Sam Groves over on the Flatpack blog writes about our recent adventure in Hong Kong, and does a much better job of it than I could.
When we’ve toured shorts programmes before, the screening’s been part of something bigger, usually a festival, so for us to travel to a different continent and put on a one-off pop-up screening in one of the back streets in Hong Kong – well, you could be forgiven to say we weren’t exactly guaranteed a huge audience. But we opened the doors, and some people walked in, and then some more people, and then some more people – and by the time we started, the room was full – a mix of ex-pats, foreign nationals, and HK locals. There was a real buzz in the place (I even got a cheer upon mentioning Birmingham in my intro – it may be a while before that happens again), and the films seemed to go down a storm (David O’Reilly’s The Horse Raised by Spheres being a real favourite). Via a bit of mingling during the breaks, I got a sense that this kind of alternative venue/social short film night isn’t a common occurrence in HK, and that using non-cinema spaces for film is scarcely explored throughout the city. Light bulbs began to appear above my head as thoughts of an annual Flatpack in HK crept into my mind – I started thinking about all the amazing spaces, buildings, and parks I’d seen over the previous couple of days – food for thought, for sure.
The gig definitely falls into my top three ever. Great space, enthusiastic (and very vocal) audience, and a cracking selection of films.
For me the Flatpack event was the perfect climax to five-weeks working in Asia, and something we'd been talking about vaguely since I first visited Hong Kong in 2006. Kudos to Sam and Steve Chamberlain for pushing to make it happen, and to Ian and Pip for bringing the amazing Flatpack festival into the world in the first place. Here's to the tenth festival next year, and to our next international expedition.