” is also one of those typical films made by twenty-somethings. It seems that the text on screen is important to the filmmaker, but the font size is too small and speed too fast to read, but anyway those text are not so crucial for understanding the film. The narrative technique is good, demonstrating the tension of reality.

“The Young Dream”. Although I haven’t totally grasped what the director wants to say, but the directing and narrative skill and acting, especially the girl, are very good, And the script as well, though I don’t know what exactly is the message, but I can follow the story. I like this film, the cinematography is especially outstanding.

“Goodbye, Kim Hyun-hee” is pretty ordinary in its subject matter, but using Kim Hyun-hee is quite special though. It is made professionally, is one of my choices.

A:It is always not easy to make a choice. “Wong Tsz Ching in Search for Wong Tsz Ching” said it’s a documentary, but there are some works that are quite realistic, such as ““Merry X’mas””. “Variable” is more abstract, more conceptual, kind of like a stage performance. It is difficult to compare, so I start with creativity. I agree with you that some works are in the confines of convention pre-determined by the script, so I dropped those works.

If I am to choose among the 10 films, I’ll pick one that is rounded in all respects including techniques, acting and plot, and it will be “Merry X’mas” It gets the point, it is a drama but at the same time reflects reality. The acting is natural and real, makes me feel something after the screening. I like it very much.

For “Variable”, I got your point, but I still put it among the top three or four in my list, because I appreciate that the director uses an alternative angle to shoot a film, despite its flaws. Just as other drama films may have flaws in acting or technical aspects, but this one I appreciate its alternative angle, and the implication of the suppressed lives of Hong Kong people. Other points about its failure I agree with you.

“Wong Tsz Ching in Search for Wong Tsz Ching” is interesting, but he fails to deeply explore this subject matter to make the film more refined. I don’t mean he should give a grand message or get it across in a serious way, but as he has a good subject matter, and today we have internet, the way this story begins and how it’s told are very good. But the ending … I wish to see more. It should have been better.

AM: I have similar feelings about “Wong Tsz Ching in Search for Wong Tsz Ching”. It started in a good direction, but I think a self-reflexive documentary can be better if --actually an individual is socially and culturally positioned in society-- he could go deeper about his formative years. Actually he did, for example the part about how he goes to the little Wong Tsz Ching’s home in a village, but he could go deeper. I want to see more about his childhood in the village, but there isn’t much. It is very playful. Although it is a documentary, it has many creative tricks, I like that too, but I would like to see him talks about himself more, like he said he has hepatitis, but he just told us the fact. I can’t see more about his relationship with his family, about his family in Canada etc, I want to see more documentary elements.

Among these films I also like “Merry X’mas” most. I don’t know how much the director agrees with or is aware of Dogma, but he has already used it a lot, whether he wants to or not. Dogma’s original intention was to find an alternative way apart from the Hollywood formula. I think this film comes from the tradition of Dogma and realism, especially the shots about the girl doing some apparently boring things, such as repetitive acts of daily life, which would be banned from mainstream cinema because they consider them boring, just like she repeatedly looks at her coloured pencils in a very narrow room. I think it’s great.

I agree with Herman about “Variable”. It has a good story, it was made in the form of a drama film, but it would be more appropriate if it moves closer to avant-garde cinema, to have more abstract images, or to employ the method of conceptual video art. Actually it is a sad thing to note that all the films were made in the drama mode, nothing comes from the tradition of video art. Actually such subject matters may be best represented by means of conceptual video art. Anyway it is a variation on the story film, which is worth some merit.

For “Salmon”, I focus on its overall production design rather than just on directing or acting. It was shot in an empty house fitted with tables and chairs and plastic partitions, and because it was in a village, the croaking of the frogs made the environment very eerie. Its intention is good and the story is good too, it created a half real setting, as its production design gives a somewhat surreal feeling. The deaf, blind and mute are all metaphorical, but I don’t like it when the director exposed the truth behind the story. It is too direct, it shows that they are just picking on each other instead of helping out, but I think it is better left unsaid, should be more subtle.

If I have to choose my favourites, they are “Merry X’mas”, “Variable”, “Wong Tsz Ching in Search for Wong Tsz Ching” and “Salmon”.

EC:It is very difficult to choose among the ten, so I just remove what I don’t like, and what remain are: ““Merry X’mas””, “Variable”, “Wong Tsz Ching in Search for Wong Tsz Ching” and “Salmon”. Really the same as yours!

What you said I also noted and have thought about it, but at this moment I am not very sure, because as a documentary, I don’t like “Merry X’mas”, whether it is in Dogma method or not. Its use of handheld camera achieves what is needed in independent cinema, but the way it talks about poverty, if I am to find creativity, I can’t find much in it. I agree with anothermountainman that this is the most well finished work. I can’t find any flaws in it, but neither can I find any creativity.

“Variable” is more experimental, but it fails to hit the main point. He has made much observation about the world, and the concept is OK, just when put it into practice it turned sour. This is the one to be removed among the four I have chosen.

The following two films are hard to choose. After I saw “Wong Tsz Ching in Search for Wong Tsz Ching” for the first time it was my favourite. Its theme of soul-searching is very interesting, and actually the fundamentals of philosophy is to search for your own identity. It is interestingly playful. But I don’t like it when it digresses and gets lost. It seems to be going personal, and I agree that it doesn’t dig deep enough, just as you want more he goes away. But I do think it got something like a male version of “The Double Life of Veronica”. I give it relatively good credits for its creativity and concept, and there’s no problem about its realization, just that the supporting shots aren’t so well made. But speaking of concept, I like this one most.

Whereas “Salmon” is a different matter, it is a parody on human nature. The overall plot is good, I don’t mind its flaws because that give it the feel of indie films, and I won’t expect it to be refined and perfect. It reminds me of “Shallow Grave”, that surreal situation of people being trapped in one place, and this enhances the essence of the film. Although this is kind of raw, I like it.

PL:I didn’t think so much when I watched those works, I only looked at them from the perspective of storytelling. To me, “Merry X’mas” is obviously outstanding, if you say it is not creative, I’d say nowadays it is difficult even to tell a story that touches people, and I like this story. Actually I think some of the works are good in creativity, concept and idea, just that I’m more traditional and I tend to focus on the narrative. The problem with today’s young people is that, everybody is creative, but the most basic thing is storytelling, and they can’t do it properly. I focus on more basic narrative techniques.

I think “Goodbye, Kim Hyun-hee”, “Game Boy” and “The Young Dream” are also good, I like them better personally. Those works such as “Salmon”, I agree that they are good. For me “Merry X’mas” is the best, while I’m totally open about other works. To some extent it is difficult to make the decision. Apart from the best one, all of them are possible.

A: During the first viewing I like the alienation in “Salmon”, as surreal as a stage performance. Actually the art direction is good and it has a good sense of space. Although the subject matter of disabled people is in itself difficult, I just can’t accept the details in the acting of the “blind” guy. Starting from the first shot, how come he has to be supporting himself when he walks? This flaw cannot be compensated by other things I like about it.

HY: It shows that the director actually doesn’t know much about the underprivileged.

EC: Acting is the weakest part in the film. All three of them are problematic. We have to take into account acting as well.

A: Otherwise it is quite good on the whole.

HY: I have chosen top three, in which “Merry X’mas” and “The Young Dream”, I don’t mind which of them comes first, but I hope the three award-winning films will feature these two.

PL: I don’t quite understand “The Young Dream”, but I like it.

HY: Actually I got something from it, just don’t want to say what it is brashly. It really feels like Terayama Shuji’s film (ed: The Chinese title of “The Young Dream” makes reference to Terayama’s Pastoral Hide and Seek).

A: The girl acts really well.

HY: Very good indeed.

EC: Feels like a Japanese film.

AM: If only on cinematography I agree that this is good.

HY: It really is poetic. The third one I chose is “Goodbye, Kim Hyun-hee”. My choices are “Merry X’mas” , “The Young Dream” and “Goodbye, Kim Hyun-hee”.

A: I think “Goodbye, Kim Hyun-hee” is acceptable, it is not just drama, but there is special effort to piece up the two incidents, and makes a point. Though the ending is too sentimental.

HY: Its techniques save the day. Very old fashioned.

A: Defeats its playfulness at the beginning.

EC: This is why I cannot choose it. The ending and the beginning totally don’t match.

HY: Although both of them are about the self, “Merry X’mas” should be given recognition, as we should give merit to films on social issue. If the jurors have to bring out a message, it should be this one.

AM: Yes, “Merry X’mas” is the only film that has touched me, I was on the verge of tears at the ending of the film.

EC: Let’s put it like this: many of the films have endings that are actually anti-climaxes, a good ending should be like the graceful landing of a gymnast, but most of these films are just like landing on the wrong foot.

HY:”Wong Tsz Ching in Search for Wong Tsz Ching” is unable to sustain, though the beginning is interesting.

A: There isn’t enough time to bring it to perfection, now it’s just a mix of everything. It’s fun, and if they could spend more time on it I believe it will be even better.

EC: “Merry X’mas” isn’t as aggressive, and the director can get hold of the situation.

HY: It makes the most of the filming technique using a handy camera, whereas “The Young Dream” doesn’t have this. “Merry X’mas” has demonstrated that we can make films even with our mobile phones.

EC: The music in “The Young Dream” is also very good.

A: Except “Salmon”, my views are in line with yours. My choices are “Merry X’mas” and “Variable”, which I don’t mind them getting the awards. “Variable” is in a similar situation as “Wong Tsz Ching in Search for Wong Tsz Ching”, we appreciate its departure from the mainstream drama films, but each has their own strengths and weaknesses. “Goodbye, Kim Hyun-hee” and “The Young Dream” I wouldn’t mind either, but I would like to highlight “Merry X’mas”.

AM: “Wong Tsz Ching in Search for Wong Tsz Ching” is a big pity, because it just fails to develop. For example the grandfather actually knows the father, but suddenly the film gets lost. There are many things to be revealed in a dinner or an interview, I want to see more, but the director didn’t put them in.

EC: Actually this is a typical problem among these works. They show us whenever they made anything and whatever they have something to say, even in a very immature stage.

Voting on:
“Merry X’mas”, “Variable”, “Wong Tsz Ching in Search for Wong Tsz Ching”, “Salmon”, “The Young Dream”, “Goodbye, Kim Hyun-hee”.

B: According to the number of votes, the Gold Award goes to “Merry X’mas”, the Silver goes to “The Young Dream”.

AM: Do we all agree on the result? Or should there be two Silver Awards?

EC: Still I prefer “Variable” and “Wong Tsz Ching in Search for Wong Tsz Ching”, whereas the two films we have voted for the Gold and Silver are superior to those because there isn’t major faults in them, while “Variable” and Wong Tsz Ching have noticeable flaws, but if we compare them to “The Young Dream”, they are less complete… I am thinking, what is the purpose of this competition that we have been doing for the last thirteen years? The Gold and Silver they deserve it, but for the rest of the works which we see potential in them, can we give them some more recognition? We see they have achieved something, but now they got nothing. I think we should give one more.

PL: If according to the votes, the next one should be “Goodbye, Kim Hyun-hee”.

HY: “Goodbye, Kim Hyun-hee” is too highly crafted. This is called “Independent Film & Video” competition, but this is not a bit independent. This work could be a stepping-stone for him to get in the commercial mainstream industry.

AM: I won’t choose these films, because they are too formulaic, albeit more complete.

PL: What is our definition of independence here?

HY: It depends on the scale, and is a kind of spirit that is beyond words.

B: It means those films which were free from commercial consideration, and also the subject matter and area of concern all demonstrate the spirit of independence.

PL: If based on this spirit, then I think “Wong Tsz Ching in Search for Wong Tsz Ching” is closer than “Variable”.

AM: Among these ten I can’t see any of them dare to do something extraordinary.

PL: Just according to the spirit of independence I think “Wong Tsz Ching in Search for Wong Tsz Ching” is better, but if you say “Variable” is better I am Ok with it.
[“Wong Tsz Ching in Search for Wong Tsz Ching” is given Silver Award]

B: There’s also Special Mention.

HY: If this “Special Mention” actually means the fourth best one in the list, I give up. … If there’s a “Special Mention” in Oscar, we’ll all expect it to be something very special.

PL: Even in Cannes, the Special Mention is an extraordinary prize.

B: But we are actually giving it credit because of its uniqueness.

PL: “Goodbye, Kim Hyun-hee” is too commercial… then it seems to be “Variable”.

EC: If we use independence as the criteria, then “Salmon” is also possible.

HY: But it is too flawed.

EC: Yes.

[Special Mention: “Variable”]

B: The Gold Award goes to “Merry X’mas”, Silver Awards go to “Wong Tsz Ching in Search for Wong Tsz Ching” and “The Young Dream”. Special Mention goes to “Variable”.

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The 13th ifva Asian New Force Category

Award Panel Jury Meeting

Present Jurors:
Yau Ching (YC), Hung Hung (HH), Yano Kazuyuki (YK)

ifva representatives:
Edith Chiu (EC), Mickey CHOI (MC)

Japanese Translator: Maggie Lee

[Jurors nominated 3 shorts from 11finalists first then discussed the award list. They choice are as follow:
Yau Ching: “JIA”, “Half Teaspoon”, “Carrier”
Hung Hung: “BARE”, “Ru Lin Alley”, “JIA”
Yano Kazuyuki: “BARE”, “Ru Lin Alley”, “Half Teaspoon”

“Carrier”

YC: I’m pretty surprised halfway in the film [“Carrier”], because we’ve seen a lot of films about China with around the same subject matter, about childhood and poverty, a very popular combination. But the way this [director] does it is pretty surprising in a way that the emotion is pretty reserved and suppressed, it is not too sentimental, it could have been much worse. I think the cinematographer is pretty good, there are a lot of location shooting, and the actors I think are excellent, the kid was very natural, and the script itself is pretty well-rounded, I mean the story-telling technique. For me it is a well-rounded production, from script to acting, to lighting, to cinematography. It is not that it is particularly strong in any area, but is all-rounded. In that way it is stronger than most other works. “JAI” for example I like very much, but it has some major problems in the storytelling. It could be very confusing sometimes, although the thought behind it is pretty original.

Personally I like “Carrier” in that way, because every one of those characters are pretty rounded. It actually has development, which is rare for short films. You actually see a character develop, and I want to see more and more about this character. While “Half Teaspoon” talks about …, maybe two thirds of it, the story basically stopped without going anywhere.

YC: Hung Hung, I want to hear your thoughts about “Carrier”, why don’t you like “Carrier”?

HH: I think for me it’s [of] too conventional storytelling. I think many previous films are doing better than it, so I think it is a little cliché for me.

YK: …. I think the storytelling is good, but … conventional. A well-made film, so emotional… I like, but not so experimental, not so creative.

YC: When I watched it I thought it was so realistic, I felt like I was there. There are so much real life details, you can go into the film. Unlike some other films which were just made out of somebody’s living room.

“BARE”

YK: Very good combination of old footage and sounds. Combination is very nice.

YC: I actually like “BARE” too, right after the first screening I think I liked “BARE” most. I picked all three from the second screening. I really like the sound recording, because it is a very intense subject, it was very hard for a first time filmmaker to do such a topic. What I don’t like about “BARE” is, I think the relationship between image and sound is a bit too arbitrary. She has the footage, she has the sound, the sound was done very well, the structure and the editing, the image was also edited well, but the relationship between the two could have become more complicated, I think.

HH: I think there are some points she pointed out or focused on at some part of the film is quite successful, especially the ending.

YC: I think “BARE” has a lot of credits.

“Ru Lin Alley”

HH: I like “Ru Lin Alley” pretty much, but I think the last act is a disaster, the red balloon, the feathers… And the old guy, I don’t know who he is. I think it is a failure, but the first three parts are quite moving and very well directed and shot. Many details are very touching. I’m hesitating between “Ru Lin Alley” and “Half Teaspoon” in my list. They are both well accomplished, but there are bad things with “Ru Lin Alley”, but the touching part is also… for me is better than “Half Teaspoon”.

YK: Structure, um… that … focus on the grandmother, and inside the room, especially I’m impressed by the sound from the outdoors, very well-edited sound and image.

YC: My problem with “Ru Lin Alley” is that it was too much [like] Jia Zhang Ke, to the extent that I actually sat there and thought it was so pretentious. But there are a lot of emotional details that I think he did it…. Like the guy … some empty shot that are not directly narrative oriented, like the guy in the balcony looking at everybody, all those … there are some very nice emotional details, but I think the storytelling is really a disaster.

“Half Teaspoon”

YC: The problems with “Half Teaspoon” is that, in terms of techniques, it was pretty accomplished, the cinematography and lighting were excellent. But it looks so much like Wong Kar-wai added with Tsai Ming-liang, for me that is my major problem. It wasn’t very original in that way, but technically very accomplished. I think the script is pretty interesting in a way that it really gives a completely ironic twist to the representation of marriage and love. Because for the representation of marriage we have seen a lot of short films, but for this one it is pretty reserved and the irony works well with the cinematography and the art design. But again the characterization and relationship between the characters could be developed better.

YK: … very strange. It is quite different from the other films. I like it.

YC: I like it too.

HH: Only problem for me is there is too much of Tsai Ming-liang [in it]. Including the editing style, the camera framing, and the emotion is too much [similar to] Tsai’s, but I like it as well, it is very well made.

“JAI”

HH: Actually “JAI” is my number one. I like its simplicity in form, but with complex thoughts behind, between life and filmmaking. It looks very simple, but it makes me think a lot after it finished.

YC: I totally agree, I think among all the works I have seen today, I think “JAI” is the most experimental and is really difficult to make. For me it is like class analysis of society, which most short filmmakers would never want to do. And it looks very simple, and I think it has a lot of technical problems as well, but because it is a very thoughtful piece, that it could have been much longer and more in-depth, so now it may be a little too simple and too much on the surface. But still, given a very short time that he or she has used, just the contrast between real life and filmmaking using one character, and also the ending is I think extraordinary, the ending with factory worker walking out I think is very nicely done. It is like somebody who really knows where to end, which is also hard for short film making. And I have to say that I love the description, it is from somebody who really knows how to write film description. It’s not about telling the story.

[Ranking in order from the highest mark…
“JIA “
“Half Teaspoon”
“BARE”
“Ru Lin Alley”
“Carrier”]

YC: Let’s decide on the Special Mention, whether there will be one or two?
From this list, “Half Teaspoon” would get a special mention. Would we have a problem with that?

YK: Special Mention? Not the Grand Prize?

HH: So you suggest we have two Grand Prize?

YC: Hung Hung, “Half Teaspoon” is not on your list, do you have a problem if it is awarded the Grand Prize?

HH: I have no problem. I would agree to award him a grand prize.

YC: it would be fine.

HH: Two Grand Prizes. So all our number ones can get Grand Prize.

[Mickey asked them to comment of the rest of the finalists]

“I Need Some Sleep”

YC: Speaking of clichés, that’s why personally I don’t think “Carrier” is that much cliché, because of the films we have seen before, in comparison. I think there seems to be a major problem in Korean short films these days, in general, a lot of Korean films from certain art schools have very similar styles, and they all pretend to be comedies, pretend to be from a woman’s point of view. Almost all of them, these days.

YK: well-made, …..but nothing more to comment!

HH: I put it into more details, I think the male character could be more convincing in acting, and for a comedy like this I think it is a little too long. It could be shorter.

“Nine Stories”

YC: Had same problems actually, to a large extend, the acting is overacting, almost all of them. It’s a nice idea to divide it into nine episodes, but each episode is so underdeveloped that it is really hard to tell why it has to be structured like that, half way through. Because the structure seems to be just imposed upon a very clichéd story, it doesn’t help the story.

HH: I think it’s between realistic and stylish film, but I think the form could be more pure, every story could be more powerful. But now the tempo of every story is almost the same, so it becomes boring very soon.

YK: [It is] Interesting to make “Nine Stories”. But the relationships in it is … I can’t understand it well, the relationship.

“Metamorphosis”

HH: I think the dialogue is pretty bad, it prevents actors to do convincing acting. I like its symbol, it maybe is a film about SARS or some human disease, but… ok, the cinematography and the scenography is pretty good.

YC: … looks like a Wim Wenders film. The prison, I know where. The road leading from Banciao to Ximen Ting.. The location selection is really good. … I am impressed by his choice of location, and I think some of those locations were quite spectacular and gave us a new light on how we see Taipei. It actually really shows a desolate kind of feeling, using urban Taipei which is really hard. I agree with most of what Hung Hung said, and I think also for a young director, I think he is way too ambitious in tackling such a complicated topic like incest and “Metamorphosis” which are also an extremely complicated issues which have been tackled in art history for a long time.

“The Drunken Concubine”

HH: I think the dialogue and the acting is too artificial, too dramatic. I think the dramatic part of this film is good sometimes, when they are singing Peking opera…. And the actress is there... they are good. But I feel that some dialogue is explaining too much for the audience. It is not real, not convincing in that situation for the characters. They explain too much for the audience. It makes the film not so realistic.

YK: Un… It’s… nothing new .

YC: I actually think that the director wants to do a lot, too many things. Again it is too ambitious for the director. In terms of form for example, trying to use one shot for a thirteen-minute film, you are asking a lot from your actors and actresses and your script. You are asking a lot. And because of that, the actresses really couldn’t deliver, and it put so much pressure on a script which wasn’t developed enough because of that form. So the form created a lot of problems that the director couldn’t solve. If not it could have been a much better film. In terms of content, it was trying also to do way too much, from abuse of domestic helper, which is a very complicated, popular and common issue in Taiwan and Hong Kong as well, which rarely exists in movies, and rarely addressed. So it is a very complicated topic, but it doesn’t really deliver. And then the generation gap as well. The death of the son, the prejudice towards the son instead of the daughter... All of these are very common and real problems in Chinese society, are just not addressed, just skimmed over, and it is very unfair to the issues.

HH: So it became a melodrama. So sorry.

YC: It’s quite pitiful.

“Old Times”

HH: Quite cute comedy, but I think it repeats too much the memories.

YC: I like the art direction, quite very much. I think the director probably has a lot of talent in developing better stories. But the story is a little too thin, just cutting back between the present and the past, which becomes very formulaic after a while. Very predictable.

YK: Very funny, and but the story is so typical and popular… but is a funny film.

HH: I cannot find any reason why the husband starts to remember all the memories. Why at this point? It could happen every day, but why now?

YC: And if this husband does that regularly, he can’t live a life!

“Puppets”

YC: Only this one was shot in film.

YK: Typical youth drama. I think … nothing experimental.

HH: I just couldn’t figure out one thing. Why the seashore and sunrise could rescue their youth? Or could be their so happy memory.

“Carrier”

YC: It was shot in Guizhou, and Guizhou is one of the poorest area in China. And tackling the two issues of children and poverty wasn’t easy, and for this particular film it wasn’t too sentimental.

HH: Well-made and well storytelling.

YK: Not too emotional, excellent actors. The storytelling is powerful, a very nice film.

“Ru Lin Alley”

HH: It’s very concentrated and well directed except the last part. I feel sorry for the last part because it is too artificial, showing those symbols.

YC: I actually think it is a very nice idea, the ending, But because it wasn’t executed well enough that it became a disaster. The fact that the old woman, the grandmother, remains the same, but then the son grows old, that is a really nice idea, initially. If the director could think a little harder how this particular ending relates to the entire film, e.g. cutting of the hair, his going back, and all the medicine he brings, and his singing with the radio—all these elements could go together a little bit more organically, it would have been a much stronger ending. But now the ending is just a shock, and that’s it. It is not even successful because it is very confusing. We are not even sure if it is the same character.

YK: A very unique and …. Grandmother was excellent, the sound from the outside … is very nice. And I really agree with your [Hung Hung’s] comment.

MC: So it remains unchanged, “JAI” and “Half Teaspoon” goes to the Grand Prize, and then “BARE” for the Special Mention. Which one gets the Canon HD Camera...

YC: If we really have to choose, it is a very difficult choice. For countries like Thailand and Indonesia, I would suggest to give the camera to the woman. Because we don’t have many women filmmakers in these two countries. Taiwan is different. So, it goes to JIA’s Director.

HH & YK: Yes. Agree.

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The 13th ifva Animation Category Award Panel Jury Meeting

Present Jurors:
Rice 5 (R5)﹑Neco LO Che-ying (NL)﹑WONG Ying (WY)﹑Alan WAN (AW)﹑Vincent YEUNG (VY)

ifva Representatives:
Bobo LEE (B), Mickey CHOI (MC)

“Flipflap”
R5: The merit of this work is the detailed observation. It goes deeply into the challenges faced by lefthanders. Overall visuals and art direction are very good. As the topic is very personal, I as an audience can get to know the difference of being left-handed or otherwise, but I don’t feel much actually. It is difficult to be immersed in this work.

NL: Its movements are simple and flat. This subject matter doesn’t need very dramatic actions though, so it is well matched, but at the same time lacking breakthrough.

WY: Animation is the weakest point, lacking dynamics and empathic power. We only see it making the statement.

AW:I like “Flipflap”, its creativity lies in its framing. It can deliver a sense of beauty, simple but impressing. I like this work, very feminine and subtle.

VY: I hope to see more, to have delights. Now it’s like Powerpoint, more of a tool. It delivered the knowledge, but full of limitation, can’t deliver the feelings. In comparison, other works would be better.

“Childhood and Life”
R5:The overall art direction is good, every shot has something which catches our attention, such as the drawing overlapping the images, but the movements are not smooth, e.g. the whole person shifts horizontally when he moves, and the hand movements are too simple. We can see the content but there’s no surprise, too flat.

NL: The beginning is more delicate, but the ending is too abrupt, the boy grows up all of a sudden. And the text is too much, although there are dialogues and monologues already. Animation doesn’t need to rely on text, they should be omitted if not necessary. On the whole it is quite good.

R5: He used a lot of hand drawings, such as that on the human face. If he could develop more on this aspect by using more frame-by-frame pencil drawings for the movement it will be much better.

NL: It is now more like a mix of everything.

WY: Very stylistic, nice style, with paper cut-outs and animation. The ending is strange, he seems to be accusing the oppression by his mother ever since she gives him his name, but then it goes very fast, the most funny thing is he said “Thank you mother” in the end. It looks autobiographical at first, but then turns out like this. Full of contradictions.

AW:My views are similar to yours. At first I was attracted by its graphics, but then I jeered in the end. Using so many frames and shots, what exactly does he want to achieve? Is it accusation or anything else? But if it is accusation, it doesn’t get the point. So I didn’t give it a good priority.

VY:Good art direction, but it doesn’t make the most of what it has and has wasted good material. They should put more effort on presentation, framing and editing.

WY: Nice foundation on design, but there should be much more in animation, such as movement and framing. This is a kind of film-making, and there’s narrative, which needs much more careful consideration.

NL: He couldn’t handle all of them, got one but failed in another.

VY: On the contrary I think those quality behind [the visuals] are more important, for example if you don’t spend so much time on perfect drawing, but instead create better [movement, framing…], then the work will be closer to its intention.

“The Red Buds”
VY: The drawings are so-so, kind of raw, movement is also not fluent enough. The story is not impressive. Actually I think this one is not good.

R5:Personally I think this one is the most boring because it is very long, very quiet and repetitive. The first part makes me tired, the movement are too flat, giving no delight.

AW: Very boring, neither the characters nor its animation is attractive. Sorry, I put it at the last of my list.

WY: On the contrary, I think the timing of this one is the most accurate. There are tempo and rhythm in it, though the story is boring. There are many fragmented scenes, they should be more patient in storytelling. Too choppy and repetitive is what I don’t like, but among the finalists, this one has the most complete storyline, although boring and fragmented.

NL: I agree. Its repetition is actually its way of emphasizing something in a simple way, every time that thing lures the protagonist to exchange something to give to the girl. Its repetitive scenes which tell a common story are its weakness, but it can get to the point. There’s no dialogue and the music is very simple, it takes patience to watch, and once you have entered its world, you’ll find its expression delicate and clear, which highlights the feeling. This work needs to be watched attentively.

“Wisdom Tree”

NL: It is obviously in the style of Japanese anime, and the now popular sci-fi animation. The art direction is OK, but human movements are weak, no rhythm at all. And the presentation is not good, although the story is interesting. It ends in a sloppy way. There’s not enough elaboration on how the man becomes a tree, it only shows him having seen a ‘tree-man’ in his childhood, but then all of a sudden he becomes a tree, there’s not enough to impress the audience.

WY: The story is fairly commonplace, those themes of power, government, protests… all too common, no breakthrough. The movement is awkward, but I can see it is a result of hard work.

R5: We are impressed by their ambition. I agree the movement is not good, on the whole it has the look of a big animation movie, but the story is not sharp enough for us to remember. It’s like putting together some prettily designed key frames, but you feel it lacks something. It makes you want to compare it with Japanese anime, but the gap is huge.

VY: It got the mood, but the art direction isn’t strong enough. I only feel that he has transformed the Japanese style, but in a bad direction. Expression of the story is not good. There’re defects on every side. If he wants to become a director, he should work harder on storytelling and editing.

AW: I feel the same way as you guys, I felt good at the beginning as it looks like a professional animated film, but then I found it tried to do everything, but none of them is above standard, it cannot highlight its own strength.

“Link”

AW: I like “Link”, the animation is not outstanding, but the atmosphere is well made. The Causeway Bay scene gives me a very homely feeling, those motion scenes get me very involved. The characterization is good, dialogues are kept to a minimum but the atmosphere is very engaging, although in the end it’s just an ordinary story. But I’m totally engaged in it, every shot can make me get into the scene. It’s outstanding and delighting. The music is nice too. I like it very much.

WY: In terms of techniques, “Wisdom Tree” is better, but “Link” is better in terms of presentation and rhythm, the beginning is very simple, just the giant overhead screen already delivers the background of the story, then the chasing scenes follow. It’s a very economic way to tell a story.

VY: The characters are not exaggerating or very pretty, but it can lead the rhythm of the whole story, I like it.

R5: I agree. The rhythm gets into it, as I watched it I couldn’t help imagining myself looking down at the streets of Causeway Bay from the lift in Times Square. I can project my daily life experience into it.

NL: “Link” has made a clever choice. It’s a film on a tiny scale that successfully delivers the story about the appearance of a monster, telling the story by storyboarding and rhythm, and it gets it just right.

R5: It’s eye candy. From their artist statement, the director should have a warning message, but we just see the bacteria monster appears in the end, it cannot deliver the message. Maybe they have spent their effort in the rhythm and storyboarding, the storytelling is then weakened.

“Hoopala”

NL: Characterization and the whole thing are in the form of Hollywood 3D animation, very cartoon-like, humorous, well handled. But the content is nothing new, just a punch, but it’s effectively delivered. Just it lacks independence.

WY: The punch is for kids. The design and rendering is well thought of, the effect of coloured pencils are not just mechanical, but is the result of some effort. The rhythm is very traditional, like what it was 80 years ago, these things have existed ever since the days of Walt Disney.

VY: The shading is special, otherwise it will score worse. As she has such techniques in movement, she should go one step further and think more about it.

AW: There’s nothing enlightening in this work, it doesn’t reach our goal. In terms of techniques it may be better than other contestants, but in terms of professional work it will be among the worst of professional animation. It gives no light on how to develop techniques and on creation.

“Happiness”

NL: The subject matter is interesting and is well delivered. Very simple and short, but I can understand and share a bit of the feeling. What I don’t like is the sentimental music。

R5: What is good is that it has some original movements such as twisting a fallen tooth back in, in comparison with “Flipflap” and “Childhood and Life”. Her art is not as good as the other two, but its strength lies in the concept of the story. Art direction is not as good.

WY: The most interesting thing is the carton paper background. Some of the movements are also better than the last two films, it has some hand drawn artwork and some flat graphics, which makes it more lively. But I don’t like the way he uses words. He said he is pushed, you have to be careful with the twists and turns of the story, this just makes the audience uneasy. It can’t have the effect of Chaplin’s laughter in sorrow.

VY: Among 2D works this one has more variation, with unique angles, not so flat and boring, but the story is not so successfully delivered. The texture in its art direction, such as the carton paper background, fits in with the raw feeling. It doesn’t have as strong an impact as the black and white work, but it gives a soft feeling, I can say it’s another type of art. The characterization of the old lady is ok, just this kind of 2D works need more effort on the movement design.

