It’s been a challenging three years for everyone due to Covid, but sometimes challenges can bring unexpected positive outcomes. We have all learned how to navigate uncertainty. I am proud that the film festival has continued to thrive despite the difficulties of the past. Now, with no Covid restrictions in cinemas, I am incredibly excited about the upcoming Hong Kong Lesbian & Gay Film Festival.  Since we are fully open, we can now fly in overseas directors and crews to attend the festival. This means more interactive panel discussions and Q&A sessions with the creative minds behind these LGBTQ+ films.

Let me share the remarkable programs we have lined up for you this year. Our opening gala will feature two extraordinary films that highlight different aspects of the LGBTQ+ experience. We have PEAFOWL, a vibrant and heartwarming Korean transgender film. This Asian Queer masterpiece seamlessly blends Waacking dance and Korean traditional dance. The film’s lead actress delivers an exceptional performance that truly leaves a lasting impression. It’s worth mentioning that the director’s previous short and actress will be in attendance at our opening gala and a panel discussion. And if that was not enough, you will also have the opportunity to witness a live Waacking performance, adding an extra layer of excitement to the event. For the second opening film, prepare for an explosive burst of laughter on opening night as we present the US Comedy CORA BORA, a delightful journey into the world of self-love. 

The closing film is GLITTER & DOOM, a gay romance musical set to the songs of the Indigo Girls and starring Ming-Na Wen, Tig Nataro, Peppermint (From “RuPaul’s Drag Race”), and Missy Pyle. Even the Indigo Girls make an appearance. The director Tom Gustafson, writer Cory Krueckeberg, and the lead actor Alex Diaz will be in Hong Kong to partake in a panel discussion and Closing Gala. The film promises to be an enjoyable experience with its delightful songs. After all, who can resist the charm of a captivating musical?

GOLDEN DELICIOUS, our centrepiece film, is directed by Jason Karman, a talented Asian Canadian director. The film’s presence is crucial in showcasing a much-needed representation of Asian content within the Western world.  

Furthermore, it is important to address the dire circumstances faced by our beloved LGBTQ+ community in certain African countries. Uganda, for instance, has implemented a new anti-LGBTQ+ law, even including the possibility of death penalties. To shed light on this pressing issue, we have curated a special program titled “From Africa With Love,” featuring three remarkable African films. The documentary OUT OF UGANDA offers a poignant depiction of the challenges and dangers faced by the LGBTQ+ communities in the country. This eye-opening film has been recognised for its outstanding portrayal. Another selection is the award-winning film  ALL THE COLOURS OF THE WORLD ARE BETWEEN BLACK AND WHITE, an extraordinary tale of forbidden love. This remarkable film has earned its place as one of my personal favourites this year. Our third film is a groundbreaking addition of the festival’s lineup- WHO I AM NOT. This remarkable documentary delves into the lives of two South African intersex individuals, shedding light on the struggles they encounter in a society defined by rigid gender norms. As the festival’s only film centered around the intersex community this year, it brings much needed attention to the challenges faced by these individuals in a world that predominately adheres to traditional male and female labels.

We are excited to offer our usual program, including the latest Asian LGBTQ+ film in our Asia Focus program, the best of International films in the Panorama section, and short film programs. Additionally, we have added another Hong Kong shorts program to showcase locally produced films. Don’t forget to vote for your favourite feature film and short film for the Audience Award before you leave the cinema.

Join us for the Hong Kong Short Films Panel, Hong Kong LGBTQ Web Series Panel, Queer Asian Film Panel, Queer Musical Visions Panel and Indigenous Queer Panel. We are bringing back a bigger queer opening and closing party with plenty of surprises. Please read the guidebook for more panel details. I assure you, the HKLGFF will be returning in full force.

Come support the longest-running LGBTQ Film Festival in Asia. Get your tickets now and we’ll see you at the cinema!

Joe Lam 
Festival Director