The Hong Kong Lesbian & Gay Film Festival has grown up with you for the past 25 years. And being 25 years old makes it our Silver Jubilee, so we decided to mix things up a little to commemorate this special occasion.

Let’s start with the cover. It’s a photo of two people kissing, but are they gay, straight, lesbian or transgender or something else entirely? We chose this photo because it’s in your face. We want everyone to see it, regardless of their sexual or gender identities. Being seen and showing who we are is vital right now, especially since anti-gay groups have been getting more vocal in Hong Kong of late. If you’re intrigued by the photo, come to the HKLGFF’s first ever photo exhibition, Kiss Me, where all the other photos that we took of kissing couples will be on show.

Even though many of our films deal with relationship issues and emotional drama, we just couldn’t turn away when we saw the anti-gay propaganda that Russia has been spouting. Our Centerpiece Film is Campaign of Hate: Russia & Gay Propaganda, that shows what life is actually like for gays and lesbians living in Russia today. One scene in the film contrasts well with our cover: a same-sex couple start to kiss on the street, but instead of being celebrated, as in our exhibition, they are attacked and punched in the face. If we are to make this blatant bigotry stop, we have to make sure that we are all aware that, even though Hong Kong’s not perfect, we are still pretty lucky here. And it’s our duty to understand what is happening to all our gay, lesbian and transgender brothers and sisters in the rest of the world.

So this year we have loads of films to entertain you, but we've also got a few to give you some interesting perspectives. I hope you enjoy our mix of great cinema and hope to see you all there!

Joe Lam
HKLGFF Director