Wukan (烏坎村): China’s Democracy Experiment – great documentary

Tuesday, 18 April, 2017

A documentary about the Wukan Village’s (烏坎村) Democracy Experiment that happened after the protests is a film that I wish I had the guts, access, ability, and talent to make the six-part series (two more to come). Have a watch.

Wukan: China’s Democracy Experiment – Episode 1

Wukan: China’s Democracy Experiment – Episode 2

Wukan: China’s Democracy Experiment – Episode 3

April 26, 2017 Update: Wukan: China’s Democracy Experiment – Episode 4

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Watch “Revolution Trilogy” 睇「革命三部曲」

Friday, 18 March, 2016

Director/producer/independent reporter Kempton Lam has made three full-length documentaries from 2004 – 2015. (Cantonese with English subtitles 廣東話、英文字幕) Collectively, the three documentaries are known as his “Revolution Trilogy「革命三部曲」. Kempton’s debut documentary Long Hair Revolution 「長毛革命 has been collected by the Canadian national archive since 2009. You can watch the three films at this YouTube Playlist (projected on your big screen HD TV or on your computer here). Enjoy!

Long Hair Revolution 「長毛革命」 (full-length 2005) (read film & Canadian national archive info)

HKtv Revolution 「香港電視革命」 (full-length 2015) (read Director’s Statement)

Umbrella Revolution: History as Mirror Reflection 「雨傘革命實錄:以史為鏡」 (full-length 2015) (read Director’s Statement)


Watch HKtv Revolution

Friday, 4 March, 2016

Watch my new documentary HKtv Revolution 香港電視革命 (with English & Chinese subtitles) in this stranger than fiction time. Love to hear your feedback. (note: you can use Chromecast or Apple TV to watch this on your HDTV)

在這個比小說更離奇更荒謬的世代,請讓我分享紀錄片「香港電視革命」(中英文字幕)。請留言,寫下您寶貴的意見。(注意:您可以使用Chromecast或Apple TV 放上您的高清電視觀看)

HKtv Revolution 香港電視革命 (full-length 2015)

1) Watch HKtv Revolution 香港電視革命 in a “stranger than fiction” time

As our real world is often stranger than fiction, you are invited to watch HKtv Revolution 香港電視革命 to witness and reflect what HongKongers had gone through in the last few years in fighting with the CY Leung Hong Kong SAR government for their simple “rights” to watch some good TV shows.

Why March 2016 is especially “stranger than fiction”? When HKTV’s license application was first rejected in 2013, as you will learn in the start of the film, the CY Leung government claimed it worried about “cut throat competition” might lead to lower programming quality. Well, after watching the slow sinking of ATV (the one of only two free-to-air TV broadcasters in HK) in 2015/2016, we now have positive proof how ridiculous that “cut throat competition” claim was!

In recent months, ATV had trouble paying salaries of its hundreds of employees, still own many employees millions in wages, hadn’t been paying its broadcast license fees to the government for months, and couldn’t even pay the service/maintenance fees for its elevators (so ATV employees had to walk up the stairs to work), etc. And ATV’s liquidator accounting firm Deloitte finally announced on Thursday (March 3rd) evening that it will dismiss almost all ATV employees!

And after Deloitte’s announcement, ATV investor came out to flaunt a case of ‘cash’ at press conference in last-ditch attempt to save ATV (see news #2 below). The cash flaunting event later became even more of a farce as news media spotted (news #5 and #7 below) that the stacks of HK$ 1,000 bank notes were propped up by empty boxes and HK$ 100 notes to give an appearance of a fuller box of HK$ 1,000 bills!

As ATV shuts its broadcasting down in the coming days, after close to 59 years of continuous operation, I hope you will enjoy and gain some insight watching HKtv Revolution 香港電視革命 in our turbulent and “stranger than fiction” time.

2) Review HKtv Revolution 香港電視革命 on IMDb

Please (pretty please) rate & review the film at IMDb, it is easy and it helps spread the words of the film.

I hope you enjoy the film (on your big screen HDTV or your computer) as much as I in making it. Feel free to post any questions you may have re HKtv Revolution 香港電視革命. And I definitely appreciate your time in leaving me any words of encouragement.

My best,
Kempton

Director of “Revolution Trilogy” (革命三部曲)
2005 Long Hair Revolution 長毛革命 (watch online)
2015 HKtv Revolution 香港電視革命 (watch online)
2015 Umbrella Revolution: History as Mirror Reflection 雨傘革命實錄:以史為鏡


Opening Windows and Doors

Tuesday, 6 January, 2015
Database search of Long Hair Revolution at Library and Archives Canada (Item Number 416953)

Database search of Long Hair Revolution at Library and Archives Canada=

It will always be one of my great honours to have my first documentary in 2005 “Long Hair Revolution (長毛革命)” be placed and collected by the National Archive of Canada (Government of Canada Item Number (ISN) 416953 at Library and Archives Canada). At the same time, as an independent filmmaker with limited resource, I’ve tried, shamelessly, to leverage this