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Hong Kong's first Pineapple Underground Film Festival

Dan Pordes CNNGo.com 06/10/2011 18:33
Hong Kong's first Pineapple Underground Film Festival - Hong Kong - entertainment - movie - festival

A film festival for indie filmmakers by indie filmmakers, featuring censored Chinese movie "The Debts"

When local art house curator Gina Wong began her involvement in independent films 10 years ago, she soon became disillusioned by the opportunities to both view and display true low-budget cinema. 

“Film festivals have lost their original meaning; they’ve become a platform for commercial films,” says Wong with a slight touch of disdain. “It’s quite hard to find real independent cinema here.” 

After filming her first feature "Orient Top Town" in Shanghai last year, Wong decided to change all that. She sent out a casting call to independent directors, through film contacts and through the web, asking for feature films and shorts for a newly proposed film festival: Pineapple Underground Film Festival (PUFF). 

“There are so many talented people out there but their work is not being shown due to a lack of budget,” says Wong. “They cannot afford distribution and marketing costs and even admission to film festivals.” 

So Wong set the admission fee at a nominal US$5. Sometimes this fee is waived. The result was over 350 films flooding in from all over the world.

Wong and her staff of volunteers whittled down the list to six features and 20 short films. Canada, the United States, Greece, Italy and mainland China are all represented in the feature category, while the shorts are an even more eclectic bunch with films from Iran, Brazil, Taiwan, Norway, Spain and Hong Kong successfully passing the selection committee. 

Wong’s recommended movies are "Sex Equo" an Italian collection of six amusing, philosophical and raunchy stories about sex, and "The Debts" a world premiere by first-time director and former stand-up comedian Wang Xiao Ming.

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