[Sponsored] 2019 will go down in history as a pivotal year for many people in Hong Kong. For Visible Record, the minds behind the Hong Kong Chinese Documentary Festival – which ran for 11 consecutive years since 2008 – 2019 marks the festival’s transformation into an international documentary festival.

The inaugural Hong Kong International Documentary Festival 2019 will be launched this Wednesday, with the expanded mission of introducing the audience to outstanding documentaries from around the world and promoting the art of documentary from a broader perspective.

This year’s festival will feature 65 films from 12 countries and regions, to be presented in five programmes, namely “International Selection”, “Spotlight – Polish Docs”, “Chinese Doc Competition” and “Hong Kong Selection”. Also included in the Festival are Talks and Master Classes by world-renowned filmmakers.

Spotlight – Polish Docs

For the hardcore documentary fans out there, “Spotlight- Polish Docs” must be one of the most anticipated screenings of masterpiece documentaries of recent years. As its name suggests, “Spotlight – Polish Docs” is a showcase of films from Poland – one of the most renowned contributors to world cinema — and is composed of two sections: “Docs by Lodz Film School” and “Docs by Kieślowski”.

hong kong documentary festival 2019
One Two Zero.

“Docs by Lodz Film School” will introduce audiences to 15 documentaries made by students of Lodz Film School, including: Agnes, a collection of breathtaking images of a young girl’s life; Education, which captures in a light-hearted manner how a group of elementary school students go through the process of learning a poem; Time Machine which explores the relationship between a street performer and his father; Iron Alibi which gives prisoners a second chance to tell their story through reenactment; Written in Ink, a delicate exploration of how former prisoners rejoin society; Walk with a Guide and Connected, two films that look at the daily life of people suffering from visual impairment; 52 Percent, One Two Zero and 38.5 which follow young children undergoing training in respectively ballet, gymnastics and boxing; Internal: 55, Their Voices, Eventide and Sisters which examine life in respectively a children’s hospital, a special school for the hearing and speech impaired, an elderly home and a convent.

YouTube video

These films not only speak to the remarkable film-making talents of the school, but also provide a unique perspective on life in Polish society.

hong kong documentary festival 2019 Krzysztof-Kieslowski
Krzysztof Kieslowski.

“Docs by Kieślowski” is a collection of 8 documentaries and one narrative feature directed by Polish master Krzysztof Kieślowski (1941-1996), one of the famous graduates of the Lodz Film School.

The documentaries — From a Night Porter’s Point of View, Railway Station, The Office, Curriculum Vitae, Seven Women of Different ages, First Love, Hospital and  Talking Heads — were all made during the seventies and capture life in Poland during the Soviet era as well as Kieślowski’s own critical assessment of the system.

hong kong documentary festival 2019
Talking Heads.

The same sentiments can be found in the narrative feature Camera Buff, which examines the ever-present thought control the Polish regime exercised over her subjects in the seventies.

Most of Kieślowski’s films were made under the supervision of the Polish government. People not only lived in poverty, there was also a constant state of mental suffocation. Even though the citizens were hugely dismayed with the government, they did not dare voice their dissent. Those with real passion for film making had to find a way to tell the truth and get past censorship, and Kieślowski and others like him managed to do precisely that –  create art and record the human condition at the same time against all odds.

YouTube video

The Hong Kong International Documentary Festival is not to be missed by anyone who believes that hope triumphs over despair, and that the longest days do have an end no matter where you are in the world. Click here for the full brochure.


Screenings at the Hong Kong Arts Centre, Hong Kong Space Museum and Hong Kong Science Museum:

  • Booking Counter: URBTIX Outlets
  • Tickets: HK$75 / HK$55*
  • Tickets for the screening “Docs by Kieślowski-2 + Talk” on 9 November HK$100 / HK$70*

* Full-time students, senior citizens and 60 or above, people with disabilities and the minder and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) recipients

Group booking discounts:

  • This offer is applicable to URBTIX Outlets, mobile ticketing app My URBTIX (Android and iPhone versions), online and telephone booking.
  • 10% discount for each purchase of 4-9 full-price tickets
  • 15% discount for each purchase of 10 or more full-price tickets

* Patrons can only enjoy either one of the discount schemes for purchase of the same ticket. Please inform the box office at the time of purchase which discount scheme you wish to enjoy.
* Patrons can enjoy the group booking discounts for only one venue per purchase.

Please note:

  • The price of discounted tickets will be rounded up to the nearest dollar on each ticket.
  • The Hong Kong Space Museum box office only provides counter sales service for film programmes scheduled at the Museum. Ticket collection service is available at the Ticket Dispensing Machine in the Museum.
  • There is no URBTIX counter sales service at the Hong Kong Science Museum. Ticket collection service is available at the Ticket Dispensing Machine in the Museum.
  • For screening about to start in one hour, all remaining tickets can only be bought at the box office of the venues.

Screenings at MOViE MOViE Cityplaza and PREMIERE ELEMENTS

  • Booking Counter: Box Office of MOViE MOViE Cityplaza and Premiere Elements
  • Tickets: HK$85 / HK$55*

* Full-time students, senior citizens aged 60 or above, people with disabilities and their minder and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) recipients

Discount schemes

  • bc VIP and MOViE MOViE (MM) 20% discount members
  • The discount schemes are applicable to regular-priced tickets only.

Special discounts

  • Fleurs des Lettres subscribers: 20% discount for all screenings.
  • Please call or Whatsapp 9404 0778 for ticket reservation.
  • Please reserve tickets at least one week before the screening date.
  • Please provide proof of subscription upon ticket collection at the screening venue.
  • The number of tickets is limited, no further reservations will be accepted once tickets are sold out.

Guest contributors for Hong Kong Free Press.