It's been a year since we last met. How are you, children?
It's been a very unusual year, to say the least. Do you all miss going to school, running around outdoors and with no face masks? After being cooped up at home for so long, it's time to step outside, join your best buddies and emerge in the magic of film fantasy!
While the world is under lockdown, films allow us to connect with children in other places. For example, the heroines in feature Captain Bimse and THE LUNNIS and the Great Fairy Tale Adventures enter fantasy worlds and become friends with those living within.
Back in the real world, do you spend most of the time with your family over the past few months? Are they your friends? The young characters of Team Marco and My Little Sister suddenly find themselves stuck with an old-fashioned grandfather and a stranger who can't speak. Eventually both of them overcome their differences and become the closest of friends.
People have taken the past few months at home to learn, work, acquire new skills and rethink your aspirations and dreams. Just like the heroes of Gordon & Paddy, Vic the Viking – The Magic Sword, Strike and Alfons Jitterbit – Countdown to Chaos all have big dreams to fulfill. With unwavering determination, courage and perseverance, they gradually excel in their future.
Sometimes, we were like the heroes of Terra Willy and Boonie Bears: Blast Into the Past as we suddenly found ourselves lost in a strange place. But as long as everyone holds onto hope and search calmly, there will surely be a way out.
No matter how the world goes, it has beautiful things within it. Nature has given the human race a valuable lesson. What have you learned from it?
Feature films curated and programme notes provided by Karen So
Growing up is a difficult lesson, and everyone experiences it differently. No one can tell you which path you should take; you must find your own way, one step at a time.
In 100% Coco, the titular heroine decides to hide her true self in order not to be outcast. She feels lonely when she acts on her own will, but she feels even more unhappy when she decides to be someone else in order to gain the acceptance of her peers. Only when she dons an anonymous identity and embraces the one thing that she truly loves in life does she finally rediscover her life's purpose. Only through trial and error does one know the road lies ahead. There may be twists and turns on the road, yet isn't searching the route for self-identification a valuable experience as well?
In Hacker, a teenage boy whose mother disappeared six years ago has no one to rely on but himself. When his investigation puts him in serious danger and there's no one in the world that he can trust, he uses his exceptional talent in hacking to find the truth and escape his predicament.
If you remain true to yourself and believe in yourself, you'll surely lead a unique and splendid life.
This year, we are presenting two classic films that happen to share the same title – The Kid – as well as the same central theme.
The first one is an American classic directed by and starring Charles Chaplin. Playing his signature character, The Tramp, the film legend teamed up with talented child actor Jackie Coogan to deliver heartwarming laughs. A victim of poverty, Chaplin was sent to a school for the poor when he was a child. After experiencing the cruelty of the welfare system at the time, Chaplin chose to live on the streets – a childhood trauma that Chaplin included in his film. Without any dialogue, the silent masterpiece relies on its brilliant score – composed by Chaplin himself – to lead its audience through the emotional ups and downs of its moving story.
The other is a local classic which features Bruce Lee, another immortal cinematic icon. It was made years before he became the global action star. Here, Lee plays Kid Cheung, a young orphan who has to take care of himself and his younger cousins on the streets of old Hong Kong. When he meets a group of young hoodlums, Kid Cheung is led into a life of petty crime. In addition to his achievements as an actor, Lee also created the form-less and rule-less Jeet Kune Do, a martial arts philosophy that is still highly influential today. To celebrate his 80th birthday, let us remember the legacy of this revered martial arts master with a film that he made when he was only ten years old.
World Animation & Shorts
The World Animation & Shorts is a very popular programme of the International Children's & Youth Film Carnival. With a selection of around 30 extraordinary animations and shorts from around the world, this year's programme offers once again a variety of choices to children and adult audiences alike. Programme 1 features mainly animations with a lucid storyline. Replacing dialogue with lively images and funny sound effect, it delivers a straightforward and pleasant viewing experience. While targeting at the same age group, Programme 2 consists of animations with stronger plots with which our little audiences can empathise and enjoy. With a taste of humour, romance, solidarity and philosophy, Programme 3 caters the need of those who looks for something more challenging.
Short films curated and programme notes provided by Luka Wong
Please click here to view the promotional trailer