AW: My prerequisite is not to ask so much about their technical level, but rather require works to be able to immediately get the message across. Second requirement is whether the subject matter is treated right. This one is able to grasp the material, but is just too pretentious, the old lady is obviously in distress but she has to say that she is having fun.

“The Hole”

R5: This is the only one among the finalists that is kind of imaginative, and is sharp in its story, colour and characterization. Nice grasp of rhythm, and the punch in the end gives me a nice surprise.

AW: Among all the films I like this one most. At first I don’t quite understand, but the echo in the end is full of British humour, which is a nice thing to have in Hong Kong. The other films are still within the confines of typical Hong Kong people’s way of thinking. This one is very special, full of wild imagination, you probably won’t get it during the first viewing. The ending is very humorous, that thing always tries to go out, but it turns out to be an eye of a rotten doll, lying by the rubbish bin. It’s enjoyable to watch and humorous. The technique can deliver the message, and the graphics is interesting. It can inspire other artists, after seeing it you can think of more possible ways of expression, to express your thoughts in animation rather than just do what most people are already doing. Not everybody can do this. Her creativity is very strong. Maybe because she sees a lot and has lived in England for a few years which has affected her a lot.

WY: I agree about vision. When you have gone outside and have seen more you will become different. I think the ending is OK, but it can stop just outside the rubbish bin, no need to go out of the world into the universe and then looking back at planet earth. I like the way it’s lively and imaginative, a very British style. Comparatively this one is more interesting and humorous.

NL: In terms of independent animation, it is clever and free, such compact works are rare nowadays. The good thing is she has the confidence, and the punch line works, while the progression of the story is well thought of. I am satisfied as an audience, and it is not just a joke, it has its own world, this is where it’s clever. On the whole it is a success.

“Mask”

R5: Simple composition, as compared to those who filled up the whole frame. It lets me breathe, visually. The story is simple, but the art direction is too simple. Not so delightful. I appreciate the fact that he has really studied human movements.

WY: The concept was good at the start, the idea of drawing the father’s face. But it cannot sustain till the end. This is a heavy issue but now it is too simplified. He described the matter, but didn’t solve it.

R5:The ending could be re-considered. In the end the father draws his own face. I really didn’t expect it to end so simply, I have been wondering how the father will take off his “Mask”.

VY: I think it is acceptable in different aspect, has done its duty. It is just that we have seen too much similar things, it’s too within expectation. An average work in all aspects.

WY: The mindset of solving the problem is pretty narrow. He has got the idea, but it doesn’t sustain through the whole story. He gives you a traditional angle to the solution, and the audience is left with no room for imagination.

NL: Very one-dimensional, a very symbolic “Mask”, and you immediately know there’s a real face behind it. He really only pointed this out. What is outstanding is that it is the only work composed of only simple lines, and can fit into the subject matter. Very special.

AW: I am resistant of this kind of subject matter. I appreciate his grasp of the medium of animation and the mood, overall the flow is smooth and comfortable. But I expect something creative, this story is not, and is too conventional.

“Hope of Home”

R5: After the viewing I was still unable to grasp what the theme was, is it a kid’s fantasy about home? There’s no clue. Why is he in a walking building which looks as if it’s alive? What gave birth to this idea? It seems to have ample room for imagination, but there’s no guidance as to what she is talking about, which makes you get lost.

VY: Its 3D element aren’t good enough, the motions are awkward, clothings are roughly made. Many animation artists are in love with Hong Kong’s old architecture, but its storytelling is not clear, it could have been better. I think it kind of copies Howl’s Moving Castle, this idea plus Hong Kong’s architecture should have good potential, but just the artist doesn’t know how to make the most of it.

AW:Character design is bad, the protagonist is not attractive at all. It’s made with dedication, but just I cannot understand what she is trying to say. It is its biggest problem. After seeing twice I still can’t get it. An average work.

WY: I tried to approach it from the film title, the Chinese and English ones don’t match. Is she talking about a person fantasizing about home, or “hoping”, longing for a home? Is she talking about the general situation in Hong Kong where people live in crammed space, so that they long for a bigger home? I don’t know what she is talking about really. The last shot is a light that looks like a road sign. Is it like that in “The Hole” which symbolizes hope for a home? It’s a bit confusing.

NL: The artist statement is very simple also, he got impressed by Hong Kong’s old architecture and then he plays around with these elements. There’s no story, just like a dream in which people keep chasing each other. He hopes the audience can think about something, or feel excited, I think this is his intention, it’s that simple, but not so successful. I don’t like the mechanical sound that lasts throughout the film without a pause. Even in the punch at the end, the protagonist becomes something like a pipe. This is told subtly, but at the same time lacks impact, becomes very fragmented.

[The juror each selects his choice of films]

AW: First is “The Hole”, 2nd choice is “Link”, 3rd choice is “Flipflap”, order means my priority.

WY: My first choices are “The Hole” and “The Red Buds”, either of them takes the first or second place is OK. 3rd is “Link”.

NL: First place, “The Red Buds”, “The Hole” is 2nd, “Link” is the 3rd.

VY: I don’t have a choice for the first prize, 2nd is “Link” and “The Hole”, 3rd is ….none.

R5:”The Hole” and “Link”, no priority.

NL:If there’s no objection, simply according to our lists, “The Hole” comes first, because we all agree on its British humour and that it gives other contestants inspiration, and that it is different from other works so it deserves attention. The Silver award will go to “Link”. This is an interesting work, not very special, but is all-rounded…

B: Any objection? If no, then “The Hole” is the winner of the Gold Award, while “Link” gets the Silver. How about Special Mention?

NL: I think there can be more than one. Such as “The Red Buds” and “Flipflap”, but I don’t feel like giving it to “Flipflap”.

R5: We choose “Wisdom Tree”.

NL: Yes we can encourage it. We can see its ambition and vision. Just that they’re not yet there, but some parts have achieved its aims, at least the opening looks like a major film.

AW:”Wisdom Tree” is worth mentioning. I think “Flipflap” is special, but considering the effort and resources that was put into “Wisdom Tree”, even if there’s only one Special Mention I would choose “Wisdom Tree”.

WY: In terms of style, “The Hole” and “The Red Buds” are similar, while “Link” and “Wisdom Tree” are also alike, I think is OK.

B: Under no opposition, we have two Special Mention awardees: “The Red Buds” and “Wisdom Tree”, while the Gold Award goes to “The Hole” while the Silver goes to “Link”.

 

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The 13th ifva Single-Screen-Based Interactive Media Category

Award Panel Jury Meeting

Present Jurors:
Ellen PAU (EP), Frederic LICHTENSTEIN(FL), Draughtzman (D), Bryan CHUNG (BC), Endy FUNG (EF)

ifva representatives:
Bobo LEE (B), Mickey CHOI (MC)

B: There’s some regulation here. For every year, people say that it’s quite flexible for the jury to discuss on the prize for we don’t have a strict regulation, just a framework. You can also be creative on your judgment. Judges should ask the entrance on content, creativity, form, structure, technical or media application, or overall fitness for the purpose etc. You can be everything, but of course all should go back to the objectives if we can’t unify our opinons. So we can start our discussion for the final six selected works. …

EP: I think we have kicked 9 works out due to their immaturity, mostly on content, that includes technology too.

B: Why don’t we go through the opinions about the works.

“Alliance”

FL: I do like “Alliance” very much … . I think it is a real pity that the capture device is not working too well, clearly two spots, two angles … making it difficult to really …

EP: I think the space is just too little.)

FL: Yes, I think is the lighting, you should look carefully, … there are two spots where the light is too strong, and the camera is not…. The light … very well picture…. But that’s a technical problem. I think the concept of … I like the first one very much. Though I cannot read Chinese I can at least understand the concept very well, it must be fun to place the characters, there’s still a linear sentence yet you can place them with different associations. However, I find the interaction is not very clear where you can place your character and then press ‘enter’ and kind of missing this confirmation [ process]?

D: You are talking about the “Alliance”?

FL: Yes, because as you are moving, the characters appear, but you are not sure when it is going to be fixed, it seems the process is still not totally refined, it is more of a technical issue. On the concept I like it very much.

BC: Regarding concept I have one question about this work: how did the artist come up with those selection of Chinese characters, and under what type of context does that collection of characters be applicable to this piece of work. The second question is the alignment of the two surfaces – the projection which is vertical, and the horizontal movement of the human body on the ground, which is kind of indirect in a sense that it could be better if the projection of those characters is also on the ground of the horizontal surface. And the movement of the audience/visitors would form a very direct correlation between the movement and the appearance of those characters.

And also I agree with Frederic that the confirm[ation] , it is quite difficult to call out from the software, we don’t have the kind of visual feedback to identify how long we should wait for the letter to confirm at that particular location. How long we should stand over there for a couple of seconds or how many seconds.

Another suggestion is the messiness of the whole presentation, whether the artist would consider, for a couple of minutes, some of those words can disappear, and just keep some of those most recent ones to make it more tidy for the whole presentation.

D: I found that to me I don’t find the confirmation of the action is a problem, as you can stay there for a little bit longer, and then you can have the letters coming up from your body. This is my impression. Second thing is that when we get away from there for a while, there are just lines, no more words there. You said they are still messy. Do you mean that the lines still give you a messy feeling?

BC: Without much related to the intent, which I’m not sure about the intention of the artist, those messy, zigzagging lines, whether they are intended to be there as something for the visitor to experience without those characters. It’s not exactly clear, I’m putting it into the design of the original work, I’d try to keep some of the most recent ones, previous ones or more ancient ones. Or you can change the shade or different transparency to keep the overall presentation more tidy or pleasant.

D: First of all I’m not saying I like that piece. But one thing I found, technically, it is much more difficult than “Pixsonic Playground”. “Pixsonic Playground” is very candy sweet. However, when you walk down there your shadow actually is one of the problems. That is why the artist used two projections, one on top one on the horizontal I think he wanted to get rid of the shadow and just wanted to capture the audience’s route or movement only. This is my opinion. If he can solve the problem of keeping on the horizontal and also getting rid of the shadow, this will be better.

EF: For “Alliance”, technologically I’m not very clear about it, but I think about concept maybe he got a very good concept, but as a user, just a normal user, I just experience the work. Actually I can’t find the logic or what he wants or what I can get from it … cos the Chinese characters, whenever I jump or move, the characters seems to be theirs characters … I can’t follow the logic about when this character will be here or another group will be … he said is construct of this construction, but I can’t see the logic within it. Or just for a few minutes I play around it … I think it is not just a matter of confine making of this model, just the overall experience, I can’t get what he wants me to take away. I think this is my opinion about the work.

FL: In fact for me it’s not the first time that we encounter this kind of problem. Last year we had a piece you had a lady in a shower, and through the white steam out of the glass the naked body is revealed, it is a Peeping Tom kind of process revealing the image very interestingly. The concept was right, but the motion tracking was totally faulty, it was detrimental to the viewer’s experience.
So we had been devising if there was a possibility for IFVA to give technical support on the motion tracking. However it seems that many of the projects are developed within an academic framework, and that often means that the teachers encourage the students to develop their own tracking system… That is very valuable from and academic standpoint, but ultimately I don’t care whatever tracking system was selected, I just want it to work well! It seems that it is a repetitive pattern. I even suggest that next year there should be a budget allocated to help improving the pieces technically All pieces using motion-tracking device should be carefully evaluated, and sometimes another device proposed just for the exhibition. Because on the perspective of user experience, even if the concept is right, you as an audience get very little out of it.

EF: I don’t know if it is just a matter of motion-tracking, or also the logic behind, how he came up with the words.

EP: I just want to make a conclusion. Conceptually we appreciate the concept of the work, but there’s one quite important thing that the artist may not indicate well, is where the text comes from. That also affects the concept, but still I think we are very loose or generous, we still think that the concept is quite outstanding. About the technology, from the written description of the work, and with the interactive experience of the work, we can see that the interaction logic is really very blurred. We cannot really identify how the interaction makes sense to us as an audience, and there are a lot of problems with how we stand in front of the work, that means how the motion-tracking technology is being used, how it is being fully utilized. And then the third thing we discussed is about the aesthetic point of this work. Basically it is a black and white projected screen-based work, and aesthetically it is really minimal, and because it’s minimal, the lines are really dominant, but the indication of why the lines are there is not so prominent, and because it is black and white, it is not as sweet or attractive as other works. So this is the conclusion that I draw, And I totally agree with you.

FL: I think it’s better to go through the works and then give marks …

B: If we do not have further comments on “Alliance”, then we can go to Colour Trend.

“Color Trend”

BC: Maybe I try to compare this with, and I also mixed it up with the “Pixsonic Playground”. Why because both of them tend to obtain the content from figure or from online material. In terms of this particular aspect I think this one is a bit better than “Pixsonic Playground” in terms of using figure as the source of content and material because in “Pixsonic Playground”, the user is to type the name of the tag, I think it’s more artificial action or gesture in order to access the content, but this one it tries to pick up the colour of the clothings from the audience, which interpreting the colour coding and then uses it as a key or tag to locate material from figure. It is more, not exactly intuitive, but is more subtle than typing the names in the tag fields. And the problem I tried to look into this piece of work is, whether this work is suitable for gallery display or not, and also whether it is suitable for just one single display or whether it will be better, for example, if it is an online work, which the user can just stay at home, and [people from] different geographic locations in the world can interact through the colours in front of the webcam, and at a particular locations it will make more sense to try to look for the colour similarity across different geographic locations and cultural backgrounds. Because I read the material provided by the artist in the first round of assessment, she mentions some sort of more GPS related information, location related information in terms of usage of colours in different locations in the world or different cultural backgrounds. I can’t see this type of material reflected in just one single installation location in a gallery but if it turns into a more online material can be much more interesting in this sense.

EP: I’m a bit disappointed with this work. If it is a network, I always envision a work that plays with the internet should play around with all the data that is happening in real time and usually that will be massive [amount of] data, but now this work only deals with a tiny volume of data, comparing the tiny volume of data that is collected on the exhibition site with the massive volume of data online. In this comparison, I can’t find any meaning for comparing these two databases together. I’m disappointed with the lack of visual indication of the real time happenings. I agree that the work could be better displayed as an online work, but still this quietness of the visuals seems to be not very attractive, but at the same time, I don’t see the meaning of doing this, why it has to be so quiet, and I can’t dig up any meaning from the interface design. Conceptually, I also see no meaning in interpreting or relating colours to adopting a topography of colour use in different locations or online virtually and in real space. I don’t see the reason in doing this. So conceptually I also feel some sort of incompleteness in it.

EF: I quite like the concept itself. I see some potential in it, but actually I think that the execution is bad, it can’t bring out what it can do or the potential it has. I think checking the colours and then find the internet base and get some photos should have a better way to present and to lead the audience to a further experience. Maybe if you are going to check the colours of my clothes, maybe it is something about trend or fashion, so the relationship about two databases should be stronger in this kind of sense. Also I think now the experience of the interface as we see now is too static, it doesn’t have the meaning of why we got some not so related photos in the scene. So what I want to say about this concept is I think it is better than that “Pixsonic Playground” in the thinking of using the internet database, but the execution is too bad and just let the good potential go.

D: Personally I took sometime to understand the work, trying to figure out what is happening, because I didn’t know what was happening, when I stood in front of it and see nothing happens, and eventually I discovered the camera. And as a user, the computer took some time to scan the colours, and it took a lot of time to download some images. And then I found some wordings like… actually I was wearing black, but it’s something related to white, and I tried to relate that it’s working with the opposite colour. Then the things displayed are not related to white either. Therefore I was just figuring, and thinking what is the logic behind and how the artist grabbed or analysed images that related to the colour scanned, I couldn’t find the strong relationship, and even from the visual being displayed, It was quite difficult, maybe the message was quite hidden that I can’t really relate the statement above and the visual display. And then I tried again and this time was black! Then the visual images displayed was actually very close to the previous one, and I don’t see what is the difference between the first white part, and then suddenly the same scanned pattern, same black and grey thing, and then it was related to black the second time. I think over half of the images are overlapping. Maybe the source of the images is limited so they sought out the similar thing. Therefore to me I don’t quite understand… I think I understand her intention, but from the work I can’t really depict the intention. It is not being carried out.

FL: Personally I don’t have anything to add, you have said exactly what I think in Colour Trend and I had exactly the same experience.

B: Shall we move on the “Fingering”?

“Fingering”

D: Ok, the concept behind is interesting, however, I think technically, first of all, when you got there, the motion tracking was not working. Mickey tried to fix it and I think it was fixed, but I found that what I was expecting is, I don’t know whether you have this experience or not, the guys or the ladies just points like this and this [from left to right horizontally and via], but when I get down [shooting downwards], she cannot get this, and cannot get this [shooting upwards]. What I expect is more in-depth of a 3 dimensional enhancement of the motion, and I don’t have it. Second thing is that I waited for a long time and a long time, then BANG! And that’s it.

B: Then why didn’t you try to escape?

D: I think also we have a problem when three of us just stand [separately] here and there, it crashed and could not work! To me I understand his or her intention which is quite interesting when we look into the HK kung fu movies you find these things which are most dynamic and energetic, but I found nothing here. If the artist wants to express this to me, then I cannot catch it. What I can catch is when I read this [the work description and artist statement]. To me personally I don’t like this work.

EF: I don’t have much to say about this work, It is simple enough to understand, but is too simple for me. And this type of stuff doesn’t have new execution or new way to present. Personally I don’t think this is a good work.

FL: I have a similar experience of finding the motion-tracking erratic.. and then when it eventually worked it was very disappointing in the sense that it has no depth neither up and down, nor front and back. But I think it also echoes in the content itself, because it is very aggressive. But you don’t get much more than that, what I understand in the end, she gets kill . But what I would expect is something slightly more sophisticated into the message. And not only the interface was flat, but the content behind is very mono-dimensional, there’s nothing else, so it doesn’t give me desire to play with it. I think it is aesthetically disappointing since an aggressive behaviour has so many different origins and so many different outcomes as well. You might be aggressive because of your parents and social pressure or maybe you are like that, maybe you are medically sick, there are different backgrounds of it. Also the way you express that violence can also go into shooting people or going suicidal etc. There are so many things to say about violence than just having these point finger and, boom! It is very flat.

D: This reminds me there’s some kind of static portrait, when you walk there, it seems that the portrait is looking at you, even it doesn’t have that kind of scary feeling.

BC: To me I like the work, but I agree with the deficiency in the technical execution, and also one of the major shortcomings I try to pinpoint from the viewing experience is the element of kind of missing and disappearance. The reaction of the images is the only reaction, it reacts to the direction you move left or right but I expect if I stand in front of a real human being pointing a finger towards me, there should be some sort of emotional exchange between that guy and myself which could be revealed by people’s facial expression or gesture. But somehow I cannot exchange at such kind of emotional exchange because the image is always kind of similar, the only difference is the pointing direction. But I like some of those elements in the way she dresses up or trying to make-up, is kind of ambiguous, similar to be on stage, a stage that is so empty and void. This kind of ambiguity I tried to figure out from the visual images. The other thing is, because the original display was in public space, which she mentioned in her documentation, one question I pose is that the character dies in the end, I am not sure why she can come back to life in a couple of seconds, finger pointing again. I try to make sense of this kind of looping which is very often in these interactive works, and most artists can do this kind of looping to put it into more concrete context, why something can loop, not just because of technical efficiency.

FL: I just don’t agree on one point, the emotional feeling or feedback, because it is part of the violence when you have a serial killer like what happens in … it is also a fact that you cannot engage in anything. The guy shoots you , you can scream, you can shout, you can beg you do whatever, it’s … It doesn’t .. engage, that word makes it so scary, so the fact that she is not showing any emotion is didn’t go with me at all. I kind of like the setting. Just there’s nothing else. But I wouldn’t necessary need something else to have an emotional exchange, but more … something more.

EP: The first time that I saw this work was in San Diego. And I think when I saw it, it was the premiere. I guess the context of the work is to be put in a window in a shop front, the artist expected to see audience or pedestrians walking by on the street, so she expected linear movement of the audience, rather than they stay on and than look at the image. So I guess she hadn’t decided on the up and down movement because she didn’t expect people to move up and down. And then I first saw it from the other side of the street, so I could see the screen and the pedestrians, the whole environment of the street. I could see [something] very interesting, like a stage performance image to me, because I could see people walking and I could see there’s someone dressed up like a clown, someone like a killer in Kubrick film, and [she was] pointing at the pedestrian and never shoot them, and then she died. It seems to be a very funny and entertaining performance when I watched it from the other side of the street. But when I went in, I crossed the street and then stepped in front of the work, then I came across all the disappointment that you said, that it was not so interactive, what’s the point at just pointing at other guys. So I think the context of the work is really important, because my first experience watching the work from the other side of the street is quite entertaining, but when I went to be the audience myself, then it was not so good an experience. So I think this is a very delicate work, the visual image does not give me a lot of reading as the artist statement had said. The artist statement said a lot of things that I don’t see on the image or on the context, but because she brings up body and technology, I can relate to performance that I saw including the artist and the pedestrians, that maybe if she turns the tone a little, the whole thing will become more successful. But now it seems that what is successful is just by chance, not really intentional.

D: I think we agree on a very essential point is that who is going to experience the interaction. Is it the audience, or the artist? Actually we did something [that was a ] failure in a place that we had made a lot of lighting, and a lot of people passed by, the lights tried to change. However the pedestrians or audience could not feel it because when you pass by, he couldn’t feel the light change. However, the outsider will see the experience. I think this is another interesting point. If you know the context please let us know. Actually I think the work down there is a little bit out of context to us.

EP: But I think we have to judge the work from its context downstairs rather than from the context we know, because it so happened that I went to the show.
“Pixsonic Playground”

FL: At least one interface that is working smoothly! But that makes a big difference because I found the work pretty basic and enjoyable, but still it is too basic in tracking motion, tracking colours, nothing new. I don’t think there’s anything further than that. It is just the way the pixels move and it has paid attention to a number of details that do make the audience’s experience a lot more enjoyable, that deeper work, that would be better from the academic perspective, but I’m not …live up to their expectation in terms of their making. In fact last year we have already been talking about is there any better technical support or …it is often part of the academic syllabus to take away that out of the programme so it is difficult to go any further. However I do worry about what is the future of that category if we are always being pulled back by the same technical problems. In ten years are we going to talk about the same problems?

EP: I feel that if we could give more support to the artists technically then we will have better works. We would still be discussing the technical part, because we are looking for innovative technology. Right now we are in the stage of – I think a lot of things are very immature, the technical part is still exploring things that have been done in foreign places.

FL: Even in Hong Kong….

EP: But they are all students …

FL: Exploring motion-tracking is .. should not be even be exploring!

EP: They are students. To them it’s totally new. If we expect to see artists with 5 or 6 years experience in motion-tracking, I don’t think you’ll find the technology problems. But now all these entries came from students. I think the biggest technical support is from their school, which is the City University.

FL: They arrive pretty late in the making.

EP: I agree that we should give more technical support to all these entries to the competition, one sources is from the school, the other, not really support, but another thing I would like to see is to have more experienced people to join the competition rather than just students. This will be much more important than just asking the Arts Centre which does not know how to help in terms of technology while asking them to do the technical support for the work. If they can do a lot, maybe in some special marketing strategy in order to draw attention to people who are already in the industry and people who have been doing digital work for some time, then we will see more mature work.

FL: I think your concern in marketing will be much appreciated, I’m sure.

B: We do like to hear more comments on the development of the category…

EP: Originally, I tried to write the essay [for ifva], but I couldn’t finish it as I was too ill before… the main point of the essay that I was trying to write is about the Single Screen Based Interactive Media Category, the Category should be reformed, we should really think about reform the term “Single Screen Based” in future, because when we think of this term “Single Screen Based” like 5 years ago, that was where the CD Rom was more popular, the whole work could be really appreciated from just one single screen, but now it is not a single screen work, it is an installation with other material outside the screen. So it is a different consideration. There is motion-tracking, meaning you have to give them a really decent space for the camera to capture the motion, a well-lit room, at least, for example, in order to capture the colour right. The colour as captured now I don’t see it’s right because, as in Colour Trend, the colour that is captured is a bit dark. I give them my t shirt [a white t shirt], that is not white, but is grey.

FL: You should have washed it better…

EP: I know the white balance should be checked, but I expect the room is really a room without any disturbance and the light source should be enough so that we can really know whether the interface has any problem or whether the camera is pointing at the right direction or whatever. There are a lot of problems with this sort of installation based work, rather than a being single- screen based, it’s more than a single screen now. Of course I still stress on the interactive media. If we just ignore the single screen based, if we just look at all these work as interactive media, there’s some sort of interaction using the mouse and keyboard, that you know that you are controlling something. Now there is a lot of control is not so… now the control is, you pass by, and control part has a new definition.

B: As a consultant, we care much about the development of the awards, and we all know why we have this category. You can refer to the title of the award, which is Film and Video, starting from like 15 yrs ago, it used to be just film and video, and it has a lot of room to improve and also I would suggest to have another meeting to talk about it, e.g. there are a lot of aspect, like marketing.

FL: [on “Pixsonic Playground”] It is enjoyable …

EP: Actually when I first saw the written artist statement, I really doubt about the sound whether it is interesting, and whether the interface is clean and meaningful. The only thing that I don’t know how to interpret is why there is a 3 D frame doing this and that, I just don’t understand why there are some images like that on the interface. Because if it is an interface, I would appreciate a clean one, but if it is a screensaver doing this and that, but then I was interacting with it and I hear music, and then I suddenly see this …I just don’t know why. Is it supposed to… because it is not entertaining enough in the interface so they put on those things? I just don’t understand. Maybe it is more than just music and colour and interactive, there is some comment on other things, maybe visuals, but I just don’t understand.

BC: I try to approach it in a number of ways. The impression is they tried to integrate a lot of stuff into one single piece of work. They work on the motion detection and interactive music making. And also some sort of network media by using Flickr as the source of the image to locate, and I can’t see the reason why they tried to put in different types of material in one single piece of work, and the other thing is I try to approach it is whether this is a piece of art work or a game like toy, or something like a software tool, I tried to approach it from different directions. And for example I tried to approach it as an interactive art, it is quite difficult for me to understand why or how they would like to convert the images into music notes by something like a formula. And how come this particular formula is related to the agenda they put forward as something intergated or arbitrary. It is difficult to tell whether this is arbitrary, just mapping one piece of images by analyzing the pixel information, and immediately convert it into another number such as the MIDI notes or something like that. There is quite a lot of those mapping like creative or art works that may not make sense to the audience. The other thing is, if I try to approach it as a game or a toy, it is quite successful as it can deliver some music making or noise making tools or toy, and if I approach it as a software tool to create music, or a software to generate images, I’ll try to look into the purpose of making this software and why this is different from those in the market or in the art scene to create images or music. Because I do not have a judgment on how to develop a software as a piece of art, in this particular context, so I try to drop this notion or this way to consider it as a software, but the overall impression is that they have great technical competency in terms of integrating everything together, but as a piece of work or something they put in an art context, I do not think it is a very mature way to consider a piece of art work.

EP: Actually when I experienced the work I really see it as a game. I don’t think there is any higher content of the work. I simply see… because the artist statement states very clearly that they want to deal with the visual and the audio, and interchange more way between these two data. And how we can interact with this relationship. I think they have done it quite successfully as a game. But as a game I don’t understand why those images come in. So there is still something that we cannot solve.

EF: I think it is relatively a more enjoyable experience with this work. I agree if this is a game, I can make my standard a bit lower… not too emphasis on the communication why they are doing. But I think the reason why they put all the things together is they are too ambitious, they want to show that can do all these, I think this is the only reason they are doing this kind of integration, and also the question Ellen said about that flying graphics is also another way of seeing they are too ambitious to make the visuals like that. Actually if I don’t question about the intended communication it wants to have, I don’t have too much question about the work. It’s just another not new stuff, enjoyable interaction, just sort of a game.

D:. I agree that they are ambitious. They want to do a lot of interaction. However I found that just randomly throw out the data, a kind of random reaction to the human body, like I hear no music, I just see noise, although this is music. Noise can be music, but music can’t be noise, I found it right here. And I think this kind of interaction technology is quite common nowadays. However, what kind of reaction we throw out is kind of design which they can think about. Although they can use this kind of much more easy techniques to do so. I found that they just randomly throw out, not in-depthly think of the way they present, going to you and they are just going to have a series of pictures going from here to there, they just want to make it interesting. Although technically I like this work because this is the most successful, however if you ask me to give the Gold award, this could not be the one.

FL: I would go even further. The artist submitting works should really question himself about what is the minimum level of requirement because now you see in shopping malls pretty amazing things, very good working, well-thought, attractive pieces. They are working on the same model line, like an indication of similar way of thinking … [they can be changed into] fish, footballs, basketballs, but they work very well, kids love it and play with it. If you ever take the train to Guangzhou, and in the platform there is such thing. What is the difference, what is it that the artist wants to raise the level of self-expectation. I don’t think he lives up to that.

“Rubbing Tool”

EP: We go to “Rubbing Tool”. The Chinese title is totally different from the English.

D: The Chinese characters are “meaning of insects”.

B: They chopped up the word. If they are put together it should be “ant”. But if you separate them into 2 individual characters it is “insect”, and “meaning”.

EP: I couldn’t play with this, but I understand them when I read their documentation, but when I came here I couldn’t play it. I don’t know whether you [Mickey] have fixed it, But I still understand the work. If the documentation was done in a comic book then I think I’ll appreciate more than the real interaction. Actually I appreciate how they built the low-tech touch screen. All these handmade screen thing along the frame which I think they have done a lot of work. But conceptually I think the work is quite … it’s real comical, and I really think that the idea should be more like a comic book rather than an interactive work because it’s kind of stupid for the audience to see the ants have bubbles saying things to you. The whole thing is comical and funny. But it is kind of stupid to do this sort of interaction.

FL: In 2 or 3 years ago in Microwave Festival, there was a piece where you put down your hand and it would get whipped. [that work is called] Pain Station. It was pretty strong, many people got burned, some got bandaged. I think it is an amazing piece, and because why would the audience interact with that, and yet they did. But I didn’t, I used my right not to injure myself. I took great pleasure at seeing the people inflicting pain on themselves just for the sake of experimenting art! But I love the cynicism and very deep understanding of human nature, where the city can be that insane, very ambiguous use of what is the goal of an art piece, what is the motivation of the user trying that. And in here, Ants seems to have this kind of very cynical denotation of the aggressiveness of nature and of human beings killing ants just for the sake of …. Instead of that, we had … Hello Kitty … bubble speech etc! I think he or she missed the point. I even think that the artist has a duty, just taking an aesthetic point of view, if they want to do a bit more than just using colours and shapes. They should be ahead of the audience into that kind of thinking. They should be philosophers instead of worshipping Hello Kitty. So I’m not disappointed but more like a deviant into …motivation… It is ethically questionable.

BC: The only point I like is the directness of the interaction, the finger actually points towards the ant, and this is where the interaction happens. It does not have the problem with the other pieces of work which for example they need to have two interfaces or one on the other side of the projection. I expect them to have a sarcastic way to talk about solving the food problem. I can’t see exactly how they question, but they posed the question and what might be the solution in a comical way. But it is not funny enough or sarcastic enough to make me think more or enjoy besides rubbing my hand on the top of the table. I’m not sure about the roughness of the installation is purposely introduced or they have run out of money.

EP: But actually one very important thing that suddenly came up to me is the title “Rubbing Tool” is actually one of the computer tool that we found on many interfaces. That finger. So I think the artist has this image of doing this on the screen. I really appreciate the interface of the touch-screen. I only agree with what Bryan said, the interface is simple and is the only work that really thought about how to interact with the artwork without a keyboard or a mouse, and using the body is sometimes difficult in a place like the experimental gallery, but if you stick on the single screen, it can be touch-screen now, which is good in utilizing your category. It fits into this category perfectly. And it’s also a handmade touch-screen, which I really appreciate. To do very simple interface that is very intuitive that anybody without the knowledge of using the mouse or keyboard can use, is also the trend in interactive media, secondly it also really makes the line between the virtual screen and real screen start to blur. It is not like controlling through a mouse and a keyboard. So I appreciate this arrangement.

BC: One more thing, if they could have some audio response.

