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PUFF presents: An evening with Reiko Kondo 近藤麗子電影放映及酒會

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Japanese filmmaker Reiko Kondo, who is residing in France will be in Hong Kong to showcase her 3 previous short films and share her filmmaking experience over drinks. Local filmmakers Nicola Fan (The Eve) and Gina Wong (Road to Day Dream Mine) will also be present to show their works.

Date: 28 July 2016 (Thursday)

Time: 6:00 – 9:00pm

Place: The Ladies’ Recreation Club, 10 Old Peak Road

旅法日藉導演近藤麗子將會分享她的3部短片,在巴黎十年供讀電影的經歷及她的第一部故事長片的編制過程。當晚還有另外兩位香港女導 Nicola Fan ( The Eve ) 及 黃思源 ( Road to Day Dream Mine) 分享她們拍電影的經歷。

日期:7月28日星期四

時間:下午6時 - 晚上9點

地點:婦女會,舊山頂道10號

Reiko Kondo:

” MÄCHEN II  is m385902_10150665747484202_868697340_ny second experimental short. It was a kind of challenge for what I wanted to do, its a mix of silent film and animation.

I am always looking for the fusion between Asia and Europe.

With this film, the crew was French-Japanese and I used Origami and Chiyogami on the boards. ”

 

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Announcing our PUFF award judging panel

We are kicking off the PUFF 2015 season with some important unfinished business from last year. Announcing the distinguished members of our judging panel for the PUFF award 2014!

Judge 1: Ethan Minsker, NY director of Art Antagonist Movement

Ethan is an American writer and filmmaker. He was diagnosed at an early age as being both highly dyslexic and highly intelligent. He is the co-founder of the Antagonist Movement, Inc., a consortium of artists, writers and musicians based in New York’s East Village. Mr. Minsker is also the creator and editor-in- chief of Psycho Moto Zine, which has been in publication since 1988. He lives in New York City.

Judge 2: Will Schmeckpeper, independent filmmaker

Will is a film director, writer and producer whose films focus on life in the State of Idaho in the Western USA. His most recent works are queries into the state of human nature: IN COMMON HOURS is an existential narrative, while his series of ambient films BIKINI HOT TUB GIRLS and KITTAH AT REST comprise his social experiment to see if people really will download and watch just about anything. Recently, Schmeckpeper has begun hosting BIG CHUNKS OF PLASTIC as “The Earthpig” on KRBX Radio Boise, a show dedicated to film and video soundtracks and scores.

Judge 3: Faiyaz Jafri, multidisciplinary artist

Faiyaz is an award winning filmmaker and artist, born and raised in rural Holland of Dutch and Pakistani decent. Jafri’s art explores Jungian archetypes in the modern world. In addition he searches for neo- archetypes in mass media and global popular culture.

His work has an almost clinically engineered feel to it without becoming cold or soulless. It is this contrast between unnatural perfection and the fact that his work conveys a strong emotion that makes his work at times haunting but always strangely human.

Jafri’s work has been exhibited in the form of print, pantings, video installations, animations and life size sculptures, in galeries, museums and film festivals around the world.

Judge 4: Chung Pei Chi, professor in Religious and cultural studies at CUHK

Dr. Peichi Chung currently teaches at the Department of Cultural and Religious Studies in The Chinese University of Hong Kong. Previously Peichi taught as an assistant professor in the Department of Communications and New Media, National University of Singapore. Her research interests include new media studies and digital culture. Her dissertation focuses on the study of three online communities and their participation in the nation-building process in Taiwanese nationalist movement. Currently she studies the formation of popular culture in the online digital game game space of Asia. Her present research compares cultural regionalisation and industry dynamics in three online gaming sub-regions of Korea, China and Southeast Asia.

Judge 5: Reiko Kondo, independent filmmaker

Reiko graduated from EICAR (L’École internationale de création audiovisuelle et de réalisation) in Paris, her film Une fuite de lumière d’été has won multiple awards and she has screened her new film Marchen I & II in Hong Kong. Reiko’s way of life is an inspiration to many women, as she lives and works on her own in Paris for the past 10 years. A break away from the Japanese women traditions !

