Hong Kong Lesbian and Gay Film Festival 2015

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Sep 19-Oct 10
 

The Hong Kong Lesbian and Gay Film Festival is showing a strong line-up of films that represent each colour of the rainbow

The Hong Kong Lesbian and Gay Film Festival (HKLGFF) is back, bigger than ever with its 26th edition, Viva Asia, running from September 19 to October 10. This is one of the most celebrated LGBTI events in Hong Kong and rightly so – it’s the largest and longest running LGBTI film festival in all Asia.

This year, audiences are in for a real treat with 57 provocative, emotional and murderous films on the line-up. That’s right, for the first time the HKLGFF has included a ‘Murder & Thriller’ category with spine tingling titles like Everlasting Love (which sounds horrifying, imagined crooned in a crypt keeper’s voice), about a middle-aged school teacher who lures his student love interests into a forest for more than just a casual stroll. Another highlight is the winner of the Melbourne Queer Film Festival, Drown, which follows a jealous, closeted, homophobic lifeguard that lusts after, but also feels threatened by, a new hottie member on his team. As tensions rise, things go from tight, sun tanned beach boys to self-loathing and violence.

Killings aside, the main theme for this year’s fest revolves around the growing amount of films coming out of East Asia that reflect varying LGBTI experiences in Vietnam, Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and, of course, Hong Kong. “This year we’ve had an unprecedented amount of submissions from directors in Asia,” says the festival’s director, Joe Lam. “If you examine other LGBTI film festivals around the world, you will find that there is little Asian representation. This is why we have a responsibility to bring international recognition to the wealth of talent coming from the region.”

One of the opening films this year includes bittersweet dramatic comedy Front Cover, by Hong Kong director Ray Yeung, which centres around the culturally tense relationship between an Asian American fashion stylist and a pro-Beijing actor. 

By popular demand, we also see a sequel to whacky Thai comedy Yes or No and follow once more the complicated love triangle entangling three young women. After the opening, don’t forget to the join the after-party at Zafran, in Central. Present your ticket stub for free entrance or it’s a$100 admission.

The big budget Freeheld closes the fest, featuring an all-star cast of Julianne Moore, Ellen Page and Steve Carrell. Based on a true story, the film follows terminally ill Laurel Hester, who must struggle through a divisive legal battle to leave all pension benefits to her lover, Stacie.

LGBTI films are constantly diversifying into different and relevant themes that reflect the struggles of the community, and HKLGFF is at the forefront of presenting these works to HK. Hurry and reserve your tickets before they sell out. They go quick! Arthur Tam

Hong Kong Lesbian and Gay Sep 19-Oct 10
, various locations inc Kee Club, 6/F, Yung Kee Bldg, 32 Wellington St, Central, 2810 9000; hklgff.hk.

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