Academy of Film graduate wins Best Director Award in Fresh Wave Short Film Festival
Nicole Chan, who graduated in 2016 from Academy of Film (AF) of the School of Communication with a Higher Diploma in Creative Film Production, won the Best Director Award in the Student Division of the 11th Fresh Wave International Short Film Festival.
Hello, the award-winning short film, is a 20-minute story about the rhythm of connection and disconnection between an unemployed homeless construction worker and a schoolgirl failing her courses. Nicole said she developed the idea for the film from her friend’s experience of visiting the homeless, “My friend thinks that some widely accepted practices, such as donating clothes or food to social services organisations, cannot help those living on the streets, therefore he visits them in person. However, he re-thought his actions after he received unwanted attention.”
Nicole said she lacked confidence, so once she learnt that her creation entered the second round of the competition, she felt guilty and thought the standard expected for the award was beyond her abilities. Moreover, with limited resources, she was under a great deal of pressure during the production of the short film. “The host of the competition provided me with HK$70,000 to produce the film. Even though I tried my best to cut production costs, such as renting venues in student capacity, I still ran into financial straits. Due to the guidelines, AF could not provide me with filming equipment. Luckily, the production of the short film could finally be finished because of understanding and co-operation among filming crew members, sufficient preparation, such as re-arranging filming schedule, as well as good communication with actors. ”
Panel members commended the film, calling it “original and novel” , which boosted Nicole’s confidence. She said she will devote her efforts to preparing her next creation. She hopes she can win in the First Feature Film Initiative so that she can film a real movie and advance the film industry with her passion and determination.
The Fresh Wave Short Film Festival is organised by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council. In addition to promoting local short films, the Festival aims to discover and nurture young film talents in Hong Kong by providing a screening platform for their productions and hands-on learning to enhance the quality of their works.