A big thank you to all our judges who spent long hours watching the nominated films and writing notes and comments to us. Results will be announced very soon.

Submission to 2015 Festival is now on!

Spread the word, we want to see your work in this year’s festival! Submission is now open through to September with the dates of the festival set on November 2015.

This year, all submissions are made through Withoutabox, please use the following link to proceed:

https://www.withoutabox.com/03film/03t_fin/03t_fin_fest_01over.php?festival_id=10040

All enquiry please send to submission@puff-festival.org

Interview with Byron Q, writer/director of Las Vegas Story

by Shen Xingzhou

Recently I had the opportunity to chat with Byron Q, an up-and-coming Chinese American filmmaker, because his film Las Vegas Story will have its Asia premiere in this year’s PUFF.

Initially from LA, he moved to San Diego and then San Francisco. Among these three cities, San Diego remains his favourite because of its beach, sunshine, beautiful scenery and relaxing mood.

“LA is just a big culturally mixed city, San Francisco is too “techie”, everyone there wanna create an app! ”

So why did he choose Las Vegas to be the background of the film?

“I used to go vocations in Las Vegas when I was still living in LA. I found this place very interesting, quite like Picasso’s paintings: real and surreal goes hand in hand. The real part is the gap between the rich and the poor. People live outside, far away from the casinos, lead sort of normal lives. But most people there, they do effect by gambling and try to survive.”

Like a quote from the film: “this place (Las Vegas) eats you up. ”

“The surreal part includes the neon light and the stripper clubs, but also, the people. When people came to Las Vegas, they act differently. Remember there’s a black guy in Las Vegas Story? When you first saw him on the screen, the way he walked, talked, dressed, which make you think: What? Is he Snoop Dogg (a famous American rapper)? But no! Ha-ha! He is a normal guy. That’s the funny and weird part, because everyone in Las Vegas, they want to imitate others.”

Real and surreal, is not only a term which Byron used to portray Las Vegas, the city, but also a way to represent the film.

“The stories of the film, they are all real stories based on real people. I did a lot of research before shooting, nearly two years, asking local people, listening to their stories, writing them down then put them together. I had some professional actors and actresses in the film, which for sure can’t avoid certain acting, but for the rest: the family in the film is the real family. The leading actress, she is a real prostitute. The locations: casinos, motels, etc.…they’re all real, which really bring the story alive.”

Mixing real people with actors and actresses has always been Byron’s style. Las Vegas Story, the film title, will bring to the audiences’ minds strippers, money, drugs, gangsters, but in fact, it’s a story about a single mother.

“I have always wanted to make a film about a female character. I know Christina (the leading actress) as a friend for years. After hearing some of her stories, I made up my mind to do a film about her. Personally, I was also raised up by a single mother, that in a way, helps me to understand the character better.”

I asked Byron whether our heroine’s personality was made out to be too perfect to be real.

Byron emphasised: “It’s her! It’s just who she is. Maybe being perfect, becomes her only flaw.”

During filming, Byron rented a house for the whole crew to do shooting. Basically they lived there for one month. “It’s a unique experience.” said he.

They did several scenes inside the biggest casino of Las Vegas, secretly, without people’s knowing. “It’s unbelievable! We accomplished it! ” said he proudly.

Byron studied visual arts film under the renowned French New Wave Director Jean-Pierre Gorin. As a result, some people considered his style a mix of urban themes with French New Wave style.

About Las Vegas Story, the third feature of Byron, what he has to say is: “this film itself is not so much French New Wave, but it conveys somehow the spirit of it. For example, I didn’t focus too much on the plot. With Las Vegas Story, I was trying to build up my own style. Right now I am on my way to evolve, to make something different.”

Yes, at such young age, 29 as we spoke, Byron is now preparing his fourth feature, a sci-fi. “I am open to anything, and I will try different genres.” We, the audience, do have every reason to look forward to his future works.