EF: I totally agree with Bryan, I think it’s the only point that I like. Throughout all the work, it’s the only one that when I interact [with it], I get a concrete response and I know what I’m doing. I think is not of a very high level, just a very common or base kind of interaction. …The concept itself. If I don’t know that they are students …to me when I read the description, I think they are too pretentious.

EP: But I really appreciate the broken paper around the edge of the screen.

D: Actually we cannot play this so that we don’t know … However, only this one arouses me [to think about] whether I am a serial killer. Yes I am a serial killer. According to the ants. And I kept on rubbing them, and to me this is the one work that questions myself to the surrounding, much more than just technically talking about colours, typography etc. But I don’t know if they set this title is because they really wanted to shock you or not, but to me this is my impression. This is kind of anti-war statement because if you are going to kill somebody and the food of the world you can have it. This kind of thinking comes to my mind. And I like the primitive and low-tech feeling, which means that they just want to show, very primitively, just one idea and that’s it. I like it.

“We Didn’t Expect Him”

D: I try to trigger it several times, and I found the opening device is kind of … actually you open this one [door] and this one [another door] you can see the same video, however it just turns up if you trigger each time. Actually I don’t get so much feeling on this one, because it is the same thing you have been seeing in a lot of movies before. It just turns out that you can use one view and another view and a third view like this. And I cannot find the meaning behind or if I should stay long enough to see the whole story. This is my feeling. I cannot grab too much.

EP: I think what upsets me in this piece is that why we have to open the door to peep into a tiny video. If we open all three doors, we see the same video actually. It’s really upsetting for me because I don’t like peeping.

FL: Generally the indication of someone who likes peeping is to deny it. [Laugh]

EP: I tried to watch the one minute video and I think it’s not really telling me a lot about the relationship as said in the artist statement. I guess it is just a one-minute video of many people, I can’t figure out the relationship. I only see people come in and sit there, maybe motionless, maybe just doing things that I don’t understand. So it’s not really absurd, but it’s just things that I cannot interpret from such little information provided. And so the peeping becomes the major interaction and the major thing in my memory. I think peeping is the main part of this work, then I really … forget it then. If peeping is the main trunk of the reason for doing this installation rather than giving me 3 one-minute works on a DVD, because the DVD can also provide me with different angles and all the information. If you talk about relationship, you can just give me a DVD, I can still choose my angle. But if you need me to peep into a tiny door and then see the same moving image, then I think there’s a problem.

B: It reminds me of a work by Anson Mak …called “din gei ham lan”… it provides a series of tapes, the viewer has to pick up the tapes by himself or herself, there’s no order, a very low-tech interactive. It’s a very different work …

EF: The movie itself is not exciting, is quite boring. Maybe they got some concept, they just want a simple installation and then you can see three angles of the story. It’s simple enough to understand, but actually I agree with you is that why don’t you give me a DVD. One simple suggestion is that they can put three holes in three different positions, that you can see different things from different angles, not three side by side. A very simple and low-level suggestion.

BC: My question is in what way did the artist try to question the role of the audience or the participants and why or how she can anticipate the reaction of the audience as part of the installation work, because it is not just a single channel view of the three different clips of video. According to the documentation, the doors are separated in a bigger distance, they were not put together in one tiny box, and they happened to be in different corners in a room the size of this panel. And the viewers cannot see two holes together at the same time. You need to peep at one and then close it and go to the other one to peep the other, which maybe different from the settings downstairs, which you open three of them at the same time and you found they are just the same image and same screen. My problem is the role of the audience. Are they going to have some intimate [contact] as mentioned by the artist relation in the story or related to someone else in some of those characters or situation in the video? I found that it is quite difficult, because you peep through the hole as an outsider trying to understand or to comprehend what is going on within the video clips, but it fails most of the time because they don’t have those information as to what was going on in the story, so it is quite difficult to make those comment according to content and context material, the only way I try to relate it is how I can relate myself with the way of interacting with the 3 doors and also the peeping actions which is something quite detached from the content material.

FL: I was really looking forward to experience the installation and I had a lot of expectations because, from what I had read about it, and previewed in the DVD that was provided, it seemed a lot more interesting. It would have been a very good example of something between the film and video sides of this festival: on one side a lot of talented directors, and on the other side talented interactive artists. Until now it seems that there are virtually no bridges between the two different worlds. I was also looking forward to experience the installation because it had good references to previous artists: Marcel Duchamp, Kieslowski . This is where it fails … flat, it does not have the extension of movie making, very short, very basic. It showed me exactly the same thing three times in just three different angles. While I would be a lot more interested to see three different variations, or every time I open the same door I see something slightly different versions of the same angle, and exploring what is the truth and from different angles, the subjectivity of the camera and using the interaction to explore. I was very disappointed from a cinematic perspective, … the three doors that are so close to each other, the simple fact of having distributing the view points a lot more, also introduce the idea of many scenes slightly different, but here is the same screen, and the characters didn’t work so well, they were just doing the same thing. ..You had a lot of good promises, but it falls short of expectation.
That’s a pity because; frankly there is a lot more interest in the potential of a work like that rather than in motion tracking. That’s my personal view.

[voting]

1st round voting:

Gold Silver Special Mention
“Ailliance” 1 2 1
“Color Trend” -- -- 2
“Fingering” -- -- 2
“Paxonic Playground” 1 2 1
“Rubbling Tool” -- 3 1
“We Didn’t Expect Him”
-- -- --

[Jury decided not to present Gold award for this year and took the 2nd round voting for Silver Award among the top 3 works: “Alliance”, “Panoxic Playground” and “Rubbing Tool” .]

Silver
“Ailliance” 3
“Pixsonic Playground” 2
“Rubbing Tool” 3

[Jury decided to give 2 Silver Awards, One goes for “Alliance” and the other one is “Rubbing Tool”. And start to vote for Special Mention works. Special Mention to be given to “Pixsonic Playground”]

 

 

The 14th ifva jury meeting transcript

Transcript for the 14th ifva Animation Category Jury Meeting

Jurors: WONG Yung, Percy FUNG, Neco LO, Felix IP
Apologies: Alan WAN
ifva representative: Teresa KWONG, Rachel WAN

1. Shell
Neco LO Che Ying:There is plenty of room for improvement. The snail is quite unique and funny. The film uses glow colours to display a very consistent style, which is relevant to what it talks about. It is a bit quirky; the character design is so-so; the camera movement is overused. The 3D treatment is not developed enough and there are too many black-outs--some of which might be intentional, say, to tune down the degree of violence in the ending massacre. That might not be the best solution, however. Overall speaking, it is fairly average.

WONG Ying:The shot that I like most is the top shot at the beginning. The storyboard and its film-look are relatively weak; the gags are banal. It is not really that bad but it is also not the best. Just like the rest of the 3D animations in the competition, it is not a fully developed work. The film is packed with either half slow motion or actions without impact; the movement or the walking is done rather crudely, too.

Felix IP:The set and lighting at the start is quite good, and so is the colour treatment which is quite attractive. But the story-telling and the camera movement that follow cannot keep up. There are some punch lines at times, but they are not delivered clearly. The ending is kind of shocking to look at whereas in the middle it drags on too much. Also, some editing points are too rough.

Percy FUNG:Personally I do not have much to comment about Shell, which is quite entertaining.

ifva: The absent adjudicator, Alan WAN, comments Shell as follow: He appreciates the character design which displays the grandeur of a stage work. As a work of collaboration, it demonstrates good teamwork with panache. However, the script is just average.

2. Butterfly Effect
Neco LO Che Ying:It is full of visual movement, which is interesting. It employs the technique of paper cutting/ photo cutting which requires quite a lot of labour and obviously they are done painstakingly. Looking at the background we would imagine the large amount of photos he has cut to achieve such effect. It is like a work of handicraft. The film may not go as smoothly as we expect but it has achieved something. The song is a long one, with various movements and content. It needs more refinement in making good combination of the segments, music and visuals. At some point, the tempo goes wrong. Being a music video, it needs to improve the alignment of the animation and the music.

WONG Ying:It has a dynamic set design but I would say its cinematography is a bit dull. There could be more movement like zooming in and out. Overall speaking, it is an interesting work.

Felix IP:There are too many medium shots. It is too loud in terms of the colour treatment. This problem has been dealt with in the middle of the film. If he can come up with a better colour scheme, he can definitely bring out more happiness in the film. As for the rhythm, the music and the animation are way too separated. This needs to be improved.

Percy FUNG:He attempts to employ a lot of editing skills to establish good linkage between scenes. I appreciate such effort, especially when it requires a lot of photo-shooting to plan ahead. As for the rhythm, it takes time to perfect the necessary technique.

We have discussed two phenomena about this year’s works: on the one hand, people are equipped with better skills and software support. On the other hand, it seems they are weaker in story telling and thematic expression. This film is a good demonstration of these facts. It is created with a liberated use of the media, but it lacks the efforts required in developing the content.

3. Listeners
WONG Ying:Listeners might be too short in length and unable to show the relationship between music, butterfly and magic. The street performance in the beginning comes too hastily. Then we see a group of aliens arriving with the mission to destroy. Before the audience can get hold of what happens, the protagonist is shot and killed, which is really difficult for viewers to follow and understand. Visually, it is relatively raw and simple, which in a way is a kind of style. I do not particularly find it impressive.

Percy FUNG:It’s like being churned out before the deadline. Overall speaking, the skills and the story are incomplete.

Felix IP:It is just too short. It looks familiar in terms of some of its visual execution. The worlds of the aliens and of the street performer are not compatible.

4. The Busker
WONG Ying:The Busker is weak in its character movement and performance. There are some lovely designs but it does not touch me at all.

Percy FUNG:Some scenes are done in a meticulous way, for example, the clown wiggles his waist as he enters the room. The rhythm is not good; perhaps it is because of the inexperience of the student-director. However, he does pay a lot of effort in developing the story, but its delivery flops.

Felix IP:This story requires strong performance. It does not have any dialogues. With a better timing it can be cut down around one minute further. The character design is quite adorable; some of the ideas are quite refined, and with good use of colour.

Neco LO Che Ying:It is action-packed, but not rhythmical. The clown and the piano-playing lack energy. There is consistency among the colour, character design and the editing of the streets. It gives a flavour of a fairy tale.

5. All Around Me
WONG Ying:All Around Me has the best visual treatment among our several 3D animations. You might find it a bit dragged on in some scenes or in its rhythm, which reduces the degree of its impact. The characters’ performance is rough, using the technique of editing in Japanese cartoon. They lack finely crafted expressions. The intervals in the beginning are not a good choice. But it has achieved quite a lot in its lighting and the creation of an atmosphere. Overall speaking, the characters and the background go well together.

Felix IP:I am impressed by its lighting. The beginning scene at the school is delivered fairly well but soon I get lost when seeing the locker opened--I am confused towards whether it is the inner struggle of the character, who can finally overcome it because of the girl.

The pair of flapping wings at the beginning is well crafted, although more refinement is needed in most of the details. The character design is as mainstream as the Japanese cartoon characters. Its flop is mainly about the hair, which looks okay in the front but spiky like a porcupine or a durian at the back. It diverts the audience’s attention.

Percy FUNG:It is the most developed work among the several 3D animations on the list. It has good graphic design. Yet, it seems to me that like most of the works here, it looks unfinished and as if it was prepared in a rush. I do hope one day he will get to finish it.

6. Such Is Life
Felix IP:It demonstrates good techniques and is very intact. You can get a clear picture of what it is about, and of the every punch in the course. In particular, I find one montage very touching. Outdoor shooting is interesting. The camera tracking at the beginning is quite a surprise. Despite the clay models are not exceptionally attractive, they are pleasing to the eye. The film is also well structured, although the ending can be made more condensed.

Percy FUNG:It is my intention to persuade you to consider this film as the exemplary of the year. In terms of its creative line-up, the resources it employs and the degree of independence, I believe it serves as a landmark for ifva. I believe there is always room for improvement for a work, but in my mind, it is near-perfect.

Felix IP:It is very entertaining.

Neco LO Che Ying:It indeed needs refinement, but given the level of difficulty of this work, it has really come a long way. The relationship between the two protagonists is clearly conveyed. Yet, I still find the ending too banal. The dark force represented by “Human” can be identified as the auteur or something else. It is not clearly explained, and neither does it tell why the auteur has to separate the two of them. In short, whenever “Human” shows up, it is the time when the two have to be separated, which is too dramatic. The only thing I find unsettling is the use of the Chinese music when the female lead fist appears. It does not match well with the piano theme tune and makes a weird twist. Even worse is how the Chinese music comes in at the beginning two segments, and then being cut out completely, leading into the sound of the piano.

WONG Ying:I was serious when I said it was anti-religion. In the beginning of the film, a man first comes into sight and then a woman follows; it is similar to the Creation. However, the film has not set up any rule of game for the audience to follow and decipher it—what can be done here? What can be done by the man and the woman and what are they capable of? At one point they can make flowers out of magic, at another, they are helpless when they hurt their heads.

The camera movement and the scenes are finely crafted and attractive. There are magical moments when the characters go out of the house. It is a stop motion pleasing to the eye. At the start, it seems to be probing into religion and making fun of it, but the attempt is not sustained throughout the story. I agree that it fails to give a good ending.

ifva:Alan WAN thinks Such Is Life is the most impressive of all. The single-mindedness and concentration of the director speaks to him. He comes to think that perhaps the director is very indulgent to his own work.

7. Yim
Neco LO Che Ying:Yim is similar to this year’s Oscar Award-winning animation short film (La Maison en Petits Cubes) in terms of the theme and the 2D treatment. Perhaps it is a coincidence. It has a very precise maneuver of art direction and so is its overall execution. However, at some point it has gone too far and got a bit showy. Still that is acceptable. In the film, we reminisce about the things past in Hong Kong through the devil’s eyes. It has a very appropriate length and delivers coherently.

WONG Ying:The intervals are well designed. I am particular impressed by the scene where the camera walks up along the stela of the King of Kowloon until the screen fades to black at where the Devil is waiting. The timing is good and it makes an impact. It has the best control of timing among all the works. As for the visual design, it gives a magical feeling of a fairy tale, which is great.

Percy FUNG:The control of timing and the visual composition are remarkable. It gives a strong film-look and suits well for big-screen showing. It requires a lot of time and effort to finish it even if it is to be done by two persons.

8. My Mother Is an Alien
Percy FUNG:I am kind of against My Mother Is an Alien for it is too “televisualised”. It is not as autonomous as the rest of the films.

Neco LO Che Ying:The work employs a safe style to tell a story. Visually it is not particularly smart. The dialogues work and they are essential in the film. If compared to other works such as Yim which uses no dialogues but successfully puts the story across, there is no reason for me to choose My Mother Is an Alien.

Felix IP:I find it too noisy. I think it would be better to have the talking start later so as to allow more space for the audience to feel the colours. The editing works smoothly; its pictures, colour and lighting are gorgeous, with the latter being done in a very professional way. In this way, however, it looks too commercial and lacks the independent spirit. I do not quite get what the song is about until I read the lyrics in the subtitles. It would be better if it uses either more music or makes it quieter. I think it delivers too much to the audience at one time. But speaking of its pictures, colour and lighting, the elements are just gorgeous; the character design is not bad, too.

WONG Ying:The content does not match well with its title. To me, it is not crazy enough. Normal people do not think of the possibility that one’s mother is an alien. If so, there must be something crazy and hysterical to happen. After I read the title, the film however does not sustain itself to meet the expectation the title brings about. There are even elements of melodrama such as shouting for mom at the graveyard. I think the script loses track of what it wants to talk about. In terms of the production, it is very professional. Despite a few problems in the dubbing and music, it is coherent and a pleasure to watch—but definitely not a wonder.

9. Panda Toy
Neco LO Che Ying:I do not have any comment about Panda Toy.

Percy FUNG:Its story is special; that’s why I chose it in the beginning.

WONG Ying:Visually it is not bad at all, with some interesting graphic design.

Percy FUNG:It has a special story, about who on earth is the consumer. It is the work with the strongest storyline which is also clear and comprehensible. The skills displayed are of the standard kind. When compared to All Around Me, the latter is more outstanding.

WONG Ying:Its style is clean and minimal and it is expressed in a coherent way. I still prefer the outcome of Panda Toy to Shell. Indeed, Panda Toy has an interesting story where a question is raised right at the beginning for everyone to contemplate. The ending, however, is too simplified.

Felix IP:The theme is within the director’s grip. It is a smart way to choose a theme like this. The character design sparkles in combination of the stage lighting without using too many backgrounds, for example, the capsule toy vending machines at the beginning of the film.

ifva: Now we come to the next round of discussion. You may each pick three works.

Percy FUNG:I would suggest four of them, with the best one having three points, then two points for the next. We may allow two works to have one point. Two points for Butterfly Effect; one point for All Around Me; three points for Such is Life and two points for Yim.

Felix IP:Three points for Such is Life; two points for Yim; one point for My Mother Is an Alien and another one point for All Around Me.

WONG Ying:Three points for Such is Life; two points for Yim and My Mother Is an Alien; one point for All Around Me.

Neco LO Che Ying:I am also giving three points to Such is Life; two to Yim and one to All Around Me; another one point to Butterfly Effect.

ifva:Alan WAN has picked and ranked three works; he nominates Shell for a Special Mention, Silver Prize Such is Life and Gold Prize My Mother Is an Alien.

ifva:Most of us give Such Is Life the highest marks except溫紹倫; Yim follows.

Percy FUNG:Back then I was about to give three points to All Around Me because it took a painstaking volume of work to finish. I understand we could not endorse a work simply because of the effort it pays. That’s why I chose Such is Life in the end.

WONG Ying:I have no objection to awarding Such Is Life the Gold Prize.

Neco LO Che Ying:I am not suggesting Yim copies from other works. Perhaps the director did see the animation I mentioned before. There are different ways of copying. This film has a different direction; it is not melancholic. The similarities between the two works are the art direction in which both use 2D retouching of water-colour, and the looking for memory under water. I believe even for that oscar-winning animation, its idea might not be totally original. Thus, I am okay with it.

Percy FUNG:The part I like most is the closing of the folding gate. It gives a very special angle to view.

WONG Ying:I like the way it leads us out from the tea house, goes into the water and then leads us out again, creating a very good contrast and pace. It is lively and fun to watch.

Percy FUNG:Anyone thinks My Mother Is an Alien is better than All Around Me?

ifva: shall we also listen to the comments of Alan WAN “Its animation is well crafted with sharp pace, turning the seemingly heavy emotions into amusement. It expresses the respect for mother in an alternative way. I am drawn into it also because it speaks with local sentiments.” Neither Neco LO nor Percy FUNG chooses this film. Would you two like to say something about it?

Neco LO Che Ying:I reckon the limited number of awards and I try to consider it from my own preference. I will give both Butterfly Effect and All Around Me one point. The latter, which is obviously under the influence of Japanese animation, is praiseworthy. We can see the director’s endeavour and he in fact has come a long way. I also witness the efforts of the group of creators of Butterfly Effect, and I like its cinematography. My Mother Is an Alien comes close to the two but is not as strong as them because of a certain flaws.

Percy FUNG:Any one wants to say something in support of My Mother Is an Alien?

WONG Ying:My hope is to have both Yim and My Mother Is an Alien awarded the Silver Prize. I gave them the same score. If to rank the two, Yim would come first. But it seems that My Mother Is an Alien deserves something more than a Special Mention. I would suggest giving two Silver Prizes, and All Around Me and Butterfly Effect to receive the Special Mentions. Let’s discuss about it.

Percy FUNG:It is acceptable to me. Still, I would like to defend All Around Me and Butterfly Effect. My Mother Is an Alien is done with much organizational and financial support. I do not know if this team have had enough money to work on it in the end, and I dare not to speculate if All Around Me and Butterfly Effect have any commercial support. It seems to me that the efforts in making these two films are all-out, and relatively they displayed a stronger sense of the independent spirit. I would also like to see more people being recognized; so, I would support the proposal mentioned just now.

Neco LO Che Ying:I think it is too much like a melodrama and television cartoons. I am not against it but when it comes to choosing between these works, I think Yim performs better and with a richer imagination and visual design.

Percy FUNG:I have decided to pick Yim for the Silver Prize and the rest would be several Special Mentions.

WONG Ying:I hope it is okay to have some extra Special Mentions.

ifva: What we would like to do is to endorse good work instead of awarding prizes to each and every one of them. The difference between the Gold, Silver and the Special Mention is that, the former two are works with better overall performances while Special Mention draws the attention of the judges for excelling in some particular parts despite a weaker overall performance.

Felix IP:It is hard to choose. Considering the independent spirit, creativity and the topic, I preferYim.

Percy FUNG:I have decided to pick Yim for the Silver Award. It is almost as good as the winning work.

Neco LO Che Ying:I agree to award All Around Me the Silver Prize.

Felix IP:I also choose one for the Gold and one for the Silver, the latter being All Around Me.

ifva: Only one vote for two Silver Prize.

WONG Ying:No problem.

ifva: Now that the Silver Prize is chosen. Any recommendation about Special Mention?

WONG Ying:My Mother is an Alien must be in, and I hope All Around Me can be in as well.

Percy FUNG:My choice is Butterfly Effect but it seems we are giving too many Special Mentions.

Neco LO Che Ying:If there are only two places, I would go for My Mother is an Alien and All Around Me.

Felix IP:Me too.

ifva:This year’s Gold Prize of the Animation Category is Such Is Life; Silver Prize goes to Yim and Special Mentions go to My Mother is an Alien and All Around Me.

TOP

 

 

Transcript for the 14th ifva Asian New Force panel meeting

Jurors: Linda LAI, PARK Kiyong
Apologies: Lou Ye
ifva representative: Teresa KWONG, Mickey Choi

PARK Kiyong: I notice that the filmmakers who attend tonight’s screening are elder, like the Chinese director. What is the average age of the directors this year?

Linda LAI: Do you think age factors should be brought into consideration?

PARK Kiyong: The reason I asked because the mixture of age and experience of life, fresh graduation from college and people who already have experience. In that case, who should we support?
The newcomers or?

Linda LAI: But I think it’s not their age but how experienced they are. But since this question is brought up, may I ask - is promoting young film maker a key objective?

ifva: No.

Linda LAI: It’s more about promoting short film, is that the case? Is this platform encouraging short film as a special genre or encouraging young people to make works?

IFVA: I think we go for the first point for the creativity.

Linda LAI: Some thoughts in my mind in the whole process were: how many of these works we have seen today are actually ground-breaking in the sense of opening up what short film may mean? Short film is a unique category; it has its own norms that don’t apply to feature films or feature-length documentaries. Short film has its own kind of grammar. If this is the case, there is a set of priority in my mind: which film proved itself to be an innovative short film, not just film. Also, I found that a lot of these works are short, but they need not be considered just a work of a smaller scale; but they are something else. Often they are actually poetry or painting. In a sense, that is also one way of looking at how these works open up the category, the idea of short film. Before we jump into individual films, I wrote some notes during the first screening. I found there are some possibilities for us to define how to pick the final award winner in case we disagree. I think there is a direction to set to look for a film that best suggests the future of cinema. The second possibility is to award a film that is most enhancing cultural understanding -- if this is important enough. The third is that a film should be awarded for its aesthetic achievement and craftsmanship. I just found it very unsafe jumping into a discussion, just to disagree or agree with each other without any shared values. Maybe we can add more to the list or should we arrange them in order of priority.

PARK Kiyong: I disagree to look at these three. I think the difference is that this is supporting the independent film making, there should be no argument. It’s not what you want to push or what you believe. It’s supporting the new talent of independent film making.

Linda LAI: Then maybe we can talk about each work.

1. The Soliloquist
PARK Kiyong: The Soliloquist is an animation. It is OK. For me, nothing is wrong but the concept is not fresh.

Linda LAI: I more or less agree when only one work is going to win, this would not be the film. Although I feel very intrigued by this film, thinking about the subject matter, it’s so old and yet I’m still interested in it. At least it still caught my interest for the loss of love. My appreciation of the film is the use of space because he has a very unique way of approaching the screen. The screen is no longer the usual three dimensional perspective space, but you never know when the next shot is, and when something may fall outside of the frame space. Sometimes the space on screen is a well; sometimes it’s a wall. In terms of use of space, I find it very interesting. My critique will go to the text. I think the text is too much, telling us everything. I don’t object to the use of language but it can be used more skillfully, and more integrated into the entire work. The filmmaker’s drawing skill is very strong.

2. Film of the sea
PARK Kiyong: Film of the sea is an experimental film. To be honest, I don’t like experimental films. The reason is that I don’t understand. It’s very difficult for me to understand. Besides, you don’t need to understand, you have to feel it. I could see what this film is trying to do. But I don’t really get it through the projector, the sea and the images of the water.

Linda LAI: Because of how it was made and how it was presented to me, I noticed that I am not going to look at it as a normal film. The film immediately demands me to approach it not for comprehension, not to get the point but to be more face to face with the work, more perceptual. I am finally fascinated with the employment of painting styles because it seems there is a lot of painting styles mixed into the reference of cinema, of what is the frame, of what is the limit of cinema. In my original comments in the first round, I did mention that one thing the film has not done enough – which is the idea of ocean. The idea of ocean in the beginning is very strong, but towards the end, as the work moves on, it became more and more an accessory. The main narrative trajectory is more towards playing with all the tricks of 2D and 3D. There’s a bit of repetition there but still I love this film. There’s a point to defend is this festival for opening up new categories and be daring, I will still keep my vote for this one.

3. 4 Kilometers
PARK Kiyong: 4 Kilometers in the beginning I thought it was quite naive and started amorous. But as it moved on, I liked the film. It became quite sincere, especially the last shot. It’s more than adequate.

Linda LAI: I will defend the film for its precision in the deployment of film language. I found the film very dark and it’s not an easy story to tell, nor is it an easy task to sustain the visual narrative for such a single-directional plot. Certain things remained unexplained, or maybe actually explained but I didn’t get it. Nonetheless I like the fact that certain things are unexplained – in particular the reason why she actually turned back. It seems she is giving up on a chance to change her life, and yet it seems she is making a very powerful decision not to go along a certain kind of romanticism for a woman. I don’t know which way it was. I like works that are more open but do not draw a straight conclusion. Acting is adequate.

4. The Old Fool Who Moved the Mountains
PARK Kiyong: I don’t like The Old Fool Who Moved the Mountains. She didn’t match with the three generations.

Linda LAI: It seems that we have two very different senses and directions for what cinema we want to promote. I don’t know if this is a case or not. But I like to promote this type of cinema myself because it has created a lot of gaps for viewers to fill in, or for them to make sense of the unsaid. I am often doubtful especially in the case of documentary when the director is too certain about what he wants to say and it will become propagandist. In this case, I think there’re three elements and actually we have more than three generations there. I like collage because collage itself is a progressive form in the sense that it doesn't just want to draw a conclusion from the old meanings – and this is the opposite of the main stream cinema. Not that I don’t like main stream cinema – I mean I enjoy main stream cinema too. My only query when watching the work was, especially knowing who the director was, what this work was for. I found that if it is a work by a Chinese person, I would have to look at the film very differently. But knowing the background suddenly, I found the whole thing is about one person trying to make sense of other people’s culture. I am not negative but it makes me think more what the film is.

PARK Kiyong: When I watched the film, I think I like it more than after I realize it was made by this Philippine film maker. As I told you, I saw her previous films that was seven years ago. She has been living in Beijing for last six to seven years. I was quite surprised that she is still there making this kind of documentary. The reason I dislike the film is because she wasn’t like what you said.

Linda LAI: I don’t want to be misunderstood here. When I mentioned that the knowledge of the film maker has is that of an outsider, I did not mean it to discredit the film. Rather, it raises another set of viewing criteria for me to understand the film. It’s a good attempt for an outsider to make a work to try to understand the culture. My little disappointment was that if this is the case, if she has this very unique outsider’s view, then the work should have been much shaper and stronger.

PARK Kiyong: She lacks of outsider’s point of view.

Linda LAI: She’s a bit too afraid to assert a little bit more. But still I like to see more people stepping into this kind of muddy water. I don’t even think I would call this a documentary, maybe she thinks so, but I would rather call it a film essay in which she is aligning her ideas to try to make sense of things and try to form some kind of a position of what she has experienced.

5. The Dream of Cortazar
PARK Kiyong: The Dream of Cortazar, because it’s Korean film and I’ll become too critical.

Linda LAI: I like the film because I come from a much broader pretext in which I’m very tired of story telling – not because I don’t like stories but I just find filmmakers are running out of techniques too to tell fresh stories. So I’m often a bit skeptical when a film is going to tell a story. But this one won my sympathy because it’s not trying too hard and yet it set up a very simple mechanism in which a very simple story could multiple its own value. The work is actually a metaphysical detective story which is about space and I like the illusion. The whole film is turning us into an active agent. It is more than cinema – it’s itself a game. And why not? Haven’t we been watching films so passively for over a century? Let’s turn ourselves into an active agent. The story is very difficult to tell. The story-teller attempts to manipulate and is also being manipulated and forced into a passive position. So I think there’s a lot of charm to this and the director could have pushed further.

PARK Kiyong: In terms of the story, I thought it was quite interesting. The film construction was very concise; the direction especially the acting was not very good. The acting was not natural.

6. Tremble
Linda LAI: The theme of Tremble is politically correct, is a type of story we should talk. I found it should be more and longer. The film could be more interesting if he kept developing.

7. Go to School
PARK Kiyong: Go to School is not bad. It had everything. The theme started quite well but the end was trying a little bit too much. I think probably this is the best way to end the story. I would have had a stronger feeling if the ending was focused on the mother situation.

Linda LAI: If I have to choose a work to show my students to illustrate a typical good short film, I will pick this one because it was very neat. For the same reason, I felt that it’s too neat. It’s too much knowing the rules to set the formula of beginning, the middle and the end. I don’t like the ending as well. I think the film was very strong and effective, very efficiently catching you into the world of the mother. But something is a bit lacking in acuteness and I don’t know how to put it. It doesn’t hit me more than giving me a tidy story unlike some of the other works. It seems that some kind of humanistic concern which make this film very charming as a motive end up becoming a heard of, because it’s total humanistic. I agree that I don’t like the postcard but I told myself that maybe the postcard is what happened in the real life. I found that on a narrative closure level, there’re three claims: the mother getting the birthday card, the appointment she missed was re-arranged, and finally the little girl was willing to take her brother back to school. Everything opens up very beautiful and suddenly everything becomes the full circle and it rounds up with a punctuation mark like that. It’s a bit of waste of the night process of leaving the story to finally just ending up in a very simplicity and realistic comment.

8. Family Script
Linda LAI: About Family Script, still the comments I made about the film in the program notes I would maintain that. I still feel the middle window is not content played enough for how it can actually work to bring together the left and the right.
Actually two families are trying to communicate through her. That’s why I thought the middle window could have something very different. I don’t want to say as there is a norm or tradition in documentary in which the film maker should appear at one point to make the work reflexive. It’s an easy solution to say that the middle window should be replaced; the journey maker should reveal herself. And yet I found that even without that, there could be a little bit more, stronger role than just someone is carrying the message to the right and left. But I like those two sides when they suddenly look at each other.

PARK Kiyong: I like the film but this kind of technique using multiple windows is not used anymore. Also, if she was going to use multiple windows, she should be more daring from the beginning to the end. I am a bit disappointed about this. The stories of two families, one group in Tibet and one group in India, I fully understood what is talking about but I think she should give more information to understand these families when they separated, what is the reason behind.

9. Fading
PARK Kiyong: I did agree with the filmmaker of Fading talking about the memories. But it was not enough. It’s not about the number of interviewers but the memories to make up for the audience to feel what the village is about.

Linda LAI: If it has another 15 minutes, the work would be very different. I find that the circle of things should repeat more and more to bring out the dynamics; it does not attempt to turn the dynamics even at this length. Yes, it could be longer. Maybe I am over worry, whichever film we pick as the Award winner, it stands for something, it speaks about a certain standard of excellence. For me, this is one type of excellence, not everything. That’s why I came up with three aspects. It’s very easy these days to see young people trying to do lawful things, to make a film not special than a normal work. But then the basic craftsmanship and aesthetic achievement, is something I always found, could not be compromised. This work among the three criteria that I set for myself, it may not suggest anything for the future of cinema, and yet it may, it does, because it reduces the sophisticated continuity editing norm which has been ruling our cinema for a century. Now it brings back to the purist aesthetics of cinematography which is a photograph itself. I felt sympathetic in this one, it is very economical and yet it suggests reducing than adding onto the current film language. Also, it has a very strong cultural concern about the loss of a place. Definitely we should award for works that want to do more than just achieving craftsmanship. I understand and I think I will agree with you that I wish the film much longer. The circle of things and those still images are very nicely done. I am dared to believe that doing so little would make a film last and I think it does last.

