[Screening+Conversation] Asian Independent Cinema Showcase: Away From Home Short Films Selection


Asian Independent Cinema Showcase

Away From Home: Short Films Selection and Conversation with Filmmakers

Friday, 2 February 2024
18:00-20:15 PST
AERL 120, Aquatic Ecosystems Research Laboratory
2202 Main Mall, University of British Columbia, Vancouver | Map
Parking: UBC Health Sciences Parkade, 2250 Health Sciences Mall, Vancouver | Map

The short films selection “Away From Home” features Sze-wai HO’s “Before the Box Gets Emptied” 直到我看見彼岸, Chi-him YUEN’s “The Reticent Wave” 爺爺來訪的夜, and Chi-yan SIU’s “About Simon Says, Simon Says” 呼~. Produced in Hong Kong between 2022 and 2023, the three short films share the theme of diaspora and explore the city’s past and present through the eyes of the children, the elderly, and the migrant worker.

Before the Box Gets Emptied” was named the Best Live Action Short Film at the 60th Golden Horse Awards. “The Reticent Wave” received a Special Mention at the 17th Freshwave International Short Film Festival. “Simon Says Simon Says” won the Freshwave Award and the Best Screenplay at the 16th Freshwave International Short Film Festival.

This is the first time the three award-winning short films are shown in Canada and the second program of the inaugural edition of the Asian Independent Cinema Showcase. The three directors will participate in a virtual conversation following the screening.

English and Chinese subtitles are provided, and the post-screening conversation will be conducted in English.

In-person Event. Free of charge. Limited seats available. Registration required.

Before the Box Gets Emptied 直到我看見彼岸 

Directed & Written by Sze-wai Ho
Cantonese & English dialogues | Chinese & English subtitles | 30 mins | 2023 | Colour

* Best Live Action Short Film, Golden Horse Awards (2023)



For sixth grader Marco, the minutiae of life revolve around taking the light rail with his best friend Chris and their Beyblade battles. But just like the Beyblades that spin in unpredictable directions, Chris is embarking on a different life path. Before Chris’s departure, they continue to linger around the neighbourhood playing with friends, uncertain about the future and how to say farewell. Tuen Mun, through the director’s lens, is slightly tinged with melancholy, resembling both a maze and a playground. In a child’s imaginative and innocent perspective, the film makes poignant observations on the anxieties of the adult world during the pandemic and how people deal with inevitable losses. 

About the Director:

Sze-wai HO graduated from Hong Kong Baptist University with a Bachelor of Communication, majoring in Film and Media Arts. 

導演 編劇:何思蔚
粵語、英 | 英文字幕 | 30 mins | 2023 | 彩色

* 金馬獎最佳劇情短片 (2023)




The Reticent Wave 爺爺來訪的夜

Directed by Chi-him Yuen | Written by Suk-nga Wong
Cantonese dialogues | Chinese & English subtitles | 30 mins | 2023 | Colour

* Special Mention, Freshwave International Short Film Festival (2023)



The city is no longer the same after the year of social unrest. How do those that remain make peace with the past and move on with their lives? After Nam’s good friend Man left the city, Nam is left behind to take care of Man's mother and motor bike, while struggling to live life as normal. A strange visitation one night by her grandfather brings Nam back to her ancestral village in mainland China, where she learns about her father’s painful past. Under the silent and long poetic gaze of the camera, the survivors of two generations, representing the past and the present, the country and the city, commiserate together in a shared moment of grief and solidarity. 

About the Director:

Chi-him YUEN graduated from the School of Creative Media (Cinematic Art), City University of Hong Kong and earned a Master of Cultural Studies at Lingnan University. His directorial works included The Withering (2020), In Blossom (2016). He is also the photographer and author of the books Living in Sorrows and Against the Grain.

導演:阮智謙 | 編劇:淑雅
粵語 | 英文字幕 | 30 mins | 2023 | 彩色

*  鮮浪潮國際短片節特別表揚 (2023)




Simon Says, Simon Says 呼~

Directed & Written by Chi-yan Siu
Cantonese, English & Tagalog dialogues | Chinese & English subtitles | 30 mins | 2022 | Colour

* Freshwave Award; Best Screenplay, Freshwave International Short Film Festival (2022)



Amid changing times, as friends and relatives are leaving the city one after the other, our once familiar neighbourhood is becoming foreign. Yeung Por Por has her luggage packed for the one-way flight out of the city with her son. During her final hours in Hong Kong, she goes to the Wan Chai seaside and is shocked to find a barricaded construction site. Following Rhea, her domestic helper to the latter’s Filipino community, Yeung Por Por realises what it means to be uprooted from one’s homeland. Subtly and wistfully, the film relates the difficulties and dilemmas of migration, closing with ‘You Said We’d Be Back’ by the folk-rock duo My Little Airport. 

About the Director:

Chi-yan SIU graduated from Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts majoring in Directing. She has engaged in film production afterwards. 

導演 編劇:邵知恩
粵語、英菲律賓 | 英文字幕 | 30 mins | 2022 | 彩色


* 鮮浪潮大奬; 鮮浪潮國際短片節最佳編劇 (2022)

時代變幻,人物流離,熟悉的城市與鄰里逐漸變樣,要好的親朋夥伴接連四散;在這動蕩關口,是甚麼決定我們的去或留?楊婆婆裝好大箱小箱,準備跟兒子離開香港,臨行前想去看海,但奈何她念想中的美麗灣仔海旁,已變成層層圍封的工地。家傭Rhea陪楊婆婆在城中遊歷,又帶她去傭工群體的集會禮拜;從別鄉背井的Rhea身上,楊婆婆彷彿找到對前程的感悟。電影淡然書寫離家的艱難抉擇與愁緒,在生活細節中道出對根源地的不捨和濃情,片末My Little Airport一曲〈你說之後會找我〉尤其點題,滲出茫茫飄泊的孤寂感。 



About the Asian Independent Cinema Showcase:

The Asian Independent Cinema Showcase (AICS) is a UBC-based film festival that aims to foster a film appreciation community within and beyond the university; cultivate media literacy and cross-cultural understanding; and give voices to independent stories told by Asian filmmakers. Broadly speaking, an "independent film" is considered to be a creative work produced outside big or mainstream studios. Through the lens of independent cinemas, the AICS is committed to serve as a participatory platform for publication and dialogue between independent storytellers, underrepresented groups, cultural practitioners, emerging talents, academics, students, and members of the public.

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The AICS is supported by the UBC Public Humanities Seed Grant; and is co-convened and co-organized by Dr. Helena Wu, Canada Research Chair in Hong Kong Studies, and Jimmy Lo, filmmaker and film educator who is pursuing his MFA in Film Production at UBC.

This event is part of the Asian Independent Cinema Showcase program; is co-organized by the Hong Kong Studies Initiative, University of British Columbia, and the Institute for Transpacific Cultural Research, Simon Fraser University; and is supported by the UBC Department of Asian Studies, Public Humanities Hub, the Watt Family – Hong Kong Studies Initiative Fund, and the Centre for Chinese Research.

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