 

專訪”Bike與舊電鋼”導演邵攀

文:沈行舟

在結束這次采訪之前,邵攀導演親自彈著鋼琴獻唱。一首約翰列儂的《Real Love》之後,帶著一種自謙,緊接著,跟上了一首自己的原創歌曲《每一種愛情都是一樣的悲傷》,帶著一些所觸,他開始講述這首歌背後的故事,故事裏的環境,環境下的人,人和人的事。

Continue reading “專訪”Bike與舊電鋼”導演邵攀”

PUFF 2014 will open with a local filmmaker night

Opening night of PUFF 2014

4th December 7:00pm at XXX Gallery

The EVE

The Eve is a really cool music video of local independent electronic funk duo Sonic MSG and is directed by videographer Nicola Fan. This is a must see if you like us, are completely sick of watching those karaoke style Cantopop MV!

半張飛
FAST FORWARD

HK / 2013 / 92min / Color / 2.35:1 / Mono
In Cantonese with Chinese and English Subtitles

導演 Dir: 陳英麟 Stephen Chan
演員 Cast: 岑榮駿 Norris Shum, 林雪穎 Klarus Lam, 柴國燊 Samson Chai, 梁嘉進 Eric Leung, 顧嘉琪 Kaki Ku

Synopsis

Discovering a good movie and meeting the right person in your life are similar in many ways, as just one single look, is to change your life.

The story happens when Chan and Mok met in a cinema; one, wimpy and delicate, the other bold and straightforward. Yet, their madness love towards movies, tied them together, to endless conversations, like they have always been together.

The two worked hard to overcome their different personalities and obstacles in their relationship. Together, they held hands, shared laughter and wonderful, theatrical memories, marking the beginning of their absurd but romantic relationship.

As time goes by, Chan tried his best to provide Mok with everything he could in his own way, however things did not turn out the way they wished it would be. Slowly, the difference between them became more and more apparent and their relationship is hanging on a tenuous string.

This movie dedicated to them, is walking towards a finale or merely just a prelude, the reality is yet to be foreseen so easily by Chan…

Director’s statement

“Movies that spread love, faith and joy are all great movies.” – Derek Kwok Chi Kin, director from Hong Kong.

As one that directs a film, also directs the emotions felt by the audience. While some would have the theme of helplessness and darkness, but left a ray of light behind, captivates the audience. While some would have the theme of belief and declaring the power of love, but highlights how the couples’ indiscretion caused them to paint lies over lies.

I didn’t realize nor hope that the people nowadays would get used to such twisted, distorted way of love.

When we were filming this movie, most of us were merely students or fresh graduates. Despite of the tools, we had no more than 10 thousand to film this movie. We have heard many people talking, saying ‘ If you are so confident in the script, why don’t you work on selling it instead so that you could film it with less limitations and a bigger budget?’

Through this movie though, what we would like to accomplish, besides from completing a worth mentioning deed even after 10, 30, 50 years; more importantly is because in the recent years, a few romantic films spreading the message of such ‘Values of New generation’, created such depressing feeling that sends shiver down the spine.

What we wanted to do isn’t something epic or world-changing; on the contrary, we would like to use the romantic movies that grew up with us, in the most cliche way, to lit a tiny flame.