10. Disconnection
PARK Kiyong: Disconnection has four ways of communication including mobile phone, telephone, computer with Internet, email and fax but nothing works. He was certainly pushing too much.

Linda LAI: I will most likely to give up this one even from the very beginning. I am not sure whether this work is trying to illustrate a point too much about technology and pushing a bit too harsh on the metaphoric, the symbolic meaning of communication.

ifva: Shall we go to the second part nominating two to three films that could be considered to give awards?

Linda LAI: I pick Fading, The Dream of Cortazar, 4 Kilometers and Film of the sea.

PARK Kiyong: I pick The Soliloquist, 4 Kilometers and Go to School.

Linda LAI: Actually I put The Old Fool as the fifth one which I didn’t mention. You can take that into consideration. I want to keep that.

ifva: We still have 7 films.

Linda LAI: We can cross out more. Fading seems get no support except from Linda. This is my favourite, keep it and remove The Dream of Cortazar.

ifva: So we have 6 films. Do you want to talk about the grand award or nomination again?

PARK Kiyong: I will recommend 4 Kilometers is the grand award. Special mention will be doesn’t matter, Fading or Film of the sea.

Linda LAI: I like 4 Kilometers too but I actually immersive with The Soliloquist. Either one of them get it, I am fine.

ifva: For grand award? But you didn’t vote it.

Linda LAI: I didn’t vote Go to School as well but these are the works I like. I didn’t vote many of them. I don’t know what to do. Should I try to facilitate?

PARK Kiyong: But in this case, as LOU Ye voted The Soliloquist for grand prize, if you agree, we should give the grand prize to The Soliloquist.

Linda LAI: I’m a bit hesitating. For some reasons, either Go to School or Fading should be included either for grand award or special mention. They are both very strong. Maybe Go to School or Fading can actually be nominated for special mention in my view.

ifva: To conclude, there are 2 works being considered to give the grand award. The Soliloquist and 4 Kilometers. For special mention, Go to School, Family Script and Fading.

Linda LAI: Let me put it in this way. I would not want to see Go to School get the final grand award. For me, that would not happen. But it can go for the special mention because I like its simplicity and its observation of the saddest of woman which not enough people are really paying attention to. I am just not 100% happy because in my view there is other more than in the film. I definitely want to defend Film of the sea. But it seems I am the only person, so how should the game carry on?

PARK Kiyong: But the question is we still have 6 films. We can give 1 or 2 films for the grand prize. For special mention, I think not more than 2 because otherwise it’s too much. So maximum it’s 4.
Which film do you think should get the grand prize?

Linda LAI: Not Go to School. Maybe not the Film of the sea. Maybe not The Soliloquist.

PARK Kiyong: We should vote for a grand prize, we could eliminate Fading because it has only one vote. That means Family Script and 4 Kilometers is left.

Linda LAI: Do you want to give 2 grand awards?

PARK Kiyong: Not necessary.

Linda LAI: I want to encourage the filmmaker of Family Script but then I want to encourage everyone.

PARK Kiyong: I would like to give special mention to Go to School. You’ve already given and so did LOU Ye.

Linda LAI: It depends. For example, if the grand prize goes to 4 Kilometers, I would want the special mention to be something not so much telling a proper story. But if the grand prize goes to Family Script, then I don’t mind having a story film to perceive the special mention. How are we cooperating with LOU Ye’s? How are we going to weight LOU Ye’s choice? It seems it’s up to us. We are likely to end up with 4 Kilometers and Family Script as the grand prize. I do want to encourage something more special. Let me make up my mind. I will go for an unusual one and vote for Family Script.

PARK Kiyong: How about 4 Kilometers? For special mention or not?

Linda LAI: Yes, keep it on the list. I like that work a lot. Well, my bias is if I have a choice and I am blind, I always go for something more experimental. That’s not bad of course. Based on our discussion, these films still last in the list and they are not bad to be removed. But I shocked myself too. I never thought of including Family Script as the final winner.

PARK Kiyong: It's not a compromise. It’s always an agreement. You want to vote up what you want. Actually this is the smallest jury panel I joined, usually more than 5. You say what you like and what you don’t like but at the end you’ve to agree with others. It’s all about agreement. I don’t agree to give the grand prize to Go to School. I totally agree if we give it the grand prize, it’s a safe choice. I am not against giving a special mention to Family Script but against giving it the grand prize. As I said, it’s not really new. She could be more dared with the spilt windows and find a new way to use this method. I always said no grand prize to Fading but I am ok with special mention. I didn’t choose Film of the Sea. If I have to choose between 4 Kilometers and The Soliloquist, I will choose 4 Kilometers because it would have been more difficult to make.

ifva: Can we say 4 Kilometers is the grand award?

Linda LAI: I have no reservation for 4 Kilometers.

IFVA: How about the special mention?

Linda LAI: Then I would like to choose something more off the beat. So I pick up The Soliloquist, Fading, and Film of the Sea.

PARK Kiyong: The problem is Yet in Exile-“Family Script” is picked up by LOU Ye. I agree The Soliloquist and Fading.

ifva: As I said, the final say is between you two. So the result for this year is 4 Kilometers is the grand award. The Soliloquist and Fading are special mention.

Comments by LOU Ye:

The Soliloquist
The film abounds in an inherent emotion towards life, towards human being and towards to everything that surrounds him. From his soliloquies reveals apperceptions on human being and life. Perceptual, mild, calm yet relaxing.

Film of the sea
This is a very beautiful visual poem. The visual transitions are excellent and very beautiful. The composition of images is complicated and diversified. The changes of the shape of screen is very good. The excise of point-line-plane-cube and time is very successful. The projector is kind of interfering.

4 Kilometers
Some details in this film are very impressive, the reading Hulud, the worms in the book, schoolbags and the walking. This documentary itself reveals quite a few unexpected special sights. Details of life themselves are for ever fascinating, especially those details and people that have been neglected.

THE OLD FOOL WHO MOVED THE MOUNTAINS
The clue of the interviews with the Old Fool and Gouzi is well-done. Hope to see more on this clue, however, the clues of "the old man" and "the kid" interfere with our watching. Even though he clearly expresses a viewpoint of the author, many details of the Old Fool and Gouzi, which have been documented in this film, are much more interesting and valuable than the author's pov, for instance, the mother's comments on her kid, the chatting of the guys on the rooftop, the demolishing itself, the ending and etc.

The Dream of Cortazar
Interesting. It constitutes an inter-narrative story which reproduces a saying that as you are telling a story, the story is telling something about you at the same time. The film successfully establishes and manages the connection between reality and the story.

Tremble
Very creative. The split of images and trembling VFX achieve very good result. But the film is lack in efforts and considerations of the strong and powerful visual effects that it has gained already.

Go to School
Fluent in narration. The unadorned documentation involves fun, humour, suspense and tension and it shows clearly the conditions and dilemma of the characters. An ordinary morning, an ordinary car, three ordinary characters, the crossroad and the lonely people who are waiting to be rescued in the broken-down car at the crossroad and etc., all of these effectively comprise this film and as well comprise our living conditions of today.

Yet in Exile - ''Family Script''
The film shows us that the meaning of images lies in the behaviour of passing-on the images. Here, to those who are in the images, the images are more important and more significant than those watching the images. This is the most outstanding aspect of this film.

Fading
Excellent exhibition and organization of spaces, very good documentary passages of conversation. Almost fascinating but profound background story. However, subtitles alone would never be able to convey the profound meaning of them. The shot at the end is very good. Very impressive.

Disconnection
Loneliness. The opening shot is very beautiful. The abstract human conditions makes this film almost a science fiction on individual's life in the future. It conveys the possible feature for everyone of us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 14th ifva Interactive Media Category Award panel meeting

Jurors: Frederic LICHTENSTEIN, NG Tsz Kwan, Winnie FU, Jamsen LAW,
Bryan CHUNG
ifva representative: Teresa KWONG, Mickey CHOI

1. Leaf, Living Digit

CHUNG: There are more rooms for development in this piece of work. It is kind of some sorts of reactions. The plants, the organic stuffs will trigger the animated movements, and just stop at there. This should be something which can be explained and elaborated, like, to have more considerations of the form of life of the plant and the related motion of those animation characters or text. This work now is just like a simple documentation of an action, reaction and relation.

LAW: Maybe my interaction with the plant can be visualized or somewhat can be seen. I would think how the object takes my actions? I am thinking what kind of interaction between me and the plant. I want to see more interactions, like between the plants and the cylinders, too. There are rooms for development. There should be more variations between various movements instead of what we have now is just one kind of movement.

FU: I like the form of presentation. Compared to other works in the exhibition, it is quite clean and tidy in the form of circle. The reaction is very sharp, a sound ‘ding’, then turning out something very obviously. But again, like most of the works, it is just ‘single-layered’. I also want to mention that he is using a real plant instead of an artificial object. It is a bonus.

LAW: when you talk about the clean layout, it makes me think that it is like a homepage, but I would like to see more pages of it.

FU: right, exactly.

NG: When we saw the video, we can only see the three different animations, we were not sure about the work, and we also wondered if there would be more variations when it set up here. In this artist statement, he wants to do an experiment, but I am not sure what kind of experiment he is doing and the purpose of doing it, or what he expects.

LICHTENSTEIN: The result is pretty close to what we had seen in the video, and the short comings are the exactly what we had identified already. So, all the short comings bring together is that it is being a bit shallow, and at the same time he has a very nice poetic interface. Even with the simplicity of the installation, we like that organic kind of thoughts. For me, it is not a great piece. It is showing a way, a path that we would like to see and being explored.

2. Textworm

NG: It is better than my expectation by the time we watched the video documentation, and it has similar problems as others. It is a game only and it would be nice to have another level of meaning. Destroying something is enjoyable things to do. But as an art piece, we expect a little bit more than just destroying something.
If it only let people to cut the characters and put them back together, I don’t know what the point to do it. We can destroy something else as well. If those characters can form some other things with meanings, it would be a lot better. And now it is just destroying something, which is meaningless.

LAW: I like the movements of those lines. It is poetic actually. However, the form doesn’t go with the lines or the meaning of the title. If the form or movement, everything goes more together, it will be more interesting. Maybe he can come up with other images or other text.

LICHTENSTEIN: I am very interested to know whether the speed that the text needs to take to recompose the pieces can be accelerated. If it is an artist’s choice, it is a technical intention. If it is an artist’s choice, I would be scratching my head and ask why it is so slow.

FU, NG: agree.

CHUNG: The intention is not the speed of the recombination, but he tried to let the pieces collided together and then to be combined by themselves. So the chance of collision is quite rare, the auto combination mode is off in this case. I also discovered some shortcomings in interaction when I saw the other viewer tried to play around with this piece. The viewer used the laser to move very fast, and the interaction is not supposed to put in this way according to then assigned. So, it is not a very interpretive in expressive way to draw a straight line, to cut the piece of text into pieces. But the way the viewer was working is a more interpretive for expressive in a sense that to play around with interaction.

NG: It also doesn’t need an instruction to tell you how to use that laser pointer.

LICHTENSTEIN: Every year, we have a few of the same kind of motives, either technically advanced but then the concept might be weak, or the concept is strong but technical set up is not enough. I have been relatively, pleasantly surprised by the experience that you get. There is no documentation, that is not very interactive, but when you see someone doing it, it comes pretty naturally of having fun and reacts nicely, so as the simple set up. I just hope that in the future, the balance (between the technical and concept development) would be improved. It also reflects that education of interaction in Hong Kong. Technical support has been easier for students nowadays to make an art piece. We need to remind them that their minds not only taken into technical matter, and should be more focused on the concept.

CHUNG: I have to declare that some entrants are my students and they have works presented here. This piece is also done by my students. For this one I have to say that they have the most sophisticated interaction design when compared to the others. They way they can successfully to create a piece, while many others are failed in most of the cases. For the others, they just obviously to spot some points and have them to react to the system. Textworm is well produced, packaged.

3. Hexic: A Choreography of Multimedia and Interactivity

FU: I do not spend enough time to see it through, but personally I think the presentation in this exhibition is worse than I expect. Because of the proposal and the way they layout their work shown in the original proposal is much more sophisticated as it seen now when been executed.

LAW: I want to know whether there are episodes and themes, I want to see the development of the theme if it is a performance. So that I know there is also development in this kind of narrative. If there are different modes, I can switch between by jumping from this mode to another that with different theme, and there would be a totally different experience for the visitors.

FU: Exactly. This is a performance work with stage design, costumes and all the dance movements; and from the way it is showing now, you cannot really get any sense of those emotions. The artist should show some ways of how they interact. There are supposed to be a performer’s movement constantly changes the background, but we cannot see this from the video.

CHUNG: According to the documentation, it is some sort of motions interacting with the background projection, or projection on the floor, and that are the interactive component of the performance. Maybe there are some other things else, but I cannot observe those things from the video

LAW: There should be two kinds of interaction in this piece. One is the performer interact with the system, and the other one is interaction between the performer and the audiences, also present another level of interaction. I cannot really feel that level by just watching this video. It is really difficult to comment.

4. Stolen Times for Sale

LICHTENSTEIN: It was very important to go through the buying process. I like this piece very much. At the same time it is true that the buying process is boring.
I think the process could be faster, it could be more entertaining. This piece is like a happening, a performance. For the first part, I am happy with what I have purchased, but the process of purchasing is so blank, it needs more energy and planning.

NG: In the first round of the competition, we have discussed the eligibility of this piece, whether it is an interactive media. As an artist, it is a nice piece of art. But now when sitting on the jury panel, the piece itself is definitely not a traditional interactive work. The interactions are made between the audience and the salesman. I concern if this piece is suitable to be put into this category. It looks strange in this category.

LICHTENSTEIN: It is very much a matter of point of view. In an interactive festival that only presents interactive media, maybe it would be difficult to define the nature of this piece. However, in the context of ifva, movie making is the foundation of the festival, and now having added with interactive media category as an extension. With this background, I start to think that this piece of movie making has two parts of interactive activities. Firstly, put a camera at the elevator and the passengers to interact with the camera. Then the buying process is the second part of the interaction.

CHUNG: I accept it as a piece of interactive work. The way of participation is a kind of interactivity to me at least. There are some examples of this kind of participation in gallery or museum where the artist can create a hawker store in the venue and cooks some food and sells them to the viewers. Under this particular type of concept, I consider this as an interactive work. But I am not sure if it is an interactive media work or not, the medium he has been using may not particularly fit into his way of inviting participation. I have more expectation than what he has been shown us in the gallery. His work is in fact about selling something, and that is kind of virtual image or image in digital form. The way he sells the images and removes images from the piece of artwork, which new owner of the image can again duplicate the image in multiple forms. I guess he also has some remaining trails of image in his computer. This forms let me question about whether the image is durable, or the image can totally transfer the ownership from the artist to the buyer. He has not answered
Those questions about selling in digital form, and those questions can be explained and elaborated in a more challenging way. I have no comment on the quality of the performance, as he might not an entertaining person to do that.

LAW: However, if I take it as a performance, the whole process is very important. If I put it as an interactive work, the interactions between buyers and sellers are important. He should provide a better performance of the buying process. I am disappointed to the setting of the shop. If the shop set up is more than a desk only, but to include more interfaces and create more complex which the system can be operated automatically, it would be more complete. I query why he has this desk or this kind of setting method, instead of doing it on-line or whatever in other form. I cannot justify this form.

FU: The way he is presenting the statement indicates that he is very conscious of selling a product. What I like about this piece is the relationship of the commerce and the world, there is a social meaning behind that. I also wonder why he bothers to have such setting; he can simply press the button and email the product to my account. It can be done virtually without a person there to sell this.

NG: It is not an interactive media to me. If he did it in an automatic way, like, using a vendor machine and the people to buy it with credit card, then to get the product from the machine, this is more interactive.
The idea of selling time is that he filmed all the moments of he pressed the open door button when the elevator door was about to closed. Usually people don’t press that button at that moment, and he has stolen the time from others. Then he sells those moments to someone else.

FU: The visual design is clever too. I saw it in another exhibition in Hong Kong Baptist University. They used one corner to show the lift images and you can see it from afar, it is quite attractive that way. It is very spacious.

LAW: That kind of image is always attractive. I still find it interesting, with the intention of pressing a button and to disturb the others.

NG: This is like what the commercial world do, like the monitor installed in the taxi, showing you images, disturb the passengers and making money from it.

LICHTENSTEIN: Stealing people’s time in a lift is a very clever concept. Especially when this happens in Hong Kong, since people in the lift usually don’t acknowledge each other. Unlike other places in the world that people usually act nicely to each other in the lift. People in Hong Kong spend so much time in the lift. They go into a very intimate place and they would shut down the social activity. So, stealing people’s time is quite a pretty strong idea. Every time you look at those people’s faces when the open door button is pressed, it is like intruding someone’s privacy. I like the piece very much as an art work, but the buying process is not integrated into a piece itself. It could be many different things, the image of the buyer can be part of the installation, and the buyer can download the product to a disk. There are a lot more choices should be done. It would not be a matter what he can or he cannot do. But it is the fact that he doesn’t have a good experiment. He doesn’t have enough confrontation with the reality. As said this work has been shown in Baptist University and Osage Gallery, he has more experience already, he should refine his work.

LAW: The way he steals people’s time is interesting. However as a buyer, I would think what the fun of getting that footage. I still think that it is not about time. What kind of time he is selling to me?

CHUNG: I share similar impression.

LICHTENSTEIN: When you say it is not too much about time, I tend to disagree, because of the time it takes to open the door and even when you press the button that only costs minimum amount of time, you are still taking time from others against their will.

LAW: I can agree with that, the action between the people in the elevator and the camera man. However, as a buyer, it is another process that what I got is the image and not really the piece of time that has been wasted during the process.

NG: It doesn’t make any sense at all. Nobody would think that he or she has one minute more, it is impossible. But this presentation made it become an art work.

LICHTENSTEIN: Most of the pieces that we have selected are a bit shallow and at least this piece echo many questions. Even it is not perfect, but it has a depth that the others don’t have.

5. Forest, Tree, Wood, Man…

NG: It is not as nice as the documentation presents when we read it in the first round meeting. The documentation works better. I remember that we once thought it would be a well-made exhibit for a museum.

FU: Actually it looks very much the same.

CHUNG: I have some hesitations to consider that as a piece of art work. It is like the information display board for some venues or an environmental protection event. No matter if it is responsive or not, unless the way of interacting with this particular panel has some sort of more extraordinary ways to interact with, so it is qualified to be an interaction with artistic creations.

LAW: If I treated it as an information booth, not many information I can get from the booth in fact. There are only two pages, which is not enough to tell the relation of the growth of the trees and the pollution.

FU: It falls into the same comment tonight for the single-layer artworks, which are most of the entries. It can be further developed, but maybe because of the limitation of time and space, they look like homework. They are failed in making variations in terms of developing one concept into a more complex format.

LAW: He can do something more, like touching the dusts and have the windows pop up. It is now just simply clicking something and without showing the relation of the dusts and trees. I question how these things are related to this one single screen.

6. A Couple of Irons

FU: Originally I support this work to enter the second round, because it is very clean cut, in close circuit form. This is quite a new interpretation. Frankly, I am quite disappointed to see it for myself. It looks more fun on the documentation. Now I think it is boring. I think maybe the limitation of the space affect the movement. The visual is just not what I expected.

LAW: It is funny that if I don’t treat it as an interactive work, it can be a media sculpture. This work can be interesting, but now I don’t know why I should play with the irons. How those two objects related to the camera. If it is a sculpture, how should I look at it? Now I don’t know what to think about it.

NG: I tried very hard to put all the things together, the closed circuit TV and the irons, but I failed to do that.

LICHTENSTEIN: In the proposal, it seems lot more interesting than the experience we have tonight. In a context of larger exhibitions with many visitors, where two visitors can meet very briefly and play with it, I think it still can work pretty nicely. But in the context of ifva where has fewer visitors, and more likely to be a personal exploration instead of group exploration. Then you only play with yourself or someone you know, and it will be less fun. I am a little disappointed but it could be a nice experience when it is in a different context.

LAW: If there are dozens of couples of irons, it may be very interesting. There is one only pair in the venue, I cannot find the fun from the image captured from the other end.

FU: One to two, or one to five, that would be interesting.

LICHTENSTEIN: As a control object, I still find it interesting. But iron should be very heavy and it is a dangerous object that you won’t put it closer to your face or anyone’s face. But the fact that it is a lot lighter now, and more looks like a toy, also likes the telephone in the 1980’s, or a shower spray. And it didn’t give fully artistic ballots that the object should be given.

FU: I expect the screen image should have higher resolution. The iron can be dangerous and could be close encounter to your body. If the set up is more inviting or the image can be a little more different, it would be better. Like when you use the iron to scratch on somebody else, it would be more fun. If it brushes on your finger and you can have more close-ups and sharp images of the body, the texture. If I play with you and put it on your body and you play with the other. It would mean lot more in term of relationships.

LAW: What you are suggesting is another movement and interaction. If I sit comfortably with my friend and play with it, which is better than now looking like a sculpture that I would only take it up and checking what it is. It would be better to be used to suggest another kind of relationship with the other audience.

CHUNG: My first impression is the weight of the irons, which is much lighter than a common iron. When I tried to make use of the iron to get some images, I use the common way to press the iron on the piece of cloth and found the image unrecognizable. The images are blurb and not in focus. The difficulty is the way to find out some sort of context when I make use of these two irons, somehow it fails in the exhibition at this moment. The irons can be used or try to record some of my common use of practice of using the irons at home or whatever occasion. It is now difficult to make sense between that I have experience from the exhibit and the common use of an iron. I agree with what FU have said, it should be presented in more formats, put them in different locations and to see images of other irons. I am more particular interested in why he made the iron so light in weight. I had an expectation of holding up a heavy thing, and the image would be heavier than what we come into contact with a camera or a mobile phone. This kind of expectation also failed at the moment when I played around with the iron.

7. The Happiness of the Fish

NG: It is very different from the documentation.

LICHTENSTEIN: I disagree. I find it very close to the documentation. Personally I remember it as be more something spectacular. But at last it is shallow as well. It was more like an astonishing staging piece, but for the way it works now is not particularly interesting.

NG: From what I saw from the documentation, the sound should be generative sound, right?

CHUNG: yes as in the final year project, there are three screens. And this one is single screen. In the final year project, they presented combinations of generative sound with live performance, with multiple screens and each screen take on different fishes. There are three tubes with three fishes and each echo with one screen.

NG: Then the image should be with more variations, the visual should have changed a lot, but the one we saw is like a screen saver. The title is just a gimmick, the idea cannot relate to it.

LAW: Even if it is ok at one screen thing, the generated graphic, the movement of the fish and the fish itself are totally not related. I mean the graphic, not the movement of the graphic.

NG: Even the fish moves, you expect the graphic should be changed along the movement?

LAW: That is one thing. Another thing is that if I see a still image or changed image, the relations between the square lines, gradation, colour or the life of the fish don’t exist.

8. Black Box

LICHTENSTEIN: I am very surprised and a bit disappointed too for this piece. Because I think the process of having a message that go through a complex process and to give way to potential distortion or destruction is interesting. However, in this set up, everything comes from one computer. If one computer is the broadcaster and the other one is the receiver, it could have more surprises. And now the same computer is doing everything and it looks silly. I would think why not having just one computer to do all the work. Having a small separation between the broadcaster and the receiver would help the piece to be easier to be understood by the people seeing it for the first time. And we, the jurors have already known about this piece from the documentation and knew what to expect and interact, which are not obvious for first time viewers at all. Also from the documentation that given to us, there were pixelated images with all the distortions, but we don’t see that this time. I saw some other sound installation that you could push some buttons, and to see how the sound wave distorted. And this piece, you see the result but you don’t visualize yourself as the interference. I think that is the dimension missing from the work.

NG: When I see this set up, it looks like an early video art work. It is so old fashion. I agree that the functions of the two computers should be separated.

CHUNG: I have not read any documentation so I have some difficulties in the beginning, until some of you explained the mechanism to me. I remember similar type of artwork with one computer, like text to speech mechanism to read a piece of text and the other computer uses speech recognition programme in order to understand the other computer’s voice or speaking. It must have some errors or discrepancies between the two pieces of article. The artist tries to play around the lost in translation, but in form of encoding and decoding messages. He should have better preparation for the audience to understand the mechanism or the way they intend to do, like the piece of work I just mentioned. The artists have prepared written material which is the source of the piece of message, or a poem printed along with the computer which the computer is hidden. The audience knew the original piece of text with the print out provided, and the communication through the optical medium is distorted by the presence of the audience and visitors. The audience could also check the computer from the other side, to understand the messages, or to appreciate those distortions and errors along the communication. But in this case, at the beginning I found it difficult to make sense of those flashing characters and the relation with the flashing encoding light in the other end of the installation. For me, the separation between the two computers is also important, one party to do the sending and the other to receive, which represent the two different parties involved in the ways of communication. Technically it can be in one computer for the sake of the presentation, but two -computer-setting is better for the audience.

LAW: I am more interested to know about the meaning of the title, Black Box, or the reason of sending messages in this way. If you tell me it is about an accident, like someone sends off a SOS message, and I can make association to the title. It would be more interesting. I accept those kinds of old fashion video works. But they definitely can do something more, at least on the wall, like a frame on the wall flashes and not just a short lighting on the edges of the floor. Make it like two objects are in communication. The effect now is not enough to bring out the communication topic. As an installation, the spacing is very strange. I did not pay attention to the one computer set up thing, as I spent all the time to understand the work.

NG: The idea of the computer getting a wrong message is very important. I found it boring as there is only one kind of flashing style when people block the transmission of the coding.

Nomination of awards
LICHTENSTEIN: Silver: Textworm; Silver or Gold: Stolen Times for Sale;
Special Mention: Leaf, Living Digit, A Couple of Irons, Black Box

FU: I pick up 4 works first and without nomination. Leaf, Living Digit, Textworm,
Stolen Times for Sale, The Happiness of the Fish.

NG: I pick up three works. Stolen Times for Sale, The Happiness of the Fish and
Leaf, Living Digit.

LAW: Stolen Times for Sale, Textworm

CHUNG: Textworm, Stolen Times for Sale and Black Box

Awards discussion
Stolen Times for Sale
NG: It is good to give The Stolen Times for Sale the gold or silver award. This is the best work in the pool.

FU, LAW, CHUNG: Agree

Textworm
NG: I did not pick up Textworm as it is just technically well done, but the concept is not completed.

LICHTENSTEIN: This work meets all the requirement of the principles of this category. Though it is not perfect, it is still something encouraging to the others.

NG: Agree. Do we agree to give the silver award to this work?

LICHTENSTEIN, FU, LAW, CHUNG: Agree

ifva: We have only three special mentions, but it is ok to give four special mentions if you all agree. The works are Black Box, A Couple of Irons, The Happiness of the Fish and Leaf, Living Digit.

LICHTENSTEIN: I think we should take out A Couple of Irons.

NG: FU, LAW, CHUNG: Agree

Results
Gold Award: Stolen Times for Sale
Silver Award: Textworm
Special mention: The Happiness of the Fish, Leaf, Living Digit, Black Box.

(END)

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Transcript for the 14th ifva Open Category Jury Meeting

Jurors: Oxide PANG, WONG Yan Kwai, FUNG Ka Ming, Eric MA, WONG Sau Ping
ifva representative: Teresa KWONG, Rachel WAN

1. Let’s Take a Shower
WONG Yan Kwai : Its strength is also its weakness. It ends right at the moment when the theme is revealed, without considering if that will make the work looks incomplete. I like how the director depicts melancholy in a light-hearted way. It is a work of genuine and rich sentiments, and full of the spirit of independent making.

WONG Sau Ping: Personally it is my choice of the Gold Prize. I like it the most, firstly because of its social awareness, and secondly, its documentary style of being both realistic and poetic.
In the beginning, it gives a plain illustration of things. And then, when the two people talk about it was a leprosy-stricken place, I can sense the forcefulness of the film, which is a stark contrast of the previous spare depictions. The images after the conversation, such as the two dogs, begin to produce different meanings…

Eric MA: I watched it without any expectation or preparation. It turns out that I find the work very intact; I am entranced by with some of the moments. I try to compare it with Genesis, the work about street market. Both works remind me of ethnography which is a common Anthopology research method of getting into the field of research. They remind me also of how people begin to allow more rooms (of interpretation) in academic writing, and also multi-vocality. I like Let’s Take a Shower for it is poetic but at the same time highly social-oriented. In Genesis, we can see a lot of efforts spent in doing research. It is funny to watch at the start; in the middle, with music then being introduced, it becomes too contrived. Let’s Take a Shower is relatively the better one.
If we compare it with the documentaries nowadays, it is at most the relatively more outstanding work among all the entrants, but definitely not an exceptional one. If we compare it with other feature films, it is not particularly of a high standard.

2. The Story of Sun
Eric MA: It seems that The Story of Sun is the most popular work during the screening just now. To me, however, I find some parts very disturbing.

FUNG Ka Ming: It disturbs me when at the very beginning the mother speaks in such crafted pronunciations and voice.

Oxide PANG: Speaking of acting, if the skill makes up an important part of a work, many of the entrants fail to pass muster.

WONG Sau Ping: The role of the mother is well written, but its delivery is flawed. I comment this film as a“quirky film”. It has a high standard in terms of directing, perhaps due to an unconscious expression of the director’s dispositions.

Eric MA: Sometimes its delivery is too heavy—capturing the lines of desolate tress…the scene where the mother holding her son’s hand is overdone.

WONG Sau Ping: The son is indeed overacting. But the overall performance of the film is convincing and delivers the drama successfully.
There is one scene where the son accidentally steps onto the pirate CDs. The mother asks the son to apologize to and compensate for the CD vendor. Saying sorry to a “criminal” is an interesting misplacement. There is another scene where the son wants to stay in the bower as his own home, which gives an aura of surrealism as compared to the realistic style in the first part. Is the oddness intended by the director or simply a compromise due to budget limitation? Competing in an independent short film festival, I believe the entrants must make more bold moves. And, Three Boys surprised me; the good things about it are all about its craft.

FUNG Ka Ming: I think the relationship between the three people in Three Boys is extremely touching.

WONG Sau Ping: Not for me.

WONG Yan Kwai: What a big difference. It is not about the craft that makes the three people willing to be filmed; it is about trust. With trust, the three interact with each other without being always conscious of the existence of the director. The director has good maneuver of both the active movements and stillness of the camera.

Oxide PANG : The intervals are done meticulously. In the opening scene, we see very precise editing of the expressions of the actors inside the car, showing great skills.

WONG Sau Ping: Good combination. After one dies, one of the remaining two becomes more reserved while the other is talkative. The relationship between them is captivating. However, the story framework is cliché, like all the struggles of live of the band members after the band breaks up…

Eric MA: I think we should pick those works rebellious against all the rules, since so many resources have been pouring into the competition. In this regard, we have different concerns in the panel.

WONG Sau Ping::Professionals, too, can create surprising and shocking work. Both professional or green artists can make an impact with one’s work. Perhaps we could consider more about the production quality of a work. For me, the spirit of independent movie making matters.

Oxide PANG : I am thinking if the director of Three Boys has made anything before it. Perhaps something like The Story of Sun during which he passed the stage of immaturity? So, which kind of work should we choose?

WONG Yan Kwai: This year we see just a small number of works willing to break the rules. Take My One Last Miracle as an example. It is very furnished, but not adventurous and creative.

FUNG Ka Ming: The Story of Sun is an ethical drama about family, with some special treatment. It is not odd. It tells the mother-and-son relation in a straightforward way. The two are not very close. The son dares not to tell her mom about his being dispelled from school. His mother keeps nagging him till he admits everything and brings her to the outdoor place where he stays. At last, because of her mother, he puts up a “V” sign which he really hates to do in the past. The story flows from one point to another in a course.

