This year’s Hong Kong Summer International Film Festival boasts an eclectic lineup of cinematic experiences — from a homegrown horror story and a retrospective of a trailblazing Tibetan filmmaker, to virtual reality film screenings and the most recent works of classic and contemporary auteurs.

The festival will take place from August 15-30 at several cinemas across the city.

The most anticipated film, Back Home, features MIRROR singer Anson Kong in the lead role. Nate Ki makes his directorial debut with this horror film about a young man who returns to Hong Kong after his mother slips into a coma following a suicide attempt and must, literally, confront the ghosts of his past and present.

A still from Mom, Is That You?
A still from Mom, Is That You? (© Hong Kong Summer International Film Festival)

The festival’s opening film Miss Shampoo is the latest offering from Taiwanese author and filmmaker Giddens Ko Ching-teng. The film, based on his own work, is about a gang boss who falls in love with a newbie hairdresser after she saves his life. He then asks all his henchmen to patronise her saloon, all while he’s entangled in deadly pursuit of a hitman.

Cinematic legend Yamada Yoji’s latest film — Mom, Is That You? — will close the festival. Yoji’s 90th film, part of his ‘Mother Series’ with Yoshinaga Sayuri, tells the story of a man coming to terms with his mother’s new sense of self.

A still from The Sacred Arrow.
A still from The Sacred Arrow (© Hong Kong Summer International Film Festival)

In addition, Spanish filmmaker’s hotly anticipated cowboy romance, Strange Way Of Life, will get two screenings at the event. The late Jean-Luc Godard’s last cinematic offering — Trailer of the Film That Will Never Exist: Phony Wars — will give viewers a look at his long-cherished but never-completed project: an adaptation of Charles Plisnier’s 1937 novel Faux Passeports.

The Neo Cine VR section will feature immersive VR documentaries, sci-fi films, animations, and dramas across different regions, while the Feinaki Beijing Animation Week will present nine films from different regions in Mainland China in a range of themes and styles.

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There will also be a retrospective of the works of Pema Tseden, the first Tibetan filmmaker to make a film entirely in his native language, an event made all the more poignant because of the director’s recent passing. Featured films include The Silent Holy Stones , Tharlo, Balloon, Jinpa, Old Dog, The Grassland, The Sacred Arrow, The Silent Mainstone, and The Search.

For more details about the Hong Kong Summer International Film Festival, click here.

Header image credits: Hong Kong Summer International Film Festival

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From the Middle East to the Far East and a couple of places in between, Anjali has lived in no fewer than seven cities in Asia, and has travelled extensively in the region. She worked as a lifestyle journalist in India before coming to Hong Kong, where her favourite thing to do is island-hopping with her daughter. You can check out her musings on motherhood, courtesy her Instagram profile.

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