簡介

遇到Mr./Mrs. Right,就如看到一套好電影 – 瞥見一眼,足已改變一生。

陳家富(岑榮駿 飾)在電影院巧遇莫敏兒(林雪穎 飾),二人一個柔弱怕事,一個口直心快,卻湊巧地瘋狂迷戀電影,以使二人滔滔不絕,一見如故。

二人力排性格和生活上的障礙,牽手作伴聊天說笑,共同經歷荒誕如電影情節(?)般的生活逸事,為這段關係譜下了奇特而浪漫的印記。

時間流逝,陳家富一心以自己的方法,努力給予莫敏兒最好的一切,卻偏偏事與願違 – 二人的性格差異逐漸浮現,關係變得若即若離。

這套屬於他們倆的電影,看似是在謝幕或延續當中角力,惟事實卻非如陳家富一直所想般簡單…

導演的話

郭子健導演說過:「宣揚愛、希望、歡樂信念的電影,都是偉大的電影。」

一片之導,主宰觀眾看畢電影後的情緒。有人以世界的無奈、黑暗為名,卻在結局留下充滿希望的註腳,激動人心;也有人以信望愛情為名,宣揚愛情的偉大-但該些電影最終突出的,卻是男女雙方生活上的不檢點,為了留住對方,一個謊言蓋過一個謊言。

我不知道,也不希望現今世界,已習慣了如此扭曲的愛情觀。

我與本片絕大部分的工作人員,在拍攝這部電影之時仍在唸書,或是剛剛畢業;亦因為這個原因,除了攝影上的器材,我們只有不足一萬元去拍攝這部電影。

有很多人跟我們說,「若然對劇本真的有信心,為何不努力將之推銷,以一個較體面的預算和條件拍攝?」

我們藉著電影想達成的,除了是想在各自完全投身社會前,留下一些過了十年、三十年或五十年,仍然值得⼀提的「壯舉」;更重要的是,這數年來部分愛情電影,實在令人為當中編導設立的「新生代價值觀」而看得不快和心寒。

我們想做的,並不是甚麼石破天驚、改變世界的東西;反而,我們只希望藉著曾陪伴我們成長的愛情電影,用最陳腔的濫調,重新為影迷們灌注⼀點點希望。

Screening of the Bridge with director Alia Diab

PUFF presents as a prelude to this year’s main festival, a screening of the short documentary “The Bridge” with the director in attendance to discuss her project.

The Bridge (23 min, USA, 2013) is a documentary about the cross culture conflicts between Arabs and American and the role of media in creating this image and stereotypes.

The Bridge Talk

It’s about what inspired the documentary and incidents that created the need for it. Also about the process of making it and the challenges of being an independent filmmaker.

Location: The Hive Wanchai, 21st Floor, The Phoenix Building, No.23 Luard Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong

Time: 7:00 – 8:30pm

Free Entry

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Director’s Bio (Alia Diab)

Born in Bahrain in 1982 and raised in the United Arab Emirates. She started her career in media as an assistant to the Executive Producer for a Reality television show in MBC, one of the largest media channels in the Middle East. Upon project completion Alia moved to the United States to pursue her Masters in Film and Digital Media in the University of Central Florida, Orlando Florida. During her stay she directed short films mostly about the Middle East in order to inform people in the United States about the reality in that part of the world. “The Bridge” is her first documentary, which was inspired by her own life in the United States as an Arab, and by the issues she faced.

Interview with filmmaker Carlo Avventi

PUFF talked to Carlo Avventi, writer/director of the film L’Italia ci appartiene, which is among one of the most successful films shown in PUFF 2013.

Carlo is a native Italian who is now residing in Germany teaching in the University of Education, Heidelberg.

PUFF: Apart from being a filmmaker, you also teach  at the University of Education Heidelberg, how do you compare and balance your two lines of work?

Carlo: I have the fortune to teach media and film education, so I see a lot of films, read and write about them and discuss them with my students. This is a great source of  knowledge and inspiration for my own film projects. On the other hand a full-time job at the university leaves you little time for your own films. Although I often suffer from this lack of time in the last few years I found out that this situation has also an advantage: If you spend your evenings, your weekends and your vacations developing a film project you really have to be sure, it’s worth it.

PUFF: L’Italia ci appartiene was your first full length feature film. How was that experience and is that the format you’re going to pursuit in the future?