Eric MA: Eeccentricities could perhaps be seen only in the character setting and some parts of the plot; the mother-son tie is not, however, particularly new. When I was watching it, I thought, why such a need to follow mama all the time? I don’t really like that.

WONG Yan Kwai: This is a light comedy, an approach different from local directors. Local directors tend to tell the story heavily and in a contrived way.

FUNG Ka Ming : Among all the family ethical film, this one is the most interesting.

Eric MA: But the ethics in the movie suffocate me.

FUNG Ka Ming : Most of the works by young people nowadays are about melancholy of youth. The schools support them with resources such as facilities and equipments. They are asked to make something out of it but due to the school assessment system, the work cannot be too edgy and they have to play it really safe. They just conform. In real life, they enjoy their spending spree and karaoke; when it comes to making film, they behave by telling serious stories about parents, Alzheimer……Most of the graduation projects I have come across are under this category of ethical film. Given the limited budget and film rolls, these topics are the “most guaranteed”

3. Forget Me Not
WONG Sau Ping: The Story of Sun is sincere. Forget Me Not, also talking about a mother and a son, is not touching me at all.

WONG Yan Kwai : The biggest problem of Forget Me Not is the ending scene where the mother dies. It would still be okay if the mother hadn’t jump down, allowing room for the viewers’ own contemplation. But then it shows us a pair of shoes, indicating she is dead. What a fatal flaw.

WONG Sau Ping: Its story is a also cliché. Banality is not a problem; the importance is whether you give a special viewpoint and speak to people’s heart. Forget Me Not is special only because of the shooting locations; others are simply functional and not thoughtful enough.
As it is a stereotype, it is not touching enough. It reminds me of Ann Hui’s Summer Snow, which is also about Alzheimer, telling stories in a subtle and moving way.

4. Dust Off
Oxide PANG: Dust Off and The Story of Sun belong to the same kind of ethical film. Dust Off successfully performs as a melodrama. In terms of creativity, the two scenes about “Ultraman” are indeed very bold. I try to strike a balance when picking this work. It has some of the things that you all appreciate. Good performance by the male lead. The scene where he calls people to visit him is very touching. It is a very intact work of ten minutes. The audience knows very well what it tries to say. The director has successfully delivered what he tries to say. No particular flaws were found in the filming.

WONG Sau Ping : I find its technique full of flaws. There are problems in the editing, making people believe that he has not made enough shots and that’s why the editing always jumps.
The stylish editing in the introduction is very well done and effective--One shot holds, then flashes in a word. But the language used in filming the narrative is not precise. Still, I appreciate the working being very interesting. The scene on the road is well designed.

Eric MA: Some of the images make an impact; Ultraman walking on the street, the rooftop and the scenes about To Gwa Wan are all very enjoyable. The editing in the latter part is very ordinary, such as the scene where the beggar is being beaten up. Personally I think this work takes a quite conservative standpoint.

FUNG Ka Ming : And I suspect it oversimplifies social problems.

5. Genesis
WONG Sau Ping: An attempt to depict a place with just image and sensibility. Some parts in the music, close-ups and patterns of food are however very mainstream.

Eric MA: The beginning scene at the fish stall is quite good, but it gets more typical as it develops. Using background music in the ending two parts is bizarre.

WONG Sau Ping: It seems it starts to burn out in the middle. Some camera movements are quite good.

6. Break Borders 2
Eric MA: With human touch, but very typical story.

WONG Sau Ping:《Break Borders 2》is quite well executed but not in a creative way and without profound discussion on the hip hop culture.

FUNG Ka Ming: They could have done more. For example, they could have approached the performance in the mall from other perspectives. They could also have compared the performance with what the gang did in the US. Now it just tells something about a local mall. With my understanding of the local street culture, I believe the director is very sincere. However, the work does not give enough messages about how street culture is not well accepted and lacks space to develop in Hong Kong. But the interview subjects are very interesting.

7. 6 Fragments of the Endless Journey Called Life
WONG Sau Ping: It is intact, an experimental type of film but not pioneering.

WONG Yan Kwai: It is just an experiment on genre, which is to say, rather traditional. It is not an all-out experiment.

8. The Monk
Eric MA: The best part is its last five second.

WONG Sau Ping: The end part is exactly the part I hate most. Undeniably that is the pivotal part of the film. He has got a lot to say, probing about “real” and “unreal”.

WONG Yan Kwai: The truth in film and the truth in reality.

WONG Sau Ping: A difficult subject matter indeed—whether humans have true self.
The director concludes the film with a laugh and his own value. He tries to say “it’s not a must to differentiate between the real and the unreal; the most important thing is to live happily.” I think he fails to notice the seriousness of the question. They are young people, and it is a topic often discussed among students. I can understand their approach. It seems an old-school kind of topic; still it could have carried in-depth discussion. The work seems superficial and making a lot of fuss. Good cinematography, however, makes it a pleasure to watch and thought provoking.

9. Bicycle
FUNG Ka Ming: Among all the entrants, I am less into Bicycle because of the ethical talking in the beginning, the three actors who are not convincing and also the brother’s performance being very fluctuated. Among the works about family, it is not particularly a good one.

WONG Sau Ping: The female lead performs quite well.

Eric MA: Overall speaking it is not impressive.

FUNG Ka Ming: There are shots without much meaning. For example, in the beginning, it suggests flash back with the child turning his head--something really unnecessary.

10. Move Out
WONG Sau Ping: It feels quite good. It is youthful and rebellious, but tends to be too sentimental, without any substantial discussion. The ending is puzzling. I am not sure if it relates to his techniques or is something intentional.

Oxide PANG: If such move threads through the whole film would probably make it a good work; but now, it is odd when only the ending uses this method.

WONG Sau Ping: The performance of actors is quite good.

11. Distance
FUNG Ka Ming: Very weak performance of the father. Sometimes the shots are too long, especially in the scenes of the father and the son, who speak to one another standing in a line. Perhaps the director wants to learn from Hou Hsiao-hsien.

WONG Sau Ping: Contrived, and confined by the form.

12. My One Last Miracle
WONG Yan Kwai: This work is irresistible. Very well done. And this is exactly its problem. It gives no surprises at all. It is professionally executed but without any experimental attempt.

WONG Sau Ping: There are surprises, but under much calculation. It tries to carry something like magical realism…It is well executed, with a very sincere and moving depiction of the children’s world. The part about how the mother can recover after one has accomplished something is a very interesting idea.

13. Symphony for Mr. Deaf
Eric MA: Good performance. I like the chubby actor a lot, who is very convincing.
This work has good narrative framework and the way it uses factory as the story’s background is a good idea. The part about the sister is subtle but clearly conveyed. The situations, the acting have cultural implications, such as factory and the people in the factory. But I was a bit disappointed at the ending where the protagonist gets ill, reminisces about the sibling bond, etc. That’s the flaw of this work--despite a very good execution in the first part of the film.

FUNG Ka Ming: I like the interesting things happen between the character,阿聾,and his able colleagues. The chubby boy performs quite well. To my surprise he is a first-time actor. The part about the sister I find it too dramatic. At last she falls ill without being noticed by the lead cast. As for the music, using Bach in a story about the lower class creates a very interesting contrast.

14. Road Home
FUNG Ka Ming: I like Road Home quite a lot; sadly again it is a very neat work.

WONG Sau Ping: In terms of neatness, My One Last Miracle is more outstanding. I do not like Road Home very much, despite there is something nice about it; for example, the performance of Joman Chiang.
It is a very refined work, but weak in terms of its creativity.

Teresa KWONG: I suggest each one of you pick the works that you believe are qualified for being the final three, before deciding on the prizes.

Eric MA: Let’s Take a Shower, Three Boys

WONG Sau Ping: Let’s Take a Shower, The Story of Sun

Oxide PANG: The Story of Sun, Three Boys

FUNG Ka Ming: Three Boys, , Let’s Take a Shower

WONG Yan Kwai: Let’s Take a Shower, Symphony for Mr. Deaf, The Monk, Three Boys

Teresa KWONG: Let’s Take a Shower and Three Boys have the highest score. Let’s first decide on the Gold Prize.

WONG Sau Ping: I support Let’s Take a Shower for the Gold Prize but I prefer to give the Silver Prize to The Story of Sun but not Three Boys.

Oxide PANG: Frankly I am into commercial work. If we want to choose a work with the most independent spirit and can be commercially successful at the same time, let’s pick a work that can strike this balance.

WONG Sau Ping: I appreciate the candour of the director of The Story of Sun in telling his own emotions. Undeniably there are a lot calculations in the film. But in a way, the over-acting reflects how naked it is to tell the sentiments (such as between the mother and the son). I am moved by it.

WONG Yan Kwai: Let’s Take a Showeris not only a documentary. The inclusion of the scenes about the dog is intentional and with drama.

Teresa KWONG: WONG Yan Kwai, may I ask why you pick Symphony for Mr. Deaf and The Monk ?

WONG Yan Kwai: It is a very subjective and personal decision. And I am not going to convince others to side with me.

FUNG Ka Ming: Road Home is a very neat work, not particularly distinctive or creative. Some of its visual designs are stunning: a long shot showing Joman passing by on a bicycle and with some very dramatic music. I think as an independent film this is really something. Joman’s performance is enjoyable. The work is very comfortable to watch. The relationship between the two protagonists is captivating, and so is the montage sequence in the middle part when the two become much closer to one another. The story is definitely a cliché. Dancing in London will bring about the reminiscence of a lost friend. As a story about a teenager, it is well directed.

Eric MA: I am sure for those experienced ifva panelists, the works this year are not at all creative; rather, they are conventional and typical. Giving two Silver Awards will have an implication. As it is my first time on the panel, I am not sure whether there should be any implication.

Teresa KWONG: In recent years, the works have been getting conventional.

Oxide PANG: We should communicate to the young artists the importance of being creative. The designation of the Gold and Silver Awards will be giving out this kind of message.

FUNG Ka Ming: To communicate the message by awarding particular works may not as effective as writing a review or speech about it. Simply telling people how good is Let’s Take a Shower will not make people understand our consideration (of its being a non-feature film). Even if we explain it to others, we could not anticipate people’s response. This however does not mean we should not talk about it. The problem is that the overall environment is now getting more conforming. The schools are not bold enough.
If genre is not a concern, Let’s Take a Shower is unquestionably a good film. But in terms of the overall performance, Three Boys outstrips Let’s Take a Shower.

Oxide PANG: Agree.

WONG Sau Ping: The only work I would like to pick for the Gold Award is Let’s Take a Shower. I object to awarding《Three Boys》the Gold Prize.

FUNG Ka Ming: I object to sacrifice《Three Boys》for the sake of Let’s Take a Shower.

Eric MA: Me too. We seldom come across documentary in the competition. Let’s Take a Shower is not good enough to get the Gold Award.

WONG Sau Ping: Anyone object to giving the Gold Award to The Story of Sun?

FUNG Ka Ming: I object. It is neither creative nor idiosyncratic. It is just an outstanding film among a large group of family drama. There are many flaws in the film, especially the cast of the mother. Also, it has boring shots.

15. Three Boys
Oxide PANG: For me, having seen Three Boys is very critical. Before that I tend to choose works with fewer commercial elements, those that can move me deeply in just five to ten minutes. Then the more I see the more I realize there is no such work. Three Boys, in the end, is the work with good script, good directing and good acting.

WONG Sau Ping: I have seen ifva works in the past few years. And I was an ifva-awardee. But I would feel sad if Three Boys is awarded the Gold Prize. I have nothing against the director. I also agree with what you said about its good techniques.

Eric MA: I suggest giving two Silver Awards, Let’s Take a Shower and Three Boys.

WONG Sau Ping: I would have no objection.

FUNG Ka Ming: It would be a pity if not awarding the Gold Prize. Three Boys not only displays good techniques but it also has excellent actors, script and director. A very well-balanced execution. It tells clearly, and skilfully, the characters of the three protagonists in 19 minutes. The cast gives natural and poised performances. Even though the director has not been to the Philippines and has to manage a foreign language in the filming, it turns out that the three characters are very convincing. It is different from the other conforming, family drama feature films. Despite being a cliché to talk about dreams, the story moves me, a thirty-something guy, very deeply. Life itself has bring one’s true self into oblivion; being able to pick up once again one’s thoughts and ideas is very touching. He surely has conveyed the message.

WONG Yan Kwai: In terms of the techniques of the director, I believe the director of Three Boys is someone currently working in the industry.

WONG Sau Ping: I don’t think he can fully deliver the themes about struggles in life, the alienation, and the reminiscence of past dreams. I cannot feel the passion in music. I cannot feel the passion of the director in handling this subject matter.

Oxide PANG: But he has done a great job in the 19 minutes.

Teresa KWONG: Four plans have been mentioned:
1. Two Gold Awards to Three Boys and Let’s Take a Shower; no Silver Award
2. Two Silver Awards to Three Boys and Let’s Take a Shower; no Gold Award
3. Gold Award, Three Boys; Silver Award, Let’s Take a Shower
4. Gold Award, Let’s Take a Shower; Silver Award, The Story of Sun

WONG Yan Kwai: If we do have good works here, let’s try not to give up too easily on awarding the Gold Prize.

WONG Sau Ping: Even if there are only average works competing for the Oscar’s Best Picture, the relatively better work will be chosen. Being awarded the Gold Prize means something. Personally I opt for giving no Gold Prize but two Silver Awards to Three Boys and Let’s Take a Shower. I agree what you said about the weakness of Let’s Take a Shower. I wish it could be awarded the Gold Prize. Relatively it is not up to a particular standard but it deserves to come first, and it is also representative of something. But no on agrees with me, right?

Oxide PANG: If we really have to award the Gold Prize, I would go for Three Boys.

Both Oxide PANG and FUNG Ka Ming go for Plan 3: Gold Award, Three Boys; Silver Award, Let’s Take a Shower.

Eric M, WONG Sau Ping: Plan 2: Two Silver Awards for Three Boys and Let’s Take a Shower. No Gold Award.

Oxide PANG: Please pick one among 2 or 3.

WONG Yan Kwai: I won’t consider Plan 2. I would pick up either 3 or 4.

Oxide PANG: Plan 3 has 2.5 votes, and half vote for Plan 4.

Teresa KWONG: The Gold Prize goes to Three Boys; Silver Prize, Let’s Take a Shower;

Eric MA: One Special Mention is enough for this year’s works are very conventional indeed.

Teresa KWONG: I hereby announce the Gold Prize goes to Three Boys; Silver Prize, Let’s Take a Shower and Special Mention goes to The Story of Sun.

The END

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Transcript for the 14th ifva Youth Category Jury Meeting

Jurors: Juno MAK, CHAN Wai, CHAN Wing Chiu, CHAN Pik Yu
Apologies: John WONG
ifva representative: Teresa KWONG, Rachel WAN

Juno MAK:My Rose and Life Must Go On are the most impressive among the ten short films I have screened. I believe I am the youngest in the panel; and for people of my age, the lives of this group of youngsters are what we consider fresh and thus are attractive to. I guess they are around 18 years of age, who want to enjoy life here and now and pursue the dreams they aspire to. It’s like burning up their youth as they follow some abstract kinds of dreams, but somehow get lost on the way. They are waiting for something to happen, thus putting themselves in a state of contradiction and helplessness. It gives a stark contrast between their looking for a dream and for a life. The music and cinematography of both works are relatively immature.

CHAN Wai:Life Must Go On surprises me because the work is very complete. As it is the first work shown in the screening, I find it quite hard to look at the rest of the entries that follow. (laugh) Despite the overall techniques of Life Must Go On have flaws, the level of skills displayed in this year’s Youth Category is unexpectedly high. I like how he captures people’s faces and also his friends. He did it in a seemingly arbitrary way, but it is a very true reflection of their lives. I also appreciate his humanistic concerns towards children and his friends, even if that was not intended. The work touches me as its originality and concerns speak to me.

Two features, Let You Know and I’m Back, have a well-balanced execution. They live up to some dramatic requirements. For examples, Let You Know has furnished a complete story, but is inept in terms of directing the performers and also the delivery of emotions. The same flaws can be found in I’m Back, where a voice-over is used in the finale to, at a fast pace, convey an awakening. It demonstrates a kind of political correctness but at the same time it turns a somewhat original idea into a melodrama.

I find The Empty Body very outstanding. It gives a very precise delivery. Yet, it is relatively short in length, which is about three minutes, with no dialogues. Basically its imagery works and is up to the standard.

Without Title also outstrips the others. And when I came across the phrase “please feel it yourself” in its introductory text, I reckon it is a work with a view. It enables people to feel its passion and invites us to look at the world in its eyes. Its subject matters are Central and Hong Kong which we are all familiar with. The camera is very passionate and rhythmical; there you find neither story nor drama, dialogues nor text. It is particularly impressive for a work in the Youth Category to have reached this standard.

My Rose is very unique and impresses me. It gives a very precise delivery even though it does not have any dialogues. It astounds me.

Juno MAK: At first I would say Let You Know is a good work, even though it is much less an original story but a cliché melodrama; and the treatment is not at all creative though it is very appropriate. After I saw Life Must Go On, however, I believe it simply outstrips Let You Know.

I’m Back is impressive because it carries humour. I think it is very difficult to make people laugh. There are a couple of scenes which are very funny in I’m Back.

I was drawn by Life Must Go On and My Rose. The latter, in particular, impresses me. It is not a long piece of work, but looks stereotype.

I would consider Life Must Go On a documentary, and it is the strongest among the others.

CHAN Pikyu:I think the ending of Life Must Go On is the magic touch of the whole film, and that also makes the work a great one. It astounds me. My Rose is the most eye-catching, with the theme best articulated. It makes use of simple language to present what it says--without uttering a single line of words—but you do understand what it tries to tell you.

CHAN Wing Chiu: I like Life Must Go On very much, emotionally. I cherish the fact that it is a good work done by a teenager. It tells something about the times we live in, and what are in our minds. It is a very integrated work. The director documents his friends with sincerity. He stresses that this documentation must be done before he turns 18 years old so as to make a record about this young generation of Hong Kong.

The Empty Body hangs together and it is also about students. I find its story subversive, which expresses his resistance to wearing uniforms. I can tolerate the weakness in its techniques. The protagonist did not simply die. There you can see sublimation, which I find extremely poetic.

The Island tries to tell a story with a big theme and deeper meanings. It tries also a variety of techniques. Relatively, however, it is not as complete as the others, and performs badly as far as the techniques are concerned. The same flaws can be seen in Rule & City.

I find My Rose too complete and its techniques too perfect. The director displays too well his story-telling skills, with strong visuals. I believe he will shine in the future. He knows what he should and should not do; he understands so well about editing and how to develop the story. The treatment in the ending about the relationships of the three protagonists, and the reflections about homosexuality, is very integrated.

Quite a lot of things about Woke Up are praiseworthy. It tries to tell a story in a skillful way, but the overall performance is just average.

I was not quite into Let You Know at the beginning. However, after our last discussion, I was convinced by your viewpoints. It has good techniques, a very integrated use of camera movement and the script. It knows how to put an end to things and how to edit the material. When I saw it for the first time, the extras (in the group scenes) really disturbed me. But now I have new discoveries about them. They do carry meanings and play a significant part in pushing forward the plot; their dialogues are important. With your opinions in mind, I am thinking if we need to consider giving it an award.

Without Title is a special one. At first it was not at all my preference for I thought it was just something arbitrary. But the more I saw it and discussed it, the more I was drawn into it. It has achieved consistency in its visuals and music, and at some point, it touches the heart.

I’m Back lingers in the middle. Viewing it as a feature, I prefer it to Let You Know. I’m Back is child-like and cheerful; the performers are playful. Its theme is close to the world they are living in.

CHAN Wai:Without Title is an alternative work. It has its own aesthetics; its focus and cinematography are up to the standard. It is full of emotions instead of being just a demonstration of techniques.

CHAN Wing Chiu:Graduation has a clear and lucid concept with an integrated use of cinematography, music and performers. It tells a story with a song of just a few minutes long. The skills are delicate, but you will easily lose sight of such delicacy along the way. In the first round of selection, we did come across a lot of works too skillfully crafted that its truthfulness in the making was shrouded. Graduation is obviously one of them. It is so polished that two girls can be posed to make a perfect heart shape. Everything in the work is calculated.

CHAN Wai:It looks familiar to me when I saw it for the first time. It is very fine. There is a kind of mood or sensation flowing in the work but I have no way to fathom its theme. The treatment in framing and colour temperature is very well put. But it seems just too familiar to the extent that I feel reluctant to vote for it.

CHAN Wing Chiu:What you have just pointed out is that it is in fact a copy cat. Its story-telling is so common and popular nowadays, which is nothing new to us.

First Round of Voting

ifva: John WONG votes for Life Must Go On, My Rose, The Empty Body, Woke Up and The Island. We can first recommend the Gold Prize, but first of all we need a nomination.

CHAN Wing Chiu: Life Must Go on

CHAN Pik Yu: I choose My Rose and Life Must Go On.

Juno MAK: I nominate My Rose for the Gold Prize.

ifva:John WONG nominates Life Must Go On for the Gold Prize. So now, two works have the same number of votes. I suggest we do some lobbying among ourselves. Shall we award a shared Gold Prize, or one Gold and one Silver Prize?

Juno MAK:I value the creativity of a work. My preference is My Rose for it has richer elements in its camera treatment, creativity and art direction. Life Must Go On is a good work, too, just that I reckon it is a record of the life of the director’s own. It touches me for its being a good documentary. If we consider the effort it takes to make a short film from scratch, I would give My Rose the Gold Prize and the Silver Prize to Life Must Go On.

CHAN Wing Chiu:I am speaking from a totally different perspective. I think being realistic is the valuable thing about Life Must Go On. It takes a close look to life and originates from a truthful heart. Its value lies in its originality and creativity, all displayed by the fact that the director has paid much effort in developing the concept, shooting the stories around him, and then editing the material. More importantly, everything was done in a spare style.

Secondly, the creativity of Life Must Go On is rooted in its origin--it captures the attribute of the present times. It is subversive for being seemingly a film about youth problem while exposing also the fact that the same problem can be shared by the elder generations. It is thought-provoking especially when it is voiced out by someone who is not even 18 years old.

CHAN Pikyu:It seems to me the two films belong to different types. It would be difficult to choose between them. We can see craftsmanship in My Rose done in a very controlled way. There is something tough about Life Must Go On, and it allows us to understand more about young people nowadays. In the final scene, the director does not forget to raise his own question.

When I came across some social workers by the latter part of the film, I thought they must be the one who asked the youngsters to engage in art making so as to put their energy into good use. I even had this thought about the film being made by a group instead of just one person. But as the director started filming, he must have gained a lot of sensations and feelings of his own, leading him to work out his plans. In this way, this film is very different from My Rose.

CHAN Wai:I am reluctant to make any comparison for it is cruel to do so. The way Life Must Go On uses to establish relationships with people through the camera is not an easy task. The director leaves his own remarks by the end of the film, making the work complete.

CHAN Wing Chiu:We seem inclined to award a shared Gold Prize, don’t we? Here we are, just four of us, a situation which is quite embarrassing.

Juno MAK:I am okay with a shared Gold Prize, but not giving out a Silver Prize. I think Life Must Go On is realistic whereas My Rose is surreal. To make a choice between the two means that we have to choose between “realistic” and “surreal”. For me, “surreal” is definitely the choice. If all of us agree with a shared Gold, I think both films deserve the award.

CHAN Wai:If we give a shared Gold Prize, I don’t think any work deserves the Silver Prize.

CHAN Pikyu:I agree.

CHAN Wing Chiu:Taking into consideration of your opinion, I tend to give a shared Gold Prize. In fact I tend to vote for Life Must Go On; as Juno observed correctly, I am more into realism. The way My Rose expresses the inner heart is dear. I am delighted by how Chan Wai described it with the word “desire”. I think the work deserves our respect and affirmation for its craftsmanship and creativity. It is exceptional for a Youth Category entry like this one.

Personally I think we have a very high standard this year. There are many works that deserve the awards. If to vote for the Silver Prize, my favourite is The Empty Body. Like what I said before, its concept hangs together and it is poetic. There is something unique about it and it deserves our support.

ifva:What do you think about the Silver Prize? Any other nominations?

CHAN Pikyu: I rank the works in three levels. The first level is Life Must Go On and My Rose; the second, The Empty Body and Without Title; the rest of them go to the third. I would say, The Empty Body and Without Title.

CHAN Wai:I’d rather not give the Silver Prize. Again, it is difficult to compare Let You Know and The Empty Body. They are just different in terms of the production and story-telling. On the other hand, The Empty Body can be grouped with Without Title, but that does not give any of them more credit.

Juno MAK:There are some good and bad works among the rest of the entries. I would recommend no Silver Prize, nonetheless I suggest Special Mention for Let You Know and I’m Back.

ifva: John WONG has chosen My Rose for the Silver Prize. Is voting needed for the Silver Prize?

CHAN Wing Chiu:I don’t think so. I call back my previous suggestion and opt for no Silver Prize.

Voting for Special Mention:

ifva:John WONG chooses The Empty Body、Woke Up and The Island. It becomes clear that The Empty Body and Without Title are in.

Juno MAK:And now it’s between The Island and Let You Know.

CHAN Wing Chiu:We have three choices: to pick two, three or four films.

CHAN Pikyu:If I have to pick just one, I will go for Let You Know. The Island is a very lovely work, but less successful than Let You Know which has a better execution in the narrative, craftsmanship and structure. I am also impressed by The Island it expresses a kind of innocence and sincerity about movie making. Sadly, its outcome does not pass muster.

CHAN Wai:I agree to give three Special Mention because we are not going to award the Silver Prize.

ifva:if no objection, we will award the Gold Prize of this year’s Youth Category to both Life Must Go On and My Rose; The Empty Body, Let You Know and Without Title are the three Special Mentions.

 

 

The 15th ifva jury meeting transcript

Animation Category Jury Meeting

Jury Members: Lam Kee-to, Neco Lo Che-ying, Felix Ip, Wong Ying, Tamshui
ifva Representatives: Teresa Kwong, Kattie Fan

Lam Kee-to: I think《Red Riding Hood》is very professionally done. In terms of both storytelling and animation effects it is of a higher standard than most student works.

Neco Lo: However the story is too simple. It’s a little bit like the animation DVD you can buy at a store. The pop-up effect is quite likeable. The director is able to put a new twist into this medium, which requires some effort--it’s just that I expect something more. If he could put in a twist at the end it would be better.

Wong Ying: It’s quite suitable for children. At the screening just now the film received a good response. The story is familiar to all, so people were more into it.

Lam Kee-to: But I wouldn’t give him high marks because of that. Rather, this competition should encourage works that are not as market-driven. The next work is《Found Me》. I want to ask a technical question. Is its hand-drawn effect really done by hand, or is it colored by computer?

Felix Ip: It’s colored by computer.

Tamshui: I heard it takes three or four months to do.

Lam Kee-to: But at least you don’t have to get your hands dirty.

Wong Ying: He probably needs to film some live action as reference.

Tamshui: It’s especially interesting to view this work alongside《Tree》. They both have similar elements like tree, hands and crying, but one is a personal work, while the other is about the Sichuan earthquake.

Neco Lo: I don’t think the world portrayed in《Found Me》is very special; it’s just like a virtual game world. The beginning part is quite interesting, but the later part is like a computer game. In the beginning, when the lead character is running around, it’s enjoyable, but it does not go deep enough. Subject matters like this are easy to do. You start with a person’s mental world, and anything goes because everything is symbolic. This type of premise can be done well, but could also be quite arbitrary and left up to the viewer’s imagination. I don’t have a strong impression about this work.

Tamshui: The beginning and ending parts are too similar in terms of rhythm, and there is not enough contrast between them.

Neco Lo: The ending is too abrupt.

Lam Kee-to: The story and the means of expression are a bit green and rough on the edges. The use of 2D and the grey/brown color palette is quite distinctive, and gives it a more individual style. It reminds me of a black and white entry from past years that was done with pencil drawings. One can easily tell that this is his first work, but one should not judge him according to technical competence. He is very inexperienced and instinctive, but for an independent film we should not focus too much on technique. Yet among the 12 finalists this is not particularly outstanding.

Felix Ip: I wasn’t too involved when I watched it.

Teresa Kwong: The next one is《Fat Son and the Stone Prince》.

Tamshui: The audience reacted well to this film.

Lam Kee-to: It is unintentionally symbolic.

Felix Ip: The modeling and design are quite special, and the use of color is also well-done. However the action is a bit hard to watch.

Tamshui: For example it looks like he is being pushed when he jumps.

Lam Kee-to: This film expresses a realistic world, and because of this you can spot many technical flaws. For example there are shadows in some scenes but not others, and sometimes the trees have shadows, but not human beings. This affects the overall impression. If this is the world he wants to portray, then its finishing is not up to par. Whereas a film like《Found Me》is set in an abstract world, so it doesn’t matter if things have shadows.

Wong Ying: I agree. The modeling is clever and interesting. It sets up rules such as gold coins, but what functions do they serve? I don’t think it quite makes sense. Some objects are functional and logical, but you can’t explain their meaning. He wants to create a game or cycle, but the elements don’t hold together.

Tamshui: Just now at the screening the audience was attracted by the imagery, but their interests gradually faded and they started talking among themselves.

Neco Lo: His way of storytelling and application has problems.

Teresa Kwong:《Faces》.

Tamshui: Is this the version 2.0 one?

Neco Lo: I think so. It was entered in the competition last year, and he changed some things and entered it again. It has many typical elements found in independent animations, like an abundance of symbolic things that elements that leaves room for people’s imagination. Even though this is a simple work, it is interesting and meaningful. But is that enough? I don’t think so. For a two minute work it is quite complete.

Wong Ying: It has a good concept, but no surprises. At the end it lost me when it changed to a real person.

Neco Lo: It lacks incidents to substantiate its points. Does changing faces always imply deception? Not necessarily. One could put on another face to please someone. The world is not so simple.

Felix Ip: I was a bit surprised at the end when the animated face becomes real. I didn’t expect that.

Lam Kee-to: I thought it was okay when I first saw it, but when I read their description I realized my reading is different from their intention. I didn’t think of the Rubic’s cube as being fake when I saw it. I simply thought within that world people have to find a suitable face. The work is too short, and this description has done it a disservice. There should be more happening in the middle. For example, which is his real face? You could also say the Rubic’s cube face is his real face. I think the visual aspects of this film is good and can spark people’s imagination. But the message doesn’t come across strongly enough. There should be more details

Wong Ying: The Rubic’s cube is an interesting idea, and viewers can freely apply their interpretations. The Rubic’s cube is just two-by-two, so it is not very complex. I want to see different combinations, for example, what would it look like if I match one set of eyebrows with another set of eyes? Perhaps the person would look completely different. But the directors didn’t explore or further develop this idea.

Tamshui: This is one of the few works that has a definite idea about the use of color, and tries to have a minimal color palette.

Teresa Kwong:《MK, HK》.

Felix Ip: I was bothered by the voiceover, because I kept hearing my name! Its form and visual aspects are quite amusing, but much of the voiceover was not necessary.

Neco Lo: It even uses captions to make its point!

Tamshui: We thought it is like ETV, and we’re right!

Neco Lo: It is a RTHK commissioned project. This is one thing, but he doesn’t use the medium well. A lot of good animation can say a lot with just sound effects, and can be very touching too. This one relies too much on captions. How you communicate your message is really very important. Many directors rely on dialogue to say what they want to say, but they ought to focus more on sound effects, art direction and other elements.

Lam Kee-to: The voiceover is misleading. It tells you that the protagonist is a documentary filmmaker, and is a professional. He cannot find a good subject, and so has to go out and look for one. This premise puts it at a disadvantage, because later on you see that he leaves his tripod behind. This is not too professional!

Felix Ip: He keeps repeating the protagonist’s name, Yip Wai, in every line, which is so unnecessary.

Lam Kee-to: Other than that, I think the modeling is good, and the place he lives in, with the fences, is quite interesting because it expresses his isolation. The use of mainly black and white animation is also well presented, but the story is too neat and tidy. The film is meant for a TV show, which violates the “independent spirit” part of the competition. Having good technique is a good thing, and being an RTHK commissioned project is fine, but he should make some changes before entering into this competition.

