‘Should we cancel or postpone the film festival?’ We never expected to have to face such a question. Even after deciding to postpone the festival, there’s been a constant worry on my mind. Will we be lucky enough to enjoy this film festival as we originally planned? Will it be a similar experience to previous years? I guess we’ll have to find out.

Many film festivals around the world went virtual this year. Call me old fashioned, but a film festival to me means a big screen. Popcorn. Cinema staff collecting my ticket. One of the great things about film festivals is that they bring people together – and while this year’s event might feel different, it still shares that very same goal.

We have taken huge risks to put this film festival together. I hope it pays off! You’ll notice there are fewer films this year. That’s because we’ve gone for quality over quantity: we’ve found the best of the best to show you, such as the wonderful Taiwanese opening film, ‘Your Name Engraved Herein’. I’ve noticed a high demand for this film about two hotties.

Another award-winning opening film, ‘Two of Us’, is our most high profile lesbian film this year. It’s a touching story about older lesbian couples. I also love our closing film, a heartwarming coming-of-age comedy from Ireland called ‘Dating Amber’. If you’re a fan of dry humour, don’t miss this one. Be sure to catch ‘Welcome to Chechnya’, the high-impact documentary about LGBT people running away from their families, and from a totalitarian country that will sentence them to death because of who they are. It is nerve-racking and overwhelmingly powerful.

Since HKLGFF is a Hong Kong-based film festival, it’s only natural to celebrate Hong Kong talent. We have one local feature film, and one short film programme called Hong Kong Stories. All the Hong Kong film directors will attend the screenings.

Although our film festival name is Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, we are an LGBTQ film festival. Check out ‘Miss Andy’, a Taiwanese transgender film featuring a famous Taiwanese cast. ‘Lola’ is another transgender film, featuring an openly transgender actress in the leading role.

Last but not least, we’re holding our very first Short Film Audience Award this
year. We know you love an opportunity to vote, so here’s your chance.
Get involved!

See you all at the cinema.

Joe Lam
Festival Director