Carlo: It was a very precious experience. It was my first full length feature film and beside the need to tell this story I also wanted to find out after many short films, how it is to write, direct and produce a feature film by my own. It turned out to be an incredibly enriching human and artistic experience. Human, because I had the privilege to get to know many persons ready to share with me their own and often very personal stories. Artistic, because three weeks of nonstop shooting allows you a deeper immersion into the film. You start living inside the film, approaching the heart of it and seeing clearer what you are doing. This helps you to guide the actors, to compose the pictures, to set up the light…  

PUFF: How were the stories being told in L’Italia ci appartiene came along? Are they real stories that you have collected from people around you through the years?

Carlos: It’s a mix. In the script the stories people should tell to the main character, are all written down. But during the shooting I decided to confront the main actor and myself with new and unknown stories. So I asked my crew to find people that had the desire to tell a story about themselves and their country. Surprisingly a lot of people came to the set. They asked me, if they should tell me in advance, what they were going to say and how they should behave in front of the camera. I just tried to let them feel comfortable and told them that there was no need for a preliminary talk and that once they were ready we would start shooting. Afterwards I learned that most of the stories were true. I think you can feel this authenticity in the film and I believe this element confers to “L’Italia ci appartiene” an added value.  

PUFF: Two aspects that I like in particular are the beautiful music and the meditative and philosophical mood. Could you please elaborate more on these two areas of the film?

Carlos: Usually I am not very interested in a lot of action, even less in spectacular action. But I’m very interested in atmosphere. I think mood and atmosphere tell more than unexpected plot points or apparently insuperable challenges. When I wrote the script for “L’Italia ci appartiene” what I wanted was to depict the solitude of a man through the absence of motion and through moments silence. And of course the wonderful music of Birger Clausen, who composed the score for all my films, was a determinant contribution to this atmosphere. I dream of a film without action, only with atmosphere.

PUFF: Looking to the future do you have your next film project lined up and if so, could you please share some information with us?

Carlos: I just finished a script inspired by the novel The women in the dunes by Kobo Abe and by its adaptation from Hiroshi Teshigahara. It is a story of a man who flees from a world increasingly afflicted by sandstorms to reach the sea…

Picture_Carlo_Avventi_3

PUFF short film program: cool film & hot filmmaker

Cold Turkey ( 14min, 2013) by Arnarsson
Cold Turkey ( 14min, 2013) by Arnarsson

1. Your film is gruesome but it has a certain kind of humour too; is this your way of expressing a feeling of this world ?
The humor in COLD TURKEY is a way for me to retain the serious tone of the film. Cannibalism is an extremely serious and often taboo subject matter so I felt I needed some humor to make light out of it. I wanted to provoke certain uneasiness and serious thought but also amusement. I have always felt that these types of films allow you to engage in an interesting emotional experience, one that includes both laughter and discomfort, sometimes simultaneously. In that sense, the humor in the film is just another way for me to play the audience. I am simply the orchestra conductor and the audience´s reactions are my orchestra. I hope to make them laugh one moment and be horrified the next.
2. What kind of movies have you been watching to inspire this film ?
I re-watched some films that have made me ambivalent in terms of sympathy and antipathy for its protagonist. There is this obsession in traditional Hollywood filmmaking of a heroic and easily relatable protagonist. I am not interested in painting such characters or so called cardboard cutouts that are an absolute type. I am more interested in the shades of grey that create a multifaceted person. I feel that characters that alternate more between good and bad sides in him- or herself often come across as more real. So when I decided I wanted to create a film about a cannibal, I did not want to portray him simply as a cold-hearted killer. Instead I wanted to enable an audience to see something decent in Adam (Brynjar Holdversson). After all we are all only human and I believe pure evil is just as unattainable as a pure good. Therefore, I watched some films to figure out how I could expand Adam and his actions enough to where the audience could actually question whether he is ‘’good’’ or ‘’evil’’.
3. Tell us a little about your life and other coming new projects.
I am from Iceland but live in Boston. Right now I am back home in Iceland ; I am finishing up two short film scripts. I can´t tell you exactly what they are about. But I definitely plan to keep exploring the combination of the gruesome with some humor.
Thanks,
Thor Arnarsson

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