Teresa Kwong: I’m not sure about animations, but RTHK does not allow commissioned drama programs to have an alternate version. A few years ago there was a case involving Yan Yan Mak in which she edited another version for entry into another film festival, and in the end she had a falling out with the television station. RTHK views all materials, including those that have not been aired, as property belonging to the station.

Tamshui: But that doesn’t mean this competition has to follow RTHK rules.

Wong Ying: If the entry wins, you have to screen it publicly.

Neco Lo: Even if the director chooses to use voiceover and captions, there are better and cleverer ways of doing it. At first I thought he was being ironic, but soon realized that’s not the case. He could have used voiceover and captions in a smoother way, so that it sounds better. The captions need not be in white against a red background. These elements could have been more artfully done so that they blend into the whole film.

Tamshui: Why did they decide to enter this competition?

Neco Lo: I guess they didn’t want to waste the chance. Besides, there is prize money, and more people could get to see it.

Lam Kee-to: As an independent film this work is lacking in many respects.

Tamshui: I asked this question because I want to say that entrants should think about what independent film is.

Wong Ying: That’s why I think school projects should not be considered.

Lam Kee-to: Because the object of school project is to fulfill course requirements. There are also works that are backed by large animation companies as a way to motivate employees, to give them something to do in their off periods.

Tamshui: I don’t think there’s a problem with that.

Lam Kee-to: But these companies have more resources, so could produce better works…

Wong Ying: Well in the past Raman had entered the competition but did not win. We have to send a message to students that if they enter this competition with school projects, their chances of getting awards are low.

Tamshui: My entry that ended up winning an award was a school project, but I already had the competition in mind when I made it.

Wong Ying: That’s the difference. The motivation is very important.

Lam Kee-to: When I look at animations from other countries like Japan, even though the works are done by large companies, they still display independent spirit, and their concepts are independent too. When I look at Hong Kong works, sometimes they use large companies’ resources, but lack independent spirit.

Wong Ying: Not too many companies let their employees do that.

Lam Kee-to: As far as I know there are four.

Neco Lo: Independent animations are not marketable, so people don’t know have a concept of what it is. They think that as long as a work is boring, short or obtuse, it is independent. But if we bar student works from entry into the competition, we may be left with only three entries. Whether or not they are student works is not important, but people should take the competition into consideration when planning their school projects.

Lam Kee-to: Developing a market for independent shorts is very important. ifva has already established some kind of culture in the past few years. However, the quality this year is not very high.

Tamshui: Other kinds of shorts may be better, but the animation this year is weak.

Lam Kee-to: In recent years the digital animation industry has been growing strongly, and there had been more and more entries to the ifva. But the concept of independence is being challenged at the same time.

Teresa Kwong: The next work is《Wu Song Kill Tiger》.

Lam Kee-to: Why was this chosen to be among the finalists?

Tanshui: At first we had reservations about it too because this is not an original story.

Lam Kee-to: Actually I want to ask about the process by which you picked the 12 finalists out of 47 entries.

Neco Lo: We gave points to each film, and each person then recommend a certain number of finalist films. We ended up with a list of 16 to 18. Then we picked from this list works that we think are outstanding or deserve to be publicly screened. The process was not difficult.

Lam Kee-to: I feel the quality of entries this year has not been strong. I have seen《Wu Song Kill Tiger》before under a different context. This time I look at it from the perspective of independent films, and find that it is inadequate in many respects. I feel the director wants to have this work publicly shown, and it lacks independent spirit.

Neco Lo: You can define independence of a film by its funding, or by the identity of its creator. But a person can have many different identities.

Wong Ying: The sound effects for《Wu Song Kill Tiger》is quite good, and stands above other entries in this respect.

Tamshui: The sound in this year’s entries is quite weak.

Wong Ying: Even though there are technical problems with this work, such as the fact that the voiceover is unclear, on the whole the mixing is done well. At least it is layered.

Neco Lo: One cannot deny that this is done by an experienced animator. In this regard he is better than other entrants. This year there are few well-rounded works, works that are up to par in every respect.《Wu Song Kill Tiger》is one of them.《Little Red Riding Hood》is too short, even though it is well-rounded.

Teresa Kwong:《A Hair Story》.

Tamshui: I think this work cuts corners too much. Basically it is filmed as a live action, and then animated. It does not seem fair to other films that are done frame by frame. If you did a live action short, why turn it into an animation?

Neco Lo:《Waking Life》is also a live action film in which animation effects are added in post-production.

Tamshui: I don’t think he grasped the spirit of this technique, and does not use it well. For example in terms of pictorial composition…

Neco Lo: He does consider things like camera placement, and is not just done randomly. In terms of the connection between shots it is done well.

Lam Kee-to: He manages to capture the distinctive nature of animation, especially in the section involving the bus journey, from which you can really see the transformation of the community. Using reflection from the window, he conjures up a kind of mood that you only see in animation. The work is about local culture, even though it is not very complete. The music is not original, but is used quite well. Like《Donate Blood instead of Hot Blooded》, this film has a certain unique and well-observed local perspective, like the view from the ground in Kowloon City looking up at a passing plane.《Donate Blood instead of Hot Blooded》also has shots like that. This type of view cannot be found anywhere else in the world. It gives a sense of the past as being irretrievably lost, which is also the theme of the film. Among the 12 works this one stands out in this regard.

Neco Lo: The length of this work, as well as its beginning and ending, art direction, movements and sound effects are quite good, and it is meaningful. The work is about a person’s childhood memories, a theme that is close to the heart of the director. That’s why it comes off well, and uses the medium suitably. Even though he cuts corners, the overall effect is good.

Tamshui: He is one of the few entrants who can explain why he created his work.

Teresa Kwong: We mentioned《Tree》before. Do you have any additional comments?

Felix Ip: The use of color is well-done. The texture of the trees is quite pleasing, and I also like the film visually.

Lam Kee-to: Its visual treatment has a theatrical quality, and the visual design is stage-like, and is done quite well. At first I thought the school’s instructors gave them a lot of help, but according to the three directors, they did most of the work themselves. I think they deserve extra points for that. You don’t see much of Sichuan in this film, but their concern about quake orphans, which are high-lighted here, is commendable. The use of overlapping images is also well-done, and on the whole this work is quite creative.

Teresa Kwong:《Isolate》.

Lam Kee-to: The film uses the story of a chicken and a goose coming to a city to bring out the contrast between rich and poor. He uses different sets of contrast to bring out the theme of the work, but it comes off as a bit simplistic. The scene in which the chicken and goose go into a restaurant in search of food is quite nonsensical, because they are really asking to be killed. The concept is not expressed well, and does not show the nature of chicken and geese. They are simply two characters named chicken and goose, and a lot of details are not well thought out.

Wong Ying: I did not get the theme of rich and poor at all. The chicken and goose go into a city restaurant, but everyone else in the city is human. This is just illogical. One does not know whose point of view to take on.

Lam Kee-to: This is an immature work, obviously done by students.

Neco Lo: The director thinks that in an animation, anything can happen.

Felix Ip: At first I liked its use of color, and the stop-motion like technique. Later on I discover that it is not stop-motion at all.

Teresa Kwong:《I am I》.

Tamshui: You cannot make this work without animation technique.

Lam Kee-to: Is his modeling based on other people or did he create it himself? It is quite uncommon, like the way the eyes are drawn. It’s similar to《Nightmare Before Christmas》, and allows people to get into the world of the mentally disabled.

Tamshui: This is a meaningful work. The director was a volunteer in a related organization. He wants to use this animation to express some of his feelings about the topic.

Lam Kee-to: Even though this work is not too mature, some scenes are quite powerful, like the one in which the lead character complains about taking his medicine. However the story is not properly thought through. The scene at the end when the kid becomes a murderous maniac achieves the opposite of the director’s intentions. The director is not mature enough as an artist to come up with a complete story-line. Rather, he uses a direct and simple approach to express what he thinks and knows. The last two letters are probably based on real cases, and on the whole this work is commendable.

Felix Ip: I appreciate the fact that he has a clear aim and a strong message to convey. This deserves extra marks.

Wong Ying: I can see his enthusiasm despite the fact that his use of animation technique is still not developed. If this was a documentary the impact might have been greater. His depictions of early psychosis manages to express the hallucinations of those afflicted with mental illness, but doesn’t let the audience feel his pain, because what you see is imaginary and therefore hard to identify with. I didn’t like the two letters, which I think weakens his message because it prevents people from discussing this issue in a substantial way.

Felix Ip: At the end when the protagonist says taking medicine is not good, then the people around him turn into hands and surround him, at first I didn’t get the message. The turning point is not smooth enough.

Teresa Kwong:《Donate Blood instead of Hot Blooded》.

Lam Kee-to: The name doesn’t match the content! The story is humorous, and the filmmaker uses comic strip style to express the dilemma of today’s youths who are caught between their dreams and the need to make a living. The title itself is humorous, since the lead character does not give blood at all. On the whole this is a very interesting short, and its concept stands out in an independent film competition like this one.

Wong Ying: I would compare this with《A Hair Story》, because both are done by young people, yet their styles are quite different. They are both of the post-1980 generation, but have completely different mindsets. One looks back to the past and focuses on familial relationships, while the other is very down to earth and humorous. I like the style of《Donate Blood instead of Hot Blooded》, and the almost European style characters and modeling. Even though the dialogue recording is sometimes unclear, the visual design is interesting.

Tamshui: I think he borrows from the Japanese animation《Mind Game》, the lines and the rhythm of the story are both similar. That’s why I have some reservations about it. The filmmaker cannot separate his own style from his influences.

Teresa Kwong:《Tancho》.

Tamshui: The 3D animation is done well, which is why I picked it to be one of the finalists. It’s texture and movements are smooth, and is a cut above other 3D works.

Lam Kee-to: Even though this is not a long piece, it is quite complete. What is distinctive about it is that the different worlds have different perspectives, and the filmmaker makes a clear separation between the various points of view. For example, the point of view of the Japanese crane is presented in low resolution video-style, which shows that the filmmaker has thought about the whole world-view from the start. I think it would be better if the film was longer. Right now the depiction of the sub-conscious world is not sufficient.

Teresa Kwong: In the next stage we will consider the awards. One way is to nominate gold and silver award winners. You can also name three films you think deserve awards.

Tanshui: Or perhaps the other way round, and eliminate some entries first.

(The jury members vote unanimously to eliminate《Isolate》,《Found Me》,《Fat Son and the Stone Prince》,《MK, HK》,《Faces》.《Red Riding Hood》,《A Hair Story》,《Tree》,《Donate Blood instead of Hot Blooded》,《I am I》,《Tancho》and《Wu Song Kill Tiger》remain.)

Wong Ying: Why don’t we discuss awards based on the remaining works?

Lam Kee-to: I nominate《A Hair Story》for Gold Award.

Neco Lo: I agree. This film deserves encouragement.

Lam Kee-to: Even though this film has flaws, it’s not unpresentable. Its content reflects a distinctly Hong Kong sensibility. If you take this film abroad, people will not notice the technical flaws, but will appreciate its sense of Hong Kong community spirit. We may be accustomed to that here, but if we step outside of Hong Kong we will see it.

Wong Ying: I don’t oppose it getting an award, but it shouldn’t be the only winner. I think《Wu Song Kill Tiger》could share a prize with it, because they represent two distinctly different approaches. I also think《Donate Blood instead of Hot Blooded》deserves an award.

Neco Lo: I don’t think it’s inappropriate to give the Gold Award to《A Hair Story》. Hong Kong lacks independent creators, and this film has artistry and also uses the animation medium well.

Wong Ying: The delivery of its jokes is precisely timed.

Neco Lo: That does not mean it is not independent. This film deserves encouragement, and has its importance. When it was screened just now it was the audience’s choice. Why shouldn’t independent films be entertaining? It is important to please the audience while satisfying yourself at the same time.

Tamshui: I want to ask you, does the script have independent spirit?

Neco Lo: Even though it is just retelling a story, the artwork and other elements require creative input.

Tamshui: Part of the reason the audience liked it is because the story is already familiar.

Wong Ying: I thought about not giving a Gold Award this year, because I was already disappointed when I saw the 40 plus works in the first round. But I agree with Lo, that if the money is there we should spend it. Giving encouragement to artists like this has an energizing effect on the whole animation scene.

Tamshui: Or we could give out two Silver Awards.

Teresa Kwong: The total prize money for this category is $80,000. If you give out two Silver Awards and each get $30,000, the rest of the money can go to other categories. Last year in the Youth Category they used part of the prize money to buy an extra video camera so that both winners can get the same prize. If you have two Silver Award winners, I suggest using the remaining $20,000 to pay for the expenses of a trip to the animation film festival in France so that both can go.

Felix Ip: I think it’s difficult to find a work that is superior to all the rest.《Wu Song Kill Tiger》is easy on the eyes, but it doesn’t embody all the qualities this award represent. So I agree with having two Silver Awards.

Tamshui: Why hasn’t anyone mentioned《Tancho》?

Lam Kee-to: It is not particularly outstanding. If there was a Gold Award it deserves a Silver. But since there isn’t…

Neco Lo: Giving two Silver Awards would also send the message that we feel the entries this year has not been up to the standard of previous years.

Lam Kee-to: Concerning Special Mention, I’d like to nominate《I am I》because of its independent spirit, and the artist’s passion and his concern for this social issue ought to be applauded.《Tancho》is technically competent, but from the perspective of independent films, I’d have to let this one go.

Wong Ying: I also think there should be a balance.《I am I》is the film that is the least likely to get my vote, but if you all vote for it I won’t disagree.《Tancho》is technically and visually accomplished, and even though its message is weak, it should be recognized. In the commercial world you have to balance both technique and delivery of message, but many independent filmmakers don’t care. The design and visual elements of《Tancho》is carefully thought out. Among the 12 finalists it is the most stylistically distinctive, and so it should be awarded.

Neco Lo: If we have two Silver Awards and three Special Mentions, then we have to give up《Red Riding Hood》, which I don’t mind. After listening to what Tamshui said about《Donate Blood instead of Hot Blooded》, I’ll go home and watch《Mind Game》again.

Lam Kee-to: The same animator also did《Kemono Zume》, which has the same kind of style.

(The jury members voted to eliminate《Red Riding Hood》)

Felix Ip: If we were to give Special Mention to《Donate Blood instead of Hot Blooded》, I can’t think of a strong reason why it deserves an award.

Wong Ying:《I am I》is socially conscious,《A Hair Story》is nostalgic,《Donate Blood instead of Hot Blooded》 is very contemporary and youthful. Even though it may be imitative, it is nonetheless interesting. Giving it an award balances out the list.《I am I》is equally unpolished, and there is nothing outstanding about it.

Neco Lo: This arrangement reflects the quality of entries this year. The works are outstanding in certain respects, but on the whole they are not of very high standards.《A Hair Story》and《Wu Song Kill Tiger》represent two different approaches to independent animations at the moment.

Lam Kee-to: Nowadays even independent animations try to become more marketable.

Teresa Kwong: So the final results of the Animation Category is Silver Awards for《A Hair Story》and《Wu Song Kill Tiger》, and four works get Special Mention, including,《Tree》,《I am I》,《Donate Blood instead of Hot Blooded》and《Tancho》.

Neco Lo: We should mention the reasons for giving Special Mentions to these works at the award ceremony.

Teresa Kwong: I hope to see you all at the award ceremony. With regards to the declining standards of entries in the Animation Category, I would like you all to give some suggestions. It is the 15th edition of ifva this year, and we want to think about the future direction of the competition. One proposal is to combine the Asian and Hong Kong sections of the festival. We hope by this means to raise the standards of Hong Kong independent animations.

Wong Ying: Half of the entrants are students. You may speak to university instructors and introduce them to this competition, and have them explain this to their students. When they enter this competition with school projects, students ought to think about the meaning of independent filmmaking.

Lam Kee-to: In addition to learning about animation technique, it is important for students to have a sense of independent spirit.

Tamshui: In the past few years I have gone to secondary schools to give talks about ifva, but I haven’t been to universities and colleges. This year there were a few entrants from secondary schools, although they did not make it to the final round. The new secondary school syllabus gives room to develop student’s talents in this area.

Lam Kee-to: We could also show some ifva award winners at secondary and primary schools.

Wong Ying: Felix is a good role model. He was an ifva entrant and his works have won awards. Now he is an ifva jury member, and he is also working in the industry. This shows that ifva winners are not necessarily all artists, and could survive in the commercial world.

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Asian New Force Jury Meeting

Jury Members: Mary Stephen, Winnie Fu, Ho Yuhang

ifva representative: Teresa Kwong

Winnie Fu: In the second round we each made a list of around 12 works. Some works get three votes, and automatically become a finalist. With the rest the judges try to persuade the others about their selections.

Teresa Kwong: The first work is《Intoxicant》.

Ho Yuhang: I think I understand it, but am not to sure.

Mary Stephen: At first I didn’t understand it, but I was surprised towards the end, and I wanted to find out what happens at the end. Overall I felt the work is fresh and creative.

Winnie Fu: The entries this year are of quite a high standard. 《Intoxicant》talks about the contemporary cyberworld, which few works deal with. It does not have a strong plot, but I appreciate its creativity. People who do not understand computers may not be able to follow the film, though.

Mary Stephen: I took me a while to understand it. I appreciate this film, because this type of subjects can turn out badly if it wasn’t done well.

Winnie Fu: It’s a film that stays with you after it is over. It deals with computer viruses, and it is hard to depict the cyberworld visually. To a certain extent the film succeeds, even though it is not technically refined.

Mary Stephen: The girl says that she can only find people to communicate with her in this world. This fools the lead character as well as the audience.

Winnie Fu: At first I didn’t know that the first guy who went into that world was the hacker. I only realized it when I thought back on the plot.

Ho Yuhang: Actually it was quite obvious.

Teresa Kwong:《The Opposite Shore》.

Ho Yuhang: The beginning is okay, but the director want to wrap everything up at the end. The narrative twist at the end is too perfect, and all the mystery is gone. The characters and background is good, but the two men are not realistic.

Mary Stephen: You can already guess the ending halfway.

Ho Yuhang: The set-up is quite good, but as it develops the plotline is too convenient.

Winnie Fu: It is too obviously done by a film school student. The casting is good. If it wasn’t for the two actors the film would have turned out differently. I think it successfully depicts the lives of Koreans in China, but the ending is too deliberate, and lacks the sense of innocence of the beginning part. On the whole it is quite a mature work.

Teresa Kwong: The next one is《Jouissance》.

Mary Stephen: I only understand the middle part.

Teresa Kwong: My understanding is that it is a story about two people who complement one another. This film is about the inter-dependable relationship between the two.

Ho Yuhang: I have mixed feelings about this film. Particular scenes are done well, but lacks the sophistication of《The Opposite Shore》.

Mary Stephen: I feel it’s a bit slow.

Ho Yuhang: It doesn’t seem to have much to say, but it portrays some sentiments well.

Winnie Fu: The film is not very outstanding. There is not much dialogue or plot development. It doesn’t take the relationship to another level.

Teresa Kwong:《A Piece of Cake》.

Winnie Fu: Quite enjoyable. It was not my top choice at the beginning, it probably ranked 11th to 20th. I like the story because it is short and simple, and also because it is humorous. Does the filmmaker have the copyright to the music?

Mary Stephen: Obviously not. You can tell it is Morricone.

Ho Yuhang: That doesn’t matter. I think it’s okay.

Teresa Kwong:《Shred of Hope》.

Ho Yuhang: I like it, but the title is too obvious. It could have used the child’s name as the title. I had forgotten about it as I was watching it, but when the title came on again at the end I thought, “Damn.” It’s like telling you what the film is about. The film would have been better with another title.

Mary Stephen: Not bad. The editing is good, and there are some surprises.

Ho Yuhang: I liked the ending. Not many films manage to portray a person’s dignity.

Winnie Fu: At first I thought this would be a hard topic to do well, but I was moved in the end.

Ho Yuhang: I felt it doesn’t try to impress me, and as the film progressed I realized the film wants to move me with simple things. It doesn’t try too hard, which is difficult to do.

Winnie Fu: The scene involving the boss and the security guard is difficulty to do. The boss doesn’t just fire him and ask him to leave immediately. The landlord, too, is reluctant to evict him, but is forced to. This sort of struggle is quite touching.

Teresa Kwong: The next one is《Energy Flow》.

Ho Yuhang: It is like a Godard or Vertov film, which is risky!

Winnie Fu: It is hard to comment on this film because it obviously tries to combine different media in one work.

Mary Stephen: It doesn’t move me.

Ho Yuhang: I think it is quite an unusual film, although I’m not sure what it’s trying to say.

Winnie Fu: I picked this film to be a finalist because I was touched by its passion about film. However its structure makes it difficult to watch.

Mary Stephen: You are not sure whether it is flawed or just pretentious.

Ho Yuhang: The way he says things sounds heavy and serious, while with Godard you feel he is joking around.

Winnie Fu: There are few entries that ask questions about the film medium, and this one makes use of different media.

Ho Yuhang: I feel such questions are unnecessary. If you’re doing it already, why do you have to ask?

Teresa Kwong:《On the Road to Tel-Aviv》.

Ho Yuhang: It tackles a big subject, but one that is relevant because Israel faces such problems at the moment.

Winnie Fu: I like the scene where a lot of people are arguing on the street. The mother’s big speech to protect her daughter really creates a mood of tension and suspense. This scene is difficult to do.

Mary Stephen: Its intentions are good, and we really need films like this. In terms of editing this film could be tightened.

Ho Yuhang: Its whole design obviously just serves the last scene.

Teresa Kwong:《Booths》.

Winnie Fu: This is the only documentary among the finalists, and it is an enjoyable film.

Stephan: It’s a bit long.

Ho Yuhang: It doesn’t go deep enough, and stay on a superficial level. The filmmaker should have tried to probe his subjects more.

Winnie Fu: The filmmaker has chosen a gimmicky topic. If it wasn’t for that, this type of structure could easily become boring. However his treatment of the subject is a little flat.

Ho Yuhang: The first 10 minutes could be left out. He could have started the film at the point when you see that person. It would make for a stronger opening.

Mary Stephen: The structure is a bit repetitive.

Teresa Kwong: The last one is《The Last Day off Bulkin I.S.》.

Mary Stephen: It’s interesting, but kind of familiar.

Ho Yuhang: There are a lot of films like this in film school. This is quite a mature work. If the director were to use this film as a calling card to look for jobs, he should be able to find one.

Winnie Fu: The script is quite good. I like the fact that it is short, the length feels just right. The actors are also good and nice to watch. If it were 30 minutes long it may not be as good.

Mary Stephen: It is actually a sketch.

Teresa Kwong: We can now nominate awards. One way is to eliminate films you won’t consider, the other way is to go straight to nominating award winners.

Winnie Fu: I nominate《Shred of Hope》and《Intoxicant》.

Ho Yuhang: I don’t mind, if it was《Energy Flow》I would mind a little bit. I also like 《A Piece of Cake》because of its honesty. Few films are that honest and transparent. Its narrative is direct, unlike《Booth》, which is a bit smart ass.

Mary Stephen: Can we allow《Shred of Hope》and《Intoxicant》to share the Grand Prize?

Ho Yuhang: Yes, or we can have two Special Mentions and one Grand Prize winner.

Winnie Fu: I would like to recognize《The Last Day off Bulkin I.S.》.

Mary Stephen: It’s editing is perfect.

Teresa Kwong: At the award ceremony, the jury members should explain why they choose to honor these works.

Ho Yuhang: The process of judging the works has been a pleasure. None of the ten works are awful.

Teresa Kwong:《Shred of Hope》and《Intoxicant》will share the Grand Prize,《A Piece of Cake》and《The Last Day off Bulkin I.S.》get Special Mention. Lastly I request that jury members keep the results of the competition a secret until the ceremony.

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Interactive Media Jury Meeting

Jury Members: Jamsen Law, Bryan Chung, Linda Lai, May Fung, Endy Fung
ifva Representatives: Teresa Kwong, Kattie Fan

Linda Lai: Is Best Concept the same as Best Proposal?

Teresa Kwong: According to our regulations, Best Concept refers to woks that are still in proposal stage and have not been completed. However we are quite flexible. If jury members decide a certain work has a good concept and deserves this award, we will also consider it. This award does not involve cash prizes.

Page 2 of your agenda talks about the number of awards. This is just a recommended list of awards set by the organization, but you can make alternate arrangements. We have one Gold Award, the winner of which will receive $30,000 in prize money, a trophy and prizes. One Silver Award, the winner of which will get $20,000 in prize money and a trophy. The will also be three Special Mentions, who will each receive a certificate. There will also be a Best Concept winner, who will get a trophy. We are quite flexible with the awards, and in the past we have had no Gold Award winner, or two Gold but no Silver, etc. In cases like this the prize money will be equally distributed among the remaining winners. As for the prizes we will try to negotiate with the sponsor for additional items, but if this is not possible the jury should decide which winner should get the prize. For example a few years ago in the Asian New Force Category we had two Grand Prize winners from Japan and Indonesia, respectively, who shared the prize money equally, but the jury awarded the prize (a video camera), to the Indonesian filmmaker.

If there are no further questions we can begin our discussion. I suggest going through all the works first, and then voting for award winners.

May Fung: Or should we do it the other way round, and each rank the finalist first? But if other categories do it this way I don’t mind.

Endy Fung: Last year we discussed the general direction of the competition and established an overall benchmark.

Linda Lai: We could discuss the entries one by one, and then rank them according to our preference. I think it’s better if we discussed the works first.

Jamsen Law: Does the competition want to honor independence or inter-activity?

Endy Fung: Works that are more artistic or more popular?

Linda Lai: Or works that are more sustainable in terms of user experience? These factors influence how they are ranked.

May Fung: We should discuss the criteria used to judge the works.

Linda Lai: For me how long a work can immerse its users is an important criterion, and it is important that I be able to play around with it for a period of time.

May Fung: I stress a work’s interactivity, which is fundamental. Some works are like films, whose interactivity is only on a mental level.

Linda Lai: Do you mean that interactivity for you must always be limited to that between humans and machines?

May Fung: It should at least have that element. I also agree that sustainability is an important consideration. If the experience only lasts a short time and does not take you onto a different level, then it’s no good.

Jamsen Law: Even if I did not consider the interface, some works May Fung seem easy to handle at first, but if the instructions are unclear, it doesn’t work. For example, I did not expect that in《SOUNDgraf》, you have to figure out whether to turn the controller towards the screen or the projector, and people could easily become confused.

May Fung: I’m not very intelligent about these things, yet I managed to get it right with《SOUNDgraf》. But what got me confused was the work about barcodes. If getting people confused is the creator’s intention, he should at least state that up front.

Bryan Chung: This point is probably more important than whether a work is user-friendly. As for whether a work involves interactivity between human and machine, I tend to be more flexible. I can accept that a work involves interactivity among humans but does not involve machines, or just have interactivity among machines. The competition has set out guidelines concerning content, form, structure and technique. On top of that we can add interactivity. Sustainability can be seen as part of content or technique.

Teresa Kwong: This competition stresses independent spirit and creativity. For example in the Open Category, some works may be technically accomplished, but we usually prefer works that are not as good technically but may be more innovative in terms of its form. The same thinking should guide this category as well. Some works we have seen in the past were very skilled, but they are similar to products that are already available in the commercial world. We tend not to endorse such works. Whereas the competition wants to recognize works that are innovative in its concept or interactivity.

Endy Fung: Perhaps some works are not as advanced in terms of how they present the interactive experience…

Linda Lai: User experience is an important consideration. Mainstream applications are often very simple, with instant input and output. Of course there are different understandings of what is mainstream, one of which is how the software is designed. Another point to consider is the complexity of the interactivity. All these elements make up the interactive experience. Sometimes the experience just involves very simple input and output and the end result is enjoyable. Other times the interactivity is complex, but the experience is superficial. The point you raised about independent spirit is important. We should consider that in addition to the complexity and sustainability of user experience (including its technical aspect), how the works define interactivity, and the creativity of the interface.

Teresa Kwong: We can now discuss the works one by one. The first one is《Mushroom on the Cassette Tape》.

Endy Fung: From my perspective this is the most stable work. That is, it expresses what the creator wants to express. However the message is not very profound. Aside from being pretty it doesn’t provide me with a very memorable experience, nor are there any surprises.

May Fung: The work is a simple one that turns memories into something else. It’s an interesting work. You collect memories on one end, and release them on the other. It is reciprocal, and the relationship between the two is not simplistic, but varies in intensity. I think the work could have gone further, but perhaps I am too greedy.

Endy Fung: I find the experience too simplistic.

Jamsen Law: When I got close I was fooled by the cassette tape. When I pressed the button I naturally began to make loud noises. Actually what it wants the user to do is just to press the button. The rest has nothing to do with him. I can’t help but wonder why it’s like that.

Linda Lai: I would reiterate what you said just now in terms of a learning curve. The learning curve of this work is very short, but it’s there. I know if I press for a short period, the output will be weaker. This is a simple work. The other point is his own description. If he didn’t say this I wouldn’t have challenged him. But he says the purpose of the work is to re-interpretation an outdated medium. If this is so the cassette tape should serve a function, but now it is just a decoration. For example, he could have done away with the cassette tape and used a button instead. However I appreciate the work’s simple and neat interface.

Bryan Chung: I like it a lot. I like its use of material—the cassette tape, which combines well with the images. It relatively successfully merges the virtual with the real, although I expected a little more. Whether or not the material serves an actual function is not important for me, but I feel there could be more connection and greater complexity. The second point has to do with the design. Does it really need two tables? Could it not be done on the same table, like having two buttons on one table? The way it is set up now leads you to expect there to be interaction between two people, like if one person is pressing a button on one side, does it change what the other is seeing on the other? If it is just a single person’s interaction then the experience could be more personal, like memories. I like works that contain different elements.

Endy Fung: What is the relationship between pressing the button and the output? I tried pressing for a long time, and what comes out are long and thin. When I repeated this the results were different.

Linda Lai: I think it’s random. I expect the work to be more organic.

Teresa Kwong: The next work is《Table-Obscura II: Intimacy》, the one with two tables.

Endy Fung: I have something to declare. The one with the phone is done by someone who works in my company. I could be absent when we discuss this.

Linda Lai: I know all of the entrants except for one. Most of them are former students. One is a former colleague.

Fung: If you knew all of them you would be more fair!

Endy Fung: The work differs a great deal from the time when I saw the presentation. The last time I felt it expressed the humorous side of inter-sex relationships and the sense of a couple’s disconnection. This time I only saw a person wearing a skirt on the other end, and there is no message or story. The experience is far different from what I expected, and did not achieve what it intended to at the beginning.

Linda Lai: From the spot where you can see the legs, can you hear sounds?

May Fung: Yes, you can hear it on both sides?

Linda Lai: I thought you could only hear on one side and see on the other.

May Fung: I quite like this work. I saw it once at his grad show. The feeling when I saw the person on the other side was strange because what you see is under the table. It felt very sensuous and intimate. The dialogue sounded like what couples normally say to each other, but underneath the table is a different story. One flaw is that on the side without the images there is not much to see.

Linda Lai: I think there is water.

May Fung: Is that intentional?

Kattie Fan: Yes, during the installation the artist requested that.

Bryan Chung: I saw it the first time when I was grading it at school. At that time the work was not as refined and the rooms were smaller, but the feeling of intimacy was greater. Also the last tie the table cloth had floral patterns…

Kattie Fan: This time it is wallpaper.

Bryan Chung: The last time there was a window in front of the two people, but this time there were not so many elements, and the feeling of intimacy is less. I was expecting some pre-recorded sounds of people chatting, which will help create a certain mood, but there wasn’t.

Linda Lai: I saw it at the grad show too, and the first impression was good. At first I didn’t know the two rooms were inter-connected. I sat down in one of the rooms. It felt interesting but I didn’t know what was going to happen. Then suddenly I saw someone’s legs, which belonged to the person sitting across from me. She happened to be a girl wearing a skirt. Then gradually I started hearing the sound of people talking. The whole experience was very good.

Jamsen Law: I like the whole set, and this type of setting has lots of possibilities. The structure could contain a lot more, but it didn’t. When I went in I thought the work had the same storytelling technique as videos. Also the sound is too loud, which really affects the overall feeling of the piece. It would be better if there were more interaction between the two people, but now as soon as you trigger the sound you are just a passive audience. When I first saw the legs I was surprised, but there was no further interaction, and the work does not take the intimacy onto another level. I feel it wasted what could have been a good opportunity to explore something more profound

Linda Lai: Technically the work is very polished. At least every element works. But it is too efficient; you get the output too quickly after the input.

May Fung: This feeling was not as strong the first time. It had a strange sort of attraction that caused you to go back and forth between the two rooms.

Linda Lai: That’s how I felt the first time too.

Kwong: The next work is《5-stars’ Identity》.

Jamsen Law: Even though this work just involves watching, it differs a great deal from the proposal. You expect the content to change, but it didn’t.

Linda Lai: Even though I accept that the work is just for watching, I expected that there’d be more interaction between machines. I don’t know how to judge this work. It’s quite simply broken. How can you judge a work that’s broken? This year there are several works like that, like the robot one, and the one with the barcode.

Kattie Fan: It’s hard to say if it’s broken. When you came he was still trying to fix it. I can only say that when I saw it the first time and when the work was first submitted, there were images and sounds, and the sound was repeated in an endless loop. He came to fix it and when he left, these elements were not there. I don’t know if that was done on purpose or if it was broken. The artist who did the robot is out of town. Some components came loose during transportation, and we had to communicate with him by long distance call to see how it could be reassembled. The video part is definitely broken.《5-stars’ Identity》is not broken.

May Fung: All five screens were playing, and there was continuous sound as well as text. Every time it did a translation there was a sound.

Linda Lai: Is it because there was nothing for it to grab just now?

May Fung: When I watched it just now it worked.

Linda Lai: I like this work because it involves interaction between machines. In terms of the amount of work involved, it surely is no less than the first and second ones. The proposal is the most layered and has the best concept among all the works.

May Fung: It involves translation, and the fact that the final step is simplified Chinese characters comments on the state of Chinese web content, which is often delayed or incomplete.

Linda Lai: People usually assume that interactivity has to be between humans and machines. This work opens up other possibilities.

Bryan Chung: Interactivity could also be among a group. But why should the media be cell phones?

May Fung: Cell phones are a big market in China. Even poor people want to buy a locally made cell phone.

Linda Lai: The proposal does not mention what information will be selected.

Jamsen Law: It simply says “websites of news and blogs”.

Kwong: The fourth work is《A Map of Our Own—Kwun Tong Culture and Histories》.

Jamsen Law: It records much information. The concept is an exciting one, but I didn’t get this feeling when looking at the website. Using a collective to gather data about Kwun Tong is an interesting concept, but this group of people does not represent anything very unique. The website is like the ones that use blog reader software to combine things together. It is just a bunch of records, just like reading a news site.

Linda Lai: It is a website, so I expect there to be more input and wider distribution. However right now the input is very limited, and only the collective can input information. As a collective site, we should not only discuss its output but also the input. Now one side is clearly stronger than the other. It is also an archive, and we can use relevant standards to judge it, such as the arrangement of information, whether the retrieval of information is easy, the quality of the storage structure, etc. I want to be more sympathetic to this work because it is a relatively new archive with less than two years’ history.

Jamsen Law: Also, not everyone can input information.

Endy Fung: This is the Archilles’ heel of such Web 2.0 sites, which is that you could not deal with all the information you are not sure will be useful. The project is very ambitious in its scale and aspirations. But faced with this problem, it has to be selective about who can input information. Yet how representative is the collective? The other issue is the design of the site. The user experience is weak, and everything from the graphics to the arrangement of content is weak. However, its intentions are good.

May Fung: All archives are done by a limited number of people, who are often people with similar mindsets. You cannot have the entire population of Kwun Tong taking part.

Linda Lai: But its design doesn’t even allow interested parties to post information.

Jamsen Law: I don’t mind that its access is limited, but what does the collective represent? The creators need to be self reflexive and make this clear to the public.

May Fung: When I visited the site just now I felt it has depth. I can find what I wanted to see. For example, there is a section on events, another on buildings, and there is a part containing voice recordings. On the whole the website offers different kinds of experience. I find it a very condensed work; the question is how much time you have to browse around. I don’t think it needs to state its mission explicitly, rather, you can sense it after experiencing it.

Linda Lai: This is not the problem that Jamsen raised. He acknowledges that there are experts behind any archive, but since it does not let everyone input information, the work could become more distinctive if you can state the ideology of that collective.

May Fung: What do you mean when you say self reflexive?

Jamsen Law: For example, many post-80s and other groups are doing Kwun Tong projects. What distinguishes this one? How is this different from the stuff I see on YouTube?

May Fung: The images and categorization are different, and the types of stories you see are different. Perhaps because I know Anson, I know that she has always explored the relationship between sounds and images. This is the main difference between this and YouTube. Also I think this goes deeper.

Jamsen Law: I know that it is different from YouTube. That’s why I want it to tell me what that difference is.

May Fung: Does it have to be so obvious?

Linda Lai: Self-reflexivity is always a good practice, even if you are running an archive. Especially if you see archives as a democratic form of the museum experience that appeared with the rise of new media…

May Fung: Is it that you think it’s stance on Kwun Tong is not critical enough?

Linda Lai: Not necessarily…

Bryan Chung: When I see this, all I see is the result. I hope to see the discussions and arguments among the members of this collective. Perhaps because the archive is still young, you don’t see much input from users. But this type of interactivity is what Web 2.0 emphasizes.

May Fung: I tried posting my comments, but didn’t succeed.

Linda Lai: This work is different from the others because its intention is community generation, so you cannot separate it from the medium’s capabilities…

May Fung: This work reminds me of another by Jessey Tsang a few years ago…

Linda Lai: That was not a Web 2.0 work, but a self sufficient one, and it didn’t require interference from the outside. This work is not a regular website; it requires user response.

Endy Fung: I don’t think it is its intention to have a particular point of view. I have expectations about the map. Because it uses Google Map, it cannot record the names of buildings from the 1970s.

May Fung: There is no focus when you open up the web page. You need time to get adjusted to the layout. The user experience is relatively weak.

Jamsen Law: It calls itself “A map of our own Kwun Tong.” If psycho-geography is such an important component of the work, then the whole experience should not be like this.

Linda Lai: If so, the personal perspective is all the more important.

Jamsen Law. That’s right. I’m not saying you have to state the vision and mission, but to let people know who “you” are: when were you born, what is your connection to Kwun Tong, etc. This information is important.

Linda Lai: It is a still developing website. Right now it is still in the process of collecting personal stories, experiences and photos, etc. We can judge whether it has the potential to link up these materials. For example, perhaps it is trying to look for the past in the stories and the maps.

Jamsen Law: The design of the web page is important. I feel the website is just informational, and do not feel that by entering the website I am entering their world.

Kwong: The next work is《Video Vending Machine》.

Linda Lai: You have to put $3 in every time. Lucky I don’t have to pay for it!

May Fung: I thought we could pick the segment we want, but couldn’t. What we actually get is just a pixel.

Jamsen Law: It’s not just a pixel from the film, but there is also text, like a promotional flyer.

Endy Fung: Is it randomly generated?

May Fung: Yes.

Linda Lai: The interface looks good, but does it work all the time.

Kattie Fan: It worked well just now.

Jamsen Law: This reminds me of the work from last year that involved stealing time. My question is once I picked the movie I want, what does the pixel represent? When I participate in this work, the process I enjoy most is probably the selection.

Endy Fung: Its description says it wants to spark our thinking about consumption habits. This description sounds more complicated than the actual work.

Bryan Chung: The work does not feel relevant to me personally. Let’s say I like a segment in a film. I understand the point about consumption, yet it doesn’t seem to have anything to do with me. I’m not sure what impact the scenario it created is on me.

Linda Lai: Its design is pretty, but the various elements are disconnected. There is a good looking machine, an interface experience, a choice involving movies, but these elements do not link up.

Jamsen Law: If it randomly selects clips from YouTube it would have been more interesting. Now I choose the film I like, wait 60 seconds, during which I watch an unrelated trailer that does not conjure up any feelings about the film I picked, and the whole experience is kind of strange.

May Fung: When I experienced the work just now, I felt like I was in a shopping mall. Many people were gathered around this work excitedly, because it is easy to understand.

Kwong:《Stories of a Cell Phone》.

Jamsen Law: As a video work, I don’t know what to make of it, because each of the stories is short and not particularly related. What sort experience am I supposed to have?

Linda Lai: It is like being punished. The set-up of the work is good but it requires a good script. Now the content is too banal, and is simply things that regular couples say to one another. They don’t work in this piece, because it requires that the story be better designed. Now, every time it stops, I don’t get the urge to follow the story. This work needs the sort of dramatic tension that conventional dramas offer, or else contain something completely experimental, like the color changing drastically at a certain point. Now it’s too banal.

Bryan Chung: I tried a segment just now and it worked. Telephone not only serves as an interactive device, but plays a role within the story as well. For example one character talks with another on the phone, then drops the phone into the toilet. That was surprising. But I did not call again, and don’t know how the story develops.

May Fung: Why did you not make more calls?

Bryan Chung: Because it’s troublesome. I have seen works that allows the audience to choose different strands of the storyline

Endy Fung: All the story lines have to do with telephones, but only one of them is okay, the others are not good.

Linda Lai: I experienced some technical problems, and only played once.

Jamsen Law: That logo appeared for a long time.

Teresa Kwong:《ATB-02》.

Endy Fung: The work has great potential. I had high hopes when I approached it, but was disappointed.

May Fung: This is the most unattractive work among the finalists, because you have certain expectations of it. You know that it is cute and is meant to attract children.

Linda Lai: I quite like the way it looks, but the two pairs of eyes, one above and one below, are a bit of a waste.

Bryan Chung: Its descriptive text says it is meant to be installed in a public place and to be enjoyed by kids, but it breaks down so easily. I am not sure if the interactivity works. I only heard sounds. The whole thing is just like a small musical synthesizer.

Jamsen Law: I like its rawness. But if the artist wants to put it in a park for kids to enjoy, the interface should be more fun. Now there are just a few buttons.

May Fung: Also kids can’t play with it by themselves, but have to be lifted up by adults. Perhaps the artist deliberately wants to foster closer relationship between parents and their children.

Jamsen Law: The buttons shouldn’t be designed this way. For example, there could be wires I can pull out or something.

Teresa Kwong: The next one is《SOUNDgraf》.

Jamsen Law: The work differs a lot from the descriptive text! It basically does what it says, but the amount of variations is far less than I expected. Now here is just one type of stroke, and only the color changes.

May Fung: And the texture. I tried it without the sound, and the image that came out was quite flat. When there was sound, a checkered pattern appeared.

Linda Lai: The descriptive text sounds really good. It says people’s shadows can be cast on the screen.

May Fung: Do the rules of the competition state that there cannot be live performances?

Kattie Fan: No, but the artist notified us really late.

Teresa Kwong: A few years ago, because the descriptive texts were unclear, some jury members requested that artists be present at the judging. Later they decided the works should be self explanatory.

Linda Lai: I don’t want the artists to be present either.

Endy Fung: You should be able to tell from the work itself what their creators are trying to express.

Linda Lai: Compared with《Mushrooms on the Cassette Tape》, this work has a lot of things happening. I had a lot of fun with it because I can scream and talk to myself.

Bryan Chung: It is quite a complete work.

Linda Lai: Whereas with《Mushrooms》, you May Fung not realize that you have to put the tape on the other side.

Endy Fung: Doesn’t it give you instructions on the recording side?

Bryan Chung: I don’t understand why《SOUNDgraf》involves two objects instead of just one.

Jamsen Law: I’m a bit disappointed that you have to finish one piece of sound before going to another. If I changed things in the middle, it does not change along with me, but I have to wait till the whole section is finished. This seems to me to be a technical flaw.

Teresa Kwong:《Rub.ID#food》.

Bryan Chung: If the artist had used everyday items like the clothes I’m wearing to get the barcodes it would be more interesting. Now it just seems like an exhibition.

Endy Fung: Do barcodes really represent personal identity?

Linda Lai: My original comment was that the sound was too monotonous. But now there is no sound.

Teresa Kwong: Now we can give grades to each work, or each person could nominate an award-worthy work, or you can directly nominate the Gold Award winner.

Linda Lai: I want to drop a bomb. I don’t think there should be a Gold Award winner.

May Fung: I agree. The competition has been around for many years. We should not stay at the level of simply offering encouragement, but rather awards should go to works of excellence.

Jamsen Law: I agree.

Teresa Kwong: Then you can nominate Silver Award winners.

May Fung: What shall we do with the prize money? If two Silver Award winner were to split the money, wouldn’t they each get more than they should? Why don’t we have three Silver Award winners. I think《Table-Obscura》,《Video Vending Machine》and《Map of Our Own Kwun Tong》should be considered.

Linda Lai: I choose《5-stars Identity》and《Cell Phone》.

Endy Fung: I choose《Table-Obscura》,《Map of Our Own Kwun Tong》and《Cell Phone》.

Jamsen Law: Me too. I choose《Table-Obscura》,《Map of Our Own Kwun Tong》and《Cell Phone》.

Bryan Chung: My choices are《Mushroom》,《Table-Obscura》and《Video Vending Machine》.

Teresa Kwong.《Table-Obscura》gets the most votes, followed by《Map of Our Own Kwun Tong》and《Cell Phone》. Should these three share the Silver Award?

Linda Lai: I don’t object.

May Fung: Neither do I.

Teresa Kwong: The prize money can be evenly split, but there is only one set of software, plus a drawing board.

May Fung: The artist who did《Table-Obscura》is a student. Perhaps she needs the software more.

Teresa Kwong: Then there is Special Mention.

May Fung: Other works that received votes including《Video Vending Machine》,《Mushrooms》and《5-stars identity》should get Special Mention. Is that okay?

Teresa Kwong: To sum up, in this year’s ifva Interactive Media Category, there are three Silver Award Winners,《Table-Obscura》,《Map of Our Own Kwun Tong》and《Cell Phone》. Also《Mushroom》,《Video Vending Machine》and《5-stars Identity》get Special Mention. Please keep the results confidential until the announcement, and I invite you to come to the award presentation ceremony to act as presenters.

Linda Lai: I could go on stage to make some general comments about the works. Do you have any comments you would like to include?

Teresa Kwong: We mentioned that there are great discrepancies between the proposals and the actual works.

May Fung: Does that mean we should only look at the works in the future?

Linda Lai: Actually they are not proposals, they are descriptive texts that accompany the works.

May Fung: How do we solve this problem, or just let it be?

Teresa Kwong: The other point you had mentioned is a work’s sustainability.

TOP

 



Open Category Jury Meeting

Jury Members: Percy Fung, Pang Ho-cheung, Law Kar, Wong Ain Ling, Chan Wai
ifva Representatives: Teresa Kwong, Kattie Fan

Pang Ho-cheung: How were these 12 works selected?

Teresa Kwong: We had more than a hundred entries in the Open Category this year. In the first round, Kattie, Vincent Chui and Simon Chung picked forty something works out of all the entries, then in December, Percy, Ain Ling and Chan Wai picked 12 works out of the forty odd ones. Do you want to know more about the selection process in the first two rounds?

Pang Ho-cheung: No, I just want to know the rough figures.

Teresa Kwong: Now we can go through the 12 works one by one as a warm up exercise, then in the next stage we can discuss which works should be awarded. The first one up is《Revolution》.

Percy Fung: Let me go first. Among all the works this one should receive some consideration, even though it may not be the best work. As its director stated, the film pays homage to Johnnie To Kei-Fung, and uses his style to make a high school drama. That was the reason the film made it past the second round. In terms of creativity and style, the film is imitative, and is therefore of inferior quality than a lot of other works. Allowing it to be among the finalists is a sort of encouragement. We hope the director will keep trying.

Pang Ho-cheung: I think it definitely deserves to be among the finalists. However, it doesn’t go beyond imitation to become something else. It simply parodies other people’s works. In this respect it’s more like something you see on Youtube than an indie film. Tarrantino also borrowed from《City on Fire》in《Reservoir Dogs》, but it is important to upgrade from your source. I don’t mind that he pays homage to Johnnie To, but Johnnie To may not be particularly flattered by this homage.

Chan Wai: It’s just an imitation.

Pang Ho-cheung: That’s right, it’s too similar to what you see on YouTube. I think 《Revolution》wants to make a statement by using gangster film aesthetics in a school setting, which in a way is similar to《The Betrayed Tigers》, but the latter is far more mature in its filming technique and acting.

Teresa Kwong: The next one is《Homecoming》.

Law Kar: I asked about independent spirit just now. I don’t want to put down or praise《Homecoming》, but a film like this is clear in its storytelling, rich in emotions, and has a smooth style. Even though it is about racial minorities, its narrative style is quite traditional and there is nothing experimental about it. It is very good in describing details and emotions. The film feels mainstream even though it is about Filipinos. What is independent about it?

Teresa Kwong: I don’t know how other jury members feel about this…

Law Kar: This is just a hypothetical question. It doesn’t reflect my own views.

Teresa Kwong: Everyone has a different interpretation of independent spirit, and each of you can have your own, too.

Chan Wai: I think independent film is relative to commercial film. The latter is a commercial product, and so has to take into account many considerations, which limits its choice of subject matters. Some topics lack commercial appeal, and commercial films won’t touch them. Yet these subject matters are worthy ones, and I hope to see them explored in independent films.

Wong Ain Ling: The entries this year are quite mainstream in terms of narrative style and filming techniques. This film is quite rare in that it deals with the world of Filipino maids in a way that is not patronizing. When I was having dinner with Chan Wai just now, we discussed the fact that most Hong Kong films are weak in portraying people. This film is the exception in that it delves deeply into its characters, and the result is quite moving without being melodramatic. It shows the employer as nitpicking and unforgiving, and the portrayal of the son is not overly twee. It shows the progression of the relationship between the Filipino mother and her son from animosity in the beginning to the mother understanding her son at the end. The script is not ground-breaking, but is rich in details. The acting is also fine. On the whole this is quite a solid film.

Law Kar: My own view is that there is no such thing as independent spirit. You can only define a film in terms of whether or not it is mainstream. If it is made by a big studio then you could say it is not an independent film and cannot enter this competition. It is hard to define independent spirit, but you can tell whether a work is creative. I only want to raise this issue, but not try to evaluate all the works by this criterion alone. I think that even if a work is mainstream in style, it should get high marks if it moves me.

Pang Ho-cheung: My definition is whether the work has been commissioned by others, that means if an employer or company like RTHK commissions the work, then it is not independent in spirit. Independence means initiating the work yourself, and it doesn’t matter if the film has been shown in theatres. Some works are better than RTHK shows in terms of production value, like《The Newlywed》and《The Betrayed Tigers》. Their storyline is complete, the narrative is clear and every aspect is above par. But aside from the fact that they were independently produced, there is not much in these films that is innovative. Sometimes I don’t mind if a work is rough on the edges, I really want to see something new. But this year there are few works like that. In terms of production《Homecoming》is okay, and the character portrayal is quite good. Subject matters like this can easily become clichéd, like having mean employers, yet the characters in this film are realistic. The script, casting and acting are good.

Percy Fung: None of the characters are perfect, and they don’t easily fall into either good or bad categories. This makes the film stand out. Also the performance of the kid is very good. Regarding independent spirit, in the past we consider elements such as whether or not the film is experimental or innovative. The flip side of that are films that are school exercises. Many of the entries are school projects, like《Chinese Opera Boy》, with the school dictating certain requirements, which is like having a studio boss looking over your film.

Law Kar: Some school projects even have the teacher participating, paying for expenses or helping out with editing. Personally I don’t consider these issues…

Percy Fung: This should not be an important consideration in the Open Category…

Pang Ho-cheung: The end credits for《Revolution》shows IVE as the copyright owner because the film was made with school resources.

Chan Wai: This year there are many school projects. Both《Camera Gun》and《Poor Child, Rich Mind》are from Poly U, 《Chinese Opera Boy》is from APA,《Life Goes On》is independent,《Daylily》and《I can See, I can’t See》are from City U,《The Outsider》is also a school project…

Teresa Kwong: As far as I know she is in secondary school matriculation class, and she made an English version of the film to enter into an English language video competition. Her secondary school probably provided some equipment support but no money. For your information,《The Newlywed》is a RTHK commissioned project, 《The Betrayed Tigers》is from Fresh Wave Short Film Competition,《The Life and Times of Ho Chung Village》was part of a program of shorts that commemorated Ying E Chi’s 10th anniversary. Ying E Chi received a project fund, and commissioned 10 directors to each make a short on the subject of independent spirit. 《Homecoming》is an APA graduation film.

Pang Ho-cheung: All the films have backers!

Teresa Kwong: The next work is《Camera Gun》.

Percy Fung: This is quite an innovative work. The camera work and camera angles are very impressive. The content and creativity are both good, but the finishing is rough. This is one of my top two choices, its creativity and experimental nature both deserve high marks.

Law Kar: This is quite an outstanding work and worthy of discussion. At first I thought it was a bit nonsensical, as if he is just playing around, but parts of it are quite imaginative, like the relationship between camera and gun. In the end he doesn’t quite deliver, though. I can see how a camera can become a gun, but don’t see how a gun can carry the function of a camera. His thinking is outside of the mainstream, and the storyline doesn’t follow dramatic conventions, it doesn’t develop out of narrative structure or character relationships. Also the image design is quite unusual. I don’t see any external references in his film. It doesn’t follow any trends, and is quite independent. Pang Ho-Cheung has made films about cameras and guns. Perhaps he will have something to say about this film.

Pang Ho-cheung: Actually my impression of this film is just so-so. Its concept is interesting, but you only need five minutes to tell it. I see how a camera can resemble a gun, but the ending is poorly done. It sets up certain rules of the game but does not follow through.

Chan Wai: When I saw it on the big screen today, I felt its faults are magnified, and I have more reservations about it than when I saw it in the first round. I chose it as a finalist because its concept is independent, but its narrative doesn’t strive for completeness. I enter into its world, but don’t know what its conclusions are.

Pang Ho-cheung: I don’t like the fact that it complains that Hong Kong has a lot of junk information, but doesn’t say anything coherent about it. It’s like a grumpy old man’s complaint, especially towards the end. The beginning is quite interesting, but after five minutes there is no development.

Chan Wai: The scene where the girl points a gun at the man and asks him how he could kill people, it subverts the whole film, but doesn’t tell me anything. It does exactly what the film is trying to protest against.

Pang Ho-cheung: It doesn’t know what it’s protesting against. It seems to be defending itself, but is actually detailing its crimes. The scene where the girl pulls the sales person to a back alley, I don’t know what it is attacking. The film keeps fighting against something, but what is it?

Percy Fung: At the screening just now a lot of people were asking about this film. I’ll try to explain it from the director’s point of view. The lead character thinks that people are hypocrites, so his camera becomes a gun, while the girl’s gun becomes a camera. She thinks that she should kill the magazine editor not with a gun but with a camera. The director’s intent is not easy to understand. When the girl kills the man with a gun-like camera, there are two meanings. One is reincarnation—that’s why you see images of Tibet, and after he is reborn he rethinks his own hypocrisy. That’s the director’s explanation.

Law Kar: Even though he doesn’t express himself clearly, but he is passionate about film. Not only is he the writer and director, he is also involved in camera, art direction and sound mixing. He is crazy about the meaning of film. The lead character thinks society is hypocritical but he is a part of it. It’s like the Buddhist parable in which a fanatical person is so convinced he is on the right path that he is actually on the wrong one. This reasoning can be applied to gossip magazines or even the democratic movement. Of course this is just my free association, but the film gives me the space to make these associations. It is not a badly made film, it doesn’t involve the audience on an emotional level because it is experimental, whether or not that is successful. I feel this person is really keen about film since he takes part in six different departments. Even though it is rough on the edges, it is nevertheless interesting.

Wong Ain Ling: We can all agree that this is an unusual film, and should get extra points for creativity. But I feel it is confused; its concept take precedent, but you soon realize what that concept is. The girl faces two people. One tells her not to kill the chief editor, but later on she confronts the sales person. If she is able to show understanding about the editor’s difficulties, why is she unable to sympathize with the sales person, who after all is just a little guy trying to make a living? This is a sort of conceptual confusion. Also the transcendence scenes at the end looks more like parody to me, I don’t see any transcendence at all.

Teresa Kwong:《Chinese Opera Boy》.

Wong Ain Ling: The acting is good, the lead actor is quite unusual.

Percy Fung: Does he really know Chinese opera?

Chan Wai: Yes he does.

Pang Ho-cheung: I want to make a more general observation first.《Camera Gun》is rough on the edges and immature, but it has real personal convictions. Some works are smooth in terms of technique and execution, but are too politically correct. They are concerned with issues that juries like this tend to favor, like bemoaning the loss of traditional culture, dealing with issues like urban redevelopment, concern about racial minorities, etc. I’m not sure whether they really care about these issues or not, but these works seem to violate the independent spirit. Whether you pander to the tastes of a studio boss or to the ifva jury amounts to the same thing.

Chan Wai: I don’t know about the other student works, but at APA we don’t consider the ifva when they plan their productions. Their first concern is whether they can graduate. When we are at the planning stage and discussing projects with the students, we often get into fierce arguments because the students are passionate about what they want to express on screen. They can use the school’s equipment and have a team of classmates helping them. They realize once they graduate they may never have the same resources at their disposal again. So they fight with the teachers to get their films made and they never listen to us. They are quite politically incorrect in this regard. So the definition of political correctness varies depending on the context. I think most young people just want to make the films they want to make. You can’t force them. After they’re done wit the film they leave school, so they don’t really have to listen to the teachers.

Pang Ho-cheung: So these two films are their own ideas?

Chan Wai: Yes, and neither film is easy to make. We questioned the director’s knowledge about Chinese opera, as well as how he planned to execute it and find actors for the roles. In the same way we warned the director of《Homecoming》about the difficulty of directing his Filipino actors if he does not speak Tagalog. We worry about execution problems, and when they completed their films they felt very pleased with themselves. We should be fair about our criticisms of these films, because the school put up a lot of resistance. We warned them based on our professional experience that they may not be able to achieve what they intended. Yet their persistence becomes “political correctness” under a different context!

Pang Ho-cheung: I like《Chinese Opera Boy》because of its completeness. I just want to understand how this film came about.

Teresa Kwong: Works exploring similar topics have not only appeared in the Open Category in recent years, but also in other categories such as animation.

Law Kar: I think《Chinese Opera Boy》is very exemplary; it is like turning an opera lesson into film, I’m sure Chinese opera associations would welcome this film. Many problems in the film are easily solved. The master quickly accepts him as his protégé, and then he appears on stage. The message seems to be you will succeed as long as you work hard, and your teacher and your mom will be moved. Everything is just too simple.

Pang Ho-cheung: The film doesn’t explain why the lead character likes Chinese opera, except that his mom took him to see a performance when he was young. He is not a typical teenager, and is certainly an exceptional case.

Law Kar: The director over-simplifies the process.

Pang Ho-cheung: By comparison I think《Homecoming》is more realistic.

Chan Wai: I think his treatment is too conservative. Every problem is solved in 20 minutes. That’s why I have reservations about it.

Percy Fung: In terms of filming technique, 《Chinese Opera Boy》is quite an accomplished school exercise. Part of the reason is that APA provides a lot of resources, like motion picture film for filming, color grading, etc. But the lead character is too simplistic.

Wong Ain Ling: I think it is interesting how he treats the stage. I’m a fan of Chinese opera myself. The director does not favor filmic expression over stage performance, which is commendable. In terms of stage structure and movement of the actors the director did a good job.

Teresa Kwong:《Poor Child, Rich Mind》.

Percy Fung: This film has 5 directors, one of whom is that of《Camera Gun》.

Law Kar: Did they each direct one section?

Percy Fung: I don’t know how they organized the production, but in the discussion period just now they mentioned the film has 5 directors.

Chan Wai: We chose it to be one of the finalists because of its portrayal of the children and their lives, which is quite good, even though it is not outstanding. It doesn’t say anything new about the topic. It is enough that the film is among the finalists.

Percy Fung: I think his treatment is quite special. But like《Camera Gun》, perhaps it has to do with the school’s resources or its custom, the quality of the production is not high.

Teresa Kwong: The next work is《Life Goes On》.

Chan Wai: The subject matter is quite politically correct. Technically, there is nothing special about it either in terms of its storytelling or camera work.

Pang Ho-cheung: The subject matter is well selected, but as it develops nothing much comes out of it. When I was young I lived in Yue Man Square, so my interest was piqued, but as the film progressed it does not have much to do Yue Man Square, except for the last shot where you see apm Mall in the skyline.

Chan Wai: I’m not sure whether it’s because he failed to grasp the topic, or that his technical skills are not up to par.

Percy Fung: The director is a student at IVE and lives in the area. He is telling his own story in the film.

Teresa Kwong: The next work is《Daylily》.

Wong Ain Ling: The first time I saw it I was very pleased because it captures young girls’…

(Law Kar Kar comes back from making a phone call.)

Teresa Kwong: Does Law Kar have anything to add?

Law Kar: About《Poor Kid, Rich Mind》I have a small comment, that it is a bit superficial.

Wong Ain Ling:《Daylily》is likable and has nice details. But when I saw it on the big screen this time I was less impressed, whereas《I Can See, I Can’t See》had a lot of problems when I saw it on the small screen, but on the big screen I felt it captures some fine points well. I still think《Daylily》is enjoyable, but it didn’t have the same impact on me as the first time I saw it.

Chan Wai: On the big screen everything seems banal. The actors portray adolescent girls well, but don’t go beyond it. I enjoyed it when I first saw it on DVD, but on the big screen the feeling was gone.

Law Kar: When I first saw it I thought the first ten minutes was good, but the film is too long. All the scenes are of the same three or four girls lying on the grass or on the hillside. It becomes too much. I was impressed with the opening credits with the text against a natural background and the first ten minutes describing school life, but as the film progressed every scene looked the same.

Pang Ho-cheung: Is there a limit on the length of the entries?

Teresa Kwong: The entries have to be 30 minutes or less.

Pang Ho-cheung: No wonder many works are 29 minutes and 57 seconds long! Sometimes they just don’t know when to stop. If you cut down《Daylily》by 15 minutes it will be great; after the first 15 minutes the film just drags on. Perhaps they feel that with shorter films they are at a disadvantage. I don’t know whether or not it was this film, but the end credit for one of the films was so fast you could barely read it. This shows they care less about the integrity of the film than whether or not it fits the rules. I think the actors in this film are okay, but nothing much happens towards the end.

Percy Fung: The actors are good. The production and camera work are okay. I was prepared for the difference between the big and small screen, so it didn’t affect me. At the post-screening discussions just now, they said the shooting of the film lasted 10 days, and they did not direct the actors much on set. It was more like playing around. The three actors didn’t know one another before the film, and became well acquainted as the filming progressed, which is why their performance is so naturalistic.

Law Kar: What format was this shot on?

Pang Ho-cheung: It should be either DV or HDV.

Law Kar: Has it been color graded?

Percy Fung: Yes, it has a softness that normal video lacks. Also the balance was done well; you don’t see the color shifting abruptly from scene to scene. The equipment they used was probably not as professional as that of the ADC or APA projects.

Chan Wai: The post-production is done very well..

Teresa Kwong:《The Life and Times of Ho Chung Village》.

Pang Ho-cheung: I can’t imagine that this is a 14 minute film. At first when I saw the overlapping stills pictures, I thought it was part of an opening credit sequence. I feel 14 minutes of this is just too long.

Wong Ain Ling: I like it a lot. It is raw and simple. It only has one concept. I think using sounds to link up different things is clever and creative.

Pang Ho-cheung: I agree, but it shouldn’t go on for 14 minutes. I could bare 7 or 8 minutes, but towards the end it just keeps repeating itself.

Law Kar: I’ve seen this film twice, the first time at Ying E Chi’s screening, and both times I saw it on the big screen. Whether you feel it is long depends on your mood. Its intention is to inspire you to think about an issue, so it needs to be of a certain length in order for you to get into the topic. I like its concept and technique, like making collages out of different elements, or the part where the bulldozer moves across the screen and houses start appearing. The use of sound is also good. When I saw it the second time I was even more drawn in. The film doesn’t want to shock or surprise you, but aims to inspire nostalgic feelings about families, places and the passage of time. These feelings need time to percolate. It is not like a dramatic film that leads you along through the storyline, so 14 minutes is not too long. Also I heard she plans on making more films on the same topic. But it is hard to compare a film like this with, say,《Homecoming》, because they are very different.

Pang Ho-cheung: This is more like a documentary. It is hard to judge it according to narrative film standards.

Law Kar: It is all very subjective. You can’t use the same standards to judge the two films. You can only say you like one more than the other.

Wong Ain Ling: I like the way it captures the feeling of time. It really touches me.

Chan Wai: I agree with Law Kar. I like its concept. The difficult thing about this film is that I can’t use documentary standards to judge it, because it doesn’t tell me anything new. This film’s method is interesting when you view it from a Hong Kong context, because many of our old things are gone, and you can only trace it from people who have lived there. I like this film because it is poetic, but I don’t think of it as a good documentary.

Law Kar: I don’t think of it as a documentary. Experimental films can have elements of narrative and documentary. The difficulty we face is comparing a films like this with something like《Homecoming》, which is intricate, documentary-like and full of emotions. Both deal with socially conscious themes, but one is experimental while the other is more conventionally narrative. So it is hard to compare them.

Percy Fung: Also this film is more graphically oriented, it straddles between animation and live action.

Pang Ho-cheung: This is not a documentary. It is more like something you see playing in an endless loop in an art gallery rather than a film you watch in a cinema.

Teresa Kwong: I should add that according to ifva regulations for Open Category, we do not specifically state where the works have to be exhibited. In response to Percy’s point, the rules for animation category state that works have to be shot frame by frame.

Percy Fung: This work is done on a frame by frame basis, and in fact some Animation Category entries in the past have used similar techniques. But this is not important. Many Open Category award winners in recent years employed various techniques in their works.

Teresa Kwong: The next one is《I can see, I can’t see》.

Chan Wai: When I first saw it in the first round I quite liked it. When I saw it again I still thought it was complete, but technically lacking. It creates a special atmosphere that takes the audience into an imaginary world. It handles the topic well, and allows you to know that everything happens in the man’s imagination, then it takes you to a melancholic place. Among all the works this is the one I like the best.

Law Kar: Do you mean everything that happens is the guy’s imagination? I don’t understand which part is his imagination and which part he actually sees. Is the ending real?

Chan Wai: When the girl gives him the broken kaleidoscope, he intercuts this with shots in which he imagines the girl visits him.

Law Kar: That means he actually almost becomes blind?

Pang Ho-cheung: Everything after his injury is imagined.

Law Kar: You mean he imagines the visits?

Pang Ho-cheung: I don’t know. That’s what I want to ask too.

Chan Wai: Perhaps he is technically deficient. The turning point is when she gives him the broken kaleidoscope. Perhaps he doesn’t use enough shots, and there is just one line of dialogue to express the turning point. He doesn’t show the man’s reaction.

Pang Ho-cheung: I wouldn’t have known if you didn’t tell me! I like the role of the girl, and the scene when they are playing on the stairs.

Law Kar: Even if what you said is valid, what is the main theme of the film? Is it just about an introverted guy’s imagination? What is the film trying to say?

Chan Wai: It’s about a guy who is lonely and misunderstood. Technically he may not have provided sufficient information at the crucial point to tell his story, but I think the script is well written.

Teresa Kwong: The next work is《The Outsider》.

Pang Ho-cheung: You mentioned there is an English version as well. When I saw it I thought the film doesn’t quite hold together. In the middle of it she decides that she has been using the interviewee, but that may be part of the design. I felt uneasy about this. She has been exploiting him, and then comes to a realization in the middle, which in itself could be another type of exploitation. Several years ago there was another work called《Desire of Egg》, which was more worthy of debate. In this film I don’t know what made the director come to this realization and why. Is the English version set up the same way?

Teresa Kwong: More or less.

Wong Ain Ling: I was uneasy when watching this too. One should not question the motives of a documentary filmmaker, but with this I can’t help but question her motives. By contrast《Poor Kid, Rich Mind》is more simple and direct.

Pang Ho-cheung: And a lot more genuine.

Law Kar: I agree, but《Poor Kid, Rich Mind》does not go deep enough, and does not follow through with its subjects. But at least it is touching in its depictions of the kids’ everyday life and how they have fun under those circumstances. This film, on the other hand, does not move me. Her self realization just came about out of the blue.

Teresa Kwong: The next work is《Newlywed》.

Law Kar: It reminds me of Jessey Tsang’s《Lovers on the Road》. Both feature Joman Chiang as a woman who goes on a trip and meets another Putonghua speaking man, has a brief encounter with him and then part ways. I’ve always liked watching Joman act. She is pretty and likable on screen. This film differs from Jessey’s in that they travel on the train to Tibet, but it doesn’t make good use of the railway journey.

Chan Wai: It is well made.

Law Kar: Her spiritual quest is just talk.

Pang Ho-cheung: I like the pretty images, but should I give it high marks because of that? It goes all the way to Tibet, but what it wants to say could have been said in Tai Kok Tsui. The production has abundant resources because it is a RTHK production, so the production value is high, but does it deserve an award? It doesn’t have much to say. It focuses on two newlyweds, but fails to shed much light on their problems.

Chan Wai: I don’t really care how he got the resources to go to Tibet, but whether it is necessary for the film to take place there. What Pang said was right, the story could have taken place in Tai Kok Tsui, or the two could have gone on a trip to Cheung Chau. What concerns me is the director doesn’t seem to care what happens to the woman. The story takes place on a picturesque journey. She comes to some sort of epiphany, and everything is alright again.

Law Kar: It’s questionable whether it is an epiphany. She merely decides to stay with her husband.

Teresa Kwong: The next one is《The Betrayed Tigers》.

Pang Ho-cheung: Quite interesting. Even though there are traces of other films in it, it is well executed.

Chan Wai: It’s like《Revolution》.

Pang Ho-cheung: But better made.

Chan Wai: Because he is in a more senior level in school.

Pang Ho-cheung: Should we as jury members take this into account?

Chan Wai: There is nothing new about the story.

Pang Ho-cheung: The director admits that he was inspired by《The Mission》, but the film is executed with precision.

Chan Wai: A studio head would want to hire this director.

Pang Ho-cheung: If a studio head asked me to recommend a dependable new director, I would definitely put his name forward.

Chan Wai: He is a safe choice.

Percy Fung: This film almost didn’t make it to the final round, but I insisted that it does, because it represents another kind of work, one that approaches industry standards on a technical level.

Law Kar: I think there should be works like this every year. If every film were like《I Can See, I Can’t See》the audience will fall asleep.

Pang Ho-cheung: I think this director may well work in the industry in a few years. Now he is still imitating others, and hasn’t found his subject yet, but he is technically mature. He ought to be encouraged.

Teresa Kwong: Don’t worry, there are bound to be more works like this in the future.

Percy Fung: There have been fewer experimental and innovative films this year.

Pang Ho-cheung: In the past there were film like Wong Ching Po’s《I Love Bath Tape》and Wong Choi Fung’s《Desire of Egg》that were both experimental and controversial at the same time.

Percy Fung: Perhaps the new works are too calculating. Or maybe the competition gives the impression that it had not been as insistent on the experimental and innovative nature of the works.

Chan Wai: I think its part of the general atmosphere at large. The works reflect what people care about.

Law Kar: Perhaps it is part of the college education nowadays. 30 or 40 years ago there was no such thing as professional education in this field, and so there were few technical requirements. People just took a camera and filmed whatever they wanted, and there were a lot of unconventional ideas. Now the schools require that works achieve a certain technical level. You can’t just film a guy rolling around in bed or commit hara-kiri. Nowadays you have to have a story, plot development, characters.

Pang Ho-cheung: Nowadays there are fewer extremist, controversial films.

Teresa Kwong: I don’ think the amount of resources affect the works. For example Korean shorts are well funded, but they tackle much broader issues. Perhaps it has to do with the education system.

Chan Wai: I have seen student works from Taiwan and the Mainland. Whether dramas or documentaries, these works have a much higher social awareness than Hong Kong films, and you can also observe the relationship between society and its people. By watching these works I know what their authors care about. Taiwanese films tend to be more sentimental and more individualistic. Hong Kong works are more and more technically sophisticated, but I can’t tell from them how their directors view themselves.

Teresa Kwong: We can now nominate up to five films that deserve awards. The other way is to nominate the Gold Award winner. Or we can eliminate some works first.

Law Kar: Let’s eliminate some works first.

(The jury members vote for films that they want to eliminate.)

Teresa Kwong:《The Outsider》,《Revolution》,《Life Goes On》, 《Chinese Opera Boy》,《I Can See, I Can’t See》,《Newlywed》get 5 votes,《Camera Gun》gets 4 votes. At the end,《Homecoming》,《The Betrayed Tigers》,《The Life and Times of Ho Chung Village》, 《Camera Gun》and《Daylily》remain.

Percy Fung: I want to say something on behalf of《Camera Gun》. Compared to all the other works it is more innovative and experimental. We can now go on to nominate award winners. I think《The Betrayed Tigers》deserves a special mention at least. I like《Homecoming》because it is complete. The second place is《Camera Gun》.

Pang Ho-cheung: I hope《Homecoming》gets gold,《The Betrayed Tigers》gets silver,《The Life and Times of Ho Chung Village》and《Camera Gun》gets special mention.

Wong Ain Ling: I suggest giving both《Homecoming》and《The Life and Times of Ho Chung Village》Gold Awards because I find it hard to pick between the two. I like both, and they are very different. I suggest special mention for《Daylily》.

Chan Wai: I nominate gold award for《Homecoming》, special mention for《The Life and Times of Ho Chung Village》, silver award for《Daylily》.

Law Kar: I second that. Gold award for《Homecoming》, special mention for《The Life and Times of Ho Chung Village》and silver award for《Daylily》.

Teresa Kwong: Then the Gold Award goes to《Homecoming》.《Daylily》,《Camera Gun》and《The Betrayed Tigers》each gets two votes.

Percy Fung: I can take away my vote for《Camera Gun》.

Pang Ho-cheung: I can also take away my vote for《The Betrayed Tigers》. I feel the film is technically mature even though it is not experimental. I would like to give him some encouragement.

Law Kar:《The Betrayed Tigers》is of professional quality, while《Camera Gun》is quite special.

Chan Wai: If there were two special mentions, I’d like to give them to《The Betrayed Tigers》and 《The Life and Times of Ho Chung Village》.

Pang Ho-cheung: I agree with having two special mentions.

Teresa Kwong: So《Daylily》gets silver, while《Camera Gun》is the runner-up?

Pang Ho-cheung: We don’t have this category, all 12 finalists are runner-ups.

Percy Fung: Is three special mentions too many?

Wong Ain Ling: If it is a choice between《The Betrayed Tigers》and《Camera Gun》, I’d rather pick the latter.

Law Kar: Can we have three special mentions? It’s just a certificate. We can state which jury member nominated the films.

Teresa Kwong: That’s fine, as long as you all reach consensus. So our final result is Gold Award for《Homecoming》, Silver Award for《Daylily》, three special mentions go to《The Betrayed Tigers》,《The Life and Times of Ho Chung Village》and《Camera Gun》. Please keep the results secret until we announce the winners, and please come to the award ceremony next week and be our award presenters.

Law Kar: I think we can give some comments for the special mentions to explain why we awarded them.

Percy Fung: Should we do a review of the whole competition?

Teresa Kwong: We are thinking about changing the categories, but that is quite complicated. We want to encourage more documentaries to enter the competition, but don’t want to rashly add another category. We also thought of having a best documentary award in the Open Category.

Law Kar: Tammy Cheung already has a documentary competition, which is well run and the works are of quite high standards. I think we should keep the Open Category, and think about how we can improve its overall quality. If it is Open Category, it should be open to all so that the entries reach international standards. For example, we should encourage people in the film industry such as Peter Chan or Pang Ho-Cheung to take part. At present the entries are stuck at the level of graduation works.

Chan Wai: Perhaps it has to do with the length requirements. I wonder why there are so few RTHK productions.

Kattie Fan: In the first round there were a few of them among the 40 something works but they didn’t make it to the final round.

Chan Wai: Producing a 30 minute work without the support of colleges or Fresh Wave is quite difficult.

Pang Ho-cheung: Why was rule about length of the entries changed from 60 minutes to 30 minutes?

Teresa Kwong: A 60 minute film is considered a medium-length work, not a short. We also looked at the practice of other short film festivals. The other consideration is distribution. Actually we have always welcomed people from all walks of life take part in the competition. In the first and second edition we had people like Yu Lik-Wai and Jia Jiang-Ke taking part. In recent years the entries are mainly graduation films from universities.

Law Kar: Does the ifva encourage people from the Mainland to take part?

Teresa Kwong: We have an Asian category.

Pang Ho-cheung: You can raise the amount of prize money. This is an important consideration for independent filmmakers. For example if I were to choose between Pusan Production Plan and Hong Kong Asian Film Finance Forum I would choose the former. Not only do I get to meet more people, the prize money is higher.

Teresa Kwong: You think if we raise the prize money to $100,000, it would attract better entries?

Pang Ho-cheung: Yes, and if the works are not up to standard that year you can withhold the first prize. I think documentaries should be separate from non-documentaries because they are hard to compare. I was in the jury for a Korean film festival, and we had to choose between a musical and a documentary as recipient for an award, and we spent the better part of a day discussing what standards we should apply to judge the two kinds of films.

Teresa Kwong: Germany’s Oberhausen Short Film Festival is an international festival that states as its organizing principles certain criteria such as experimental and social awareness.

Pang Ho-cheung: Whereas we don’t have a theme.

Teresa Kwong: We have also considered allowing Hong Kong works to compete in the same category as other Asian films, reserving a “national” prize for Hong Kong films. I don’t know if this is a way to raise ifva’s standards.

Pang Ho-cheung: In addition to the prizes, we should also consider the artists’ continual development. For example we could provide sponsorship of post-production services to help the artists with their next films.

Teresa Kwong: We tried this several years ago in which the Gold Award winner can enjoy services at Cyberport, valid for one year, but in the end he did not take advantage of it.

Pang Ho-cheung: Perhaps the time limit can be extended to more than a year. The sponsorship could also be given to Special Mention recipients.

Teresa Kwong: Thank you for your suggestions. ifva should keep improving and not stay at one place. I agree with your point about the prize money. It had remained the same for the past 5 years.

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Youth Category Jury Meeting

Jury Members: Adam Wong Sau Ping, Kwok Chi Kin, Or Sing Pui, Bottle Shiu Ka Chun, Chan Wing Chiu
Ifva representative: Teresa Kwong

Teresa Kwong: The first work we will be discussing is《Where》.

Or Sing Pui: I think the works in this category are different from that of previous years; perhaps times have changed. Nowadays many schools have media related courses. This has advantages and disadvantages. The good thing is that everybody knows how to make films, but that is different from having a passion for it.

Kwok Chi Kin: I see a lot of works that were made because the filmmakers had to.

Or Sing Pui: I’ve observed the same thing. Some filmmakers were encouraged by their seniors in school, which is an interesting phenomenon.

Kwok Chi Kin: A few of the works like《Some Another Days》and《Story of Our Tuck Shop》are school assignments.

Teresa Kwong: As far as I know,《ANA》was made as an entry into a workshop called Focus on Film.

Or Sing Pui: Compared to other works, this one pays a great deal of attention to production elements such as costumes and design.

Teresa Kwong:《Where》.

Kwok Chi Kin: This work is closer in spirit to that of yesteryears when Or Sing Pui was a jury member. The director is definitely a film buff. There are many elements that were taken from other films, but the camera work and editing are superb, all the scenes are well thought out. It was made with little money, and all the actors were fellow classmates. The filmmaker is very talented, as evidenced in his use of repeated shots, actors and camera movements. He is obviously very much into film. I heard the film was made in two months, before he had to sit for A-levels exams. The director is very keen and hard working. It is clear that he has definite ideas and concepts, and is able to put his ideas into practice.

Or Sing Pui: In the past student films were mostly about love or friendship. Lately there have been more suspense films—perhaps that is more trendy nowadays. Even though this work is sometimes imitative, one can see that the director has made the effort to think through the genre.

Bottle Shiu: This director’s ideas about life, death, murder and suicide is clearly different from other people. He is quite a unique individual. I imagine his life is probably very closed-in, and he lives in his own world, because he finds his world is rich enough. Even though there are places where the story does not make sense, it doesn’t really matter.

Chan Wing Chiu: I think it’s interesting that we chose three works with similar themes; they are all about exams and academic ranking, etc., which reflects the current situation that students face. It is almost as if they are protesting against the education system. Many of them make films in fulfillment of academic obligations, but their subject mater has to do with academic pressure, which is very interesting.

Kwok Chi Kin:《The 6th Step》is also about grades.

Chan Wing Chiu: Because they cannot see a way out of it, they escape into another world.《Where》uses the suspense genre,《Breath》is supernatural, while 《The 6th Step》is a religious film.

Teresa Kwong: Sau Ping, you have been on the jury team of other youth video festivals. Are their entries similar to this competition or are they different?

Adam Wong: Very different.《Exploration of Time》was an award winning film in another competition. The film is very cliched in terms of its subject matter and style. I think many of the other competitions want to “borrow” the glamour of films. For example, the award presentation ceremony would employ the theme music from the Hong Kong Film Awards, and they would invite well known actors to present the awards. Their selection criteria follow the same vein. They prefer works that are nice and safe; you won’t find any experimental or subversive films in these competitions.

Teresa Kwong: So you can see more unique films in ifva’s Youth Category?

Adam Wong: Recently I finally met the filmmakers behind the primary school entry《和你在一起》. I found out the production team was lead my the school campus channel instructor.

Teresa Kwong: The entry is from Holy Family Canosian Primary School. The work is one in a series of music videos, the songs of which are obviously no chosen by the students. The production teams are lead by teachers.

Adam Wong: These works look smooth and professional, just like commercials. The technician told me they are under a lot of pressure from the school to produce these works. The last time they received an award with one of their videos, and so they wanted to produce more works like that. Many video competitions targeted at young people really like this type of works.

Teresa Kwong: The next one is《We Sing We Sing》.

Chan Wing Chiu: If this one wins an award I will personally present them with it.

Bottle Shiu: I was not going to attend the ceremony, but if this one wins it, I will go. Even though there is a lack of main theme, its energy and sense of joy is rare to see. The girls are so crazy that watching them brings back the feeling of first love.

Or Sing Pui: As a film this work is not up to par, but it possesses a child-like silliness that captures youthful memories.

Teresa Kwong: Is this done for homework?

Chan Wing Chiu: It was done for ifva. They will be 18 next year, and wanted to qualify for this category this year.

Kwok Chi Kin: It is a very youthful work. It is rough on the edges and the sound is bad.

Or Sing Pui: The shots are out of focus. They just take the camera and film whatever comes to mind.

Kwok Chi Kin: And it’s too long. But I was touched by a few of the scenes. Like singing George Lam’s songs on the ferry, that brought me goose bumps. The other scene that moved me was the one in which they sing on the MTR. The choice of song was good, and expresses the feeling of “just doing it.” When I was young I once walked six hours from Tuen Mun to Tsuen Wan. When I saw this film it brought back the feeling of being in love for the first time. This film is representative in that people assume that young people of this generation only like to play electronic games and go online. In fact there are people like these girls in every generation, but they don’t get the attention, just like there are things we noticed in the past that people ignore nowadays. There are still people who do silly things like playing guitar at the ferry terminal, then film the process and edit the footage together. This is what I find so special about this film.

Adam Wong: It’s an innocent, spontaneous work.

Chan Wing Chiu: I feel inspired by the film. I discovered that you shouldn’t watch it on the TV screen. Seeing it on the big screen is a lot more powerful. Even though it is unpolished, you feel the work is trying to talk to you. I can’t help but think that we have so many preconceived ideas about films made by young people. We should really humble ourselves and invite more of these works to enter the competition.

Teresa Kwong: The next work is《Some Another Days》.

Or Sing Pui: I find it quite impressive. Even though it’s a music video, it really communicates the feeling of indolence. However there are just feelings. The work lacks something else. The images are pretty, but lack depth.

Adam Wong: It expresses the director’s artistic sense in a simple way.

Or Sing Pui: Even without the music, the images still expresses certain feelings. Its editing technique is better than the other works.

Adam Wong: It looks unpretentious and effortless.

Or Sing Pui: The director doesn’t plan every shot, but tries to capture various things. The whole video consists simply of a girl at different locations—she wears the same clothes throughout and doesn’t even change costumes.

Kwok Chi Kin: At the post-screening discussion just now, the director refused to explain the meaning behind the work. From her intuitive camera style, you can tell she is quite talented.

Teresa Kwong: The next work is《Breath》.

Adam Wong: The use of stop motion is very good and inspired.

Or Sing Pui: It ends with a shot of someone taking a breath, which is quite humorous. The work is short, like a commercial.

Adam Wong: This film is short and sweet. There’s not much one could criticize about. It is a complete and powerful work.

Teresa Kwong: The next one is《The 6th Step》.

Kwok Chi Kin: I think it’s okay. The supernatural scenes are quite interesting. The technique is good. Did they use a smoke machine? Perhaps they received funding from the church.

Adam Wong: It’s not just a gospel film. It doesn’t let itself be dictated by those kinds of imagery. People like this aren’t the type to make gospel films.

Teresa Kwong: The next one is《我的回憶不是我的》.

Kwok Chi Kin: I want to ask why this film was selected?

Bottle Shiu: We had a long argument about this one. I think this work is clever and effective.

Chan Wing Chiu: I agree with you on the cleverness. I find the work adheres closely with its subject matter, and it gave me a strong feeling when I watched it.

Kwok Chi Kin: Watching old videos is the most clichéd way of recalling old memories. When I watched this I felt detached for some reason, even though it is somewhat interesting.

Chan Wing Chiu: Nowadays many student works like to talk about the self. Both《Some Another Days》and this one emphasizes this aspect.

Or Sing Pui: Usually the teachers urge them to make films about themselves.

Chan Wing Chiu:《Three of Us》is like that too, although the results are quite different.

Adam Wong: My comment is: “a great deal of emotions but not a lot of creativity.” This type of work is easy to overlook. It tries to experiment with something, and if it succeeds in doing what Or suggests, it would be very successful. It is very economical, with only a little bit of creativity. If it falls short by just a little, I would have missed it altogether. What I see is a lot of self indulgence and emotions, but not a lot of creativity. I don’t dislike the work, though.

Kwok Chi Kin: I don’t have very strong feelings about this film, perhaps because I’ve done too many similar works in the past.

Teresa Kwong:《Three of Us》.

Kwok Chi Kin: It is a lot like《我的回憶不是我的》, but《Three of Us》is very successful in portraying the personal self, particularly in terms of technique and the objects the camera captures, like the sofa and cooking a meal, etc. I like the part where the director uses telephone-like voice, but you don’t hear the grand father’s reaction or reply, and also his use of self narration. As a piece of homework it is very high quality.

Bottle Shiu: I can’t believe that it is a piece of homework. He proudly lets you into his life, and I can really see what the director is like, and also his love of the work.

Kwok Chi Kin: It has the rare quality of being intricate and humorous, which is not easy to do.

Adam Wong: It is very sincere work in which the director tells his own story in an unpretentious way. The technique merges seamlessly into the work. For example, in the scene where the grandfather laughs, the camera shakes along with his movements as if laughing along with him. He incorporates these things into the work in an honest way.

Chan Wing Chiu: This year there has been a lot of work from Lee Shau Kee School of Creativity. What you said is spot on. Many works from this school play with form, and the result is often vacant. Yet this work is also from Lee Shau Kee, which shows that their students are in fact quite varied. It does not matter if this is a piece of homework, as long as it comes from the heart.

Teresa Kwong:《Destructive Love》.

Kwok Chi Kin: In what way is this work representative?

Adam Wong: To a certain extent I am being charitable toward this work. I think the sense of solidarity and passion behind the making of this film ought to be applauded. This film is no worse than a lot of the other “disaster films”, but I like the fact that they had fun doing it. They express themselves wholeheartedly and unabashedly, which I think deserves to be encouraged.

Chan Wing Chiu: The rap at the end is important, because it is representative of this generation. Even when they do their homework they would work in a rap. I really got a kick out of watching this film, and I think it deserves to be among the finalists. It is a show piece that allows us a glimpse into how the new generation thinks. When watching this film you have to turn the sound down a notch, otherwise even the soothing parts would have the opposite effect.

Kwok Chi Kin: This work is quite special. Its intention is very serious, but it is clear that their ability falls short. It is precisely because they try so hard that it is funny. You feel you shouldn’t laugh but you can’t help it.

Chan Wing Chiu: I think their energy deserves encouragement. This school has produced a lot of works, which needs to be recognized. It’s not just this year—every year there are films like this, so we need to show them. They have a lot of fun making it and the energy comes through in the work.

Or Sing Pui: The production value is high. They even have a car crash.

Adam Wong: It talks about ugly girls in a way that is not clichéd, even though it is not original.

Teresa Kwong:《Exploration of Time》.

Kwok Chi Kin: This is a strange work that is half way between being serious and playing around. All of a sudden there are spirits and time travel. The acting style is part Stephen Chow, part Ronald Cheng, but the voice-over uses a sentimental tone. The overall feeling is schizophrenic. The editing in the latter part is very precise, but the beginning part is all wrong.

Chan Wing Chiu: I think it is probably a collaboration between teachers and students. Perhaps we need to have a separate category for that next year. You sense that it is obviously done by two groups of people, and not by the students themselves. The thinking behind the work and the technique is very grown-up.

Or Sing Pui: I don’t think it’s a collaboration. Probably the teacher instructed them.

Chan Wing Chiu: The end credits states frankly that they thank the church for support and the teachers’ guidance. The entrant is the main actor, but he is not the director.

Adam Wong: It is hard to tell whether it is done by teachers or students. Getting guidance from teachers is a good thing. Many of the “disaster films” would have benefited from some professional help. How can we judge whether a film is truly a student work?

Chan Wing Chiu: The most important consideration is that this is the Youth Category.

Teresa Kwong:《Story of Our Tuck Shop》.

Kwok Chi Kin: A very good film. Very anti-establishment and full of humor. For example the line “super expensive” is funny, and so are the subtitles. Was this film guided by teachers?

Chan Wing Chiu: For sure it was, but it went beyond that guidance, which is wonderful.

Teresa Kwong:《ANA》.

Kwok Chi Kin: This is a Hollywood production among Youth Category entries—there are Western actors and the production value is high. It is also a meaningful film. But there is nothing outstanding about it; the film has no personality. In terms of creativity there is nothing very exciting about it. It’s just like a big budget Hollywood film.

Adam Wong: It is not clichéd, and is nice and safe.

Or Sing Pui: Well rounded. The lead actress is very pretty.

Adam Wong: Her acting is good, too.

Chan Wing Chiu: A very professional work dealing with a very serious subject matter.

Adam Wong: It is unpretentious; you don’t feel that it tries to be grown-up.

Chan Wing Chiu: It stresses that all the cast and crew are under the age of 18.

Bottle Shiu: It has no rough edges, obviously done by people who don’t have to worry about where their next meal is coming from.

Teresa Kwong: Now we can nominate award winners, or go straight to picking the Gold Award winner.

Or Sing Pui: We can pick 5 each.

Adam Wong: I choose《Where》,《The 6th Step》,《Three of Us》,《Exploration of Time》and《Story of Our Tuck Shop》.

Bottle Shiu: I choose《Where》,《We Sing We Sing》,《Breath》,《Three of Us》and《Story of Our Tuck Shop》.

Chan Wing Chiu: I choose《Where》,《We Sing We Sing》,《Breath》,《Three of Us》and《Story of Our Tuck Shop》.

Kwok Chi Kin: I choose《Where》,《We Sing We Sing》,《Three of Us》,《Story of Our Tuck Shop》and《The 6th Step》.

Or Sing Pui: I choose《Where》,《We Sing We Sing》,《Some Another Days》,《Three of Us》and《Story of Our Tuck Shop》.

Kwok Chi Kin:《Where》should get the Gold Award.

Or Sing Pui: I am torn between《Where》and《Three of Us》. One is about school pressure, while the other is about the director’s family. They represent two different styles.

Bottle Shiu: I’m more sentimental, and prefer《Three of Us》.

Chan Wing Chiu: I also agree that《Three of Us》should either get Gold or Silver.《Where》is technically superior, but the director gets carried away. It wants to tell a story about someone who may have seen a ghost, then he sees his classmate commit suicide, but it turns out to be himself. In the process the story does not quite make sense.

Teresa Kwong: Are these the only contenders for the Gold Award?

Chan Wing Chiu: You can consider《We Sing We Sing》, but you might feel that it is not technically up to standard.

Bottle Shiu: Giving it the Gold Award is a bit too much.

Adam Wong: As Youth Category jury members we have certain expectations about the work, and hope to see in them what young people are like and their youthful spirit. But for myself I don’t emphasize this too much.

Kwok Chi Kin: I agree. Before I saw《Dreams》, I gave《Three of Us》very high marks, but the former has more self awareness. I think young people are often too lackadaisical, and do not know what they want. Even though the director of《Dreams》is only 18, he really knows what he wants. Chan Wing Chiu thinks he got lost telling his story, but the director has a cohesive vision and really knows what he wants to express. Technically the film is stylish and possesses the innocence of youth at the same time. His first shot is repeated in the end, and very few teenagers would think like that. I think entries from the Youth Category should not only express young people’s energy, but also their dreams. I am not sure if this work is homework, but I don’t think it looks like the director is accountable to anyone.

Chan Wing Chiu: From the beginning we use filmmaking technique and style to critique《Dreams》, because it aims at finding the very spirit of cinema, and the director tries his very best to make this film. It is also about youth problems and complaints against society. I applaud the director’s persistence in making his film, in this day and age that’s rare.

Adam Wong: To me the subject matter is not important, but I would pay attention to his use of film language and his mastery of the medium. Many Open Category entries are too much influenced by conventional film language, and therefore you see traces of other films in them. Even though this work is also influenced by other films, it also has elements of theatre. Its use of space is clever, and the story is coolly constructed without the use of dialogue, which requires a great deal of will power and passion.《We Sing We Sing》is also done with a lot of passion, but the directors are more casual in their approach. The director of《Dreams》does not express his passion through his film, but uses his passion to accomplish a complex goal, which in itself is a very youthful approach.

Or Sing Pui: I don’t expect Youth Category entries to have groundbreaking technique. For me the hard work the director of Dream put into his work to explore film language is a bonus.《Three of Us》does not need technique, because its sentiment overrides everything else. From《Dreams》I detect a passion towards film. I am torn—sentimentally I prefer《Three of Us》, because I have never been affected by scary movies.

Chan Wing Chiu: Should we give out two Gold Awards?

Bottle Shiu:《Three of Us》moved me, whereas《Dreams》did not. However《Dreams》has a sort of sophistication in terms of its content, technique and use of film language. The director succeeds in mastering his subject, which is not easy.

Adam Wong: Even if you take《Dreams》outside of the context of the Youth Category, it is still a remarkable work.《Three of Us》moved me too, but there is nothing innovative about it. Actually《Three of Us》has good technique as well, and it successfully blends emotions with technique. The feelings it explores are genuine, and the story is told well. The pictorial composition is well designed, for example in the scene where the grandfather appears on one side of the screen and the grandmother appears in another, which I really appreciate.

Chan Wing Chiu: I am leaning towards giving《Dreams》the Gold Award, because it is rare for Youth Category entrants to put art at the forefront of their works. In the past we have always been concerned whether young people have independent mindsets and if they care about society. This work should be lauded for being artistically distinguished, because after all this is a media competition. Since this work is such a rare achievement, it should get the award.

Or Sing Pui: I agree. This work does not only have youthful energy, but is also intelligent.

Teresa Kwong: So our Gold Award winner for the Youth Category this year is《Dreams》, and Silver Award winner is《Three of Us》. How about special mentions?《We Sing We Sing》,《Story of Our Tuck Shop》,《Breath》and《The 6th Step》all received high votes.

Chan Wing Chiu: I suggest giving four special mention awards.

Teresa Kwong: Please keep the results of the deliberations secret until the award presentation ceremony. Also I invite you to be award presenters at the ceremony. Thank you very much.

 

 

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