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Asia’s oldest LGBTI film festival returns in Hong Kong

Asia’s oldest LGBTI film festival returns in Hong Kong

Hong Kong Lesbian and Gay Film Festival kicks off (Photo: Provided)

One of the region’s largest LGBTI film festivals opened in Hong Kong this weekend. The city welcomed a number of screenings and glitzy parties.

The 29th Hong Kong Lesbian & Gay Film Festival (HKLGFF) is bigger than ever with 29 feature films and 30 short films shown in four different cinemas across the city.

The festival is running until 22 September.

Importantly, this year Hong Kong will assert itself as the center of the Asian LGBTI film festival circuit. Therefore, the festival will be screening more LGBTI films from Asia than any other festival in the region.

‘We want our film festival to be a hub of Asian LGBT films as well as a platform for Western LGBT film festivals’, festival director Joe Lam told Gay Star News.

Screen shot from Those Long Haired Nights, screening at the Hong Kong Lesbian and Gay Film Festival (Photo: Provided)
Screen shot from Those Long Haired Nights, screening at the Hong Kong Lesbian and Gay Film Festival (Photo: Provided)

Movie highlights

The festival opened with France’s Sorry Angel and My Days of Mercy from the UK and USA.

One of the closing films is Girl, exploring the a transgender teenager’s bid to become a professional ballet dancer. Bao Bao, a Taiwanese movie about a lesbian couple starting a family, is also a closing movie.

The Asia Focus section shines a spotlight on regional LGBTI films. Highlights include The Poet and the Boy from South Korea which depicts the unlikely romantic encounter of an unsuccessful poet.

Those Long Haired Nights from the Philippines tells the stories of three transgender masseuses in Manila.

Organizers have invited representatives from film festivals in India, Myanmar and Pakistan for a set of panel discussion titled ‘Global South Visions’.

Hong Kong's LGBTI community celebrate the festival's opening (Photo: Provided)
Hong Kong’s LGBTI community celebrate the festival’s opening (Photo: Provided)

Opening gala

After the opening films on Saturday, there was a glitzy gala at Hong Kong cabaret club Ophelia.

The party was attended by Joanna Leung. As Hong Kong’s first openly transgender politician, Leung was handed the festival’s Prism Award to recognize her dedication to the community.

Leung has championed LGBTI causes in Hong Kong and China for years. She is founder and chairperson of the Transgender Resource Center.

She has consulted on government efforts to reduce LGBTI discrimination and launched TransChina to boost public awareness of transgender people on the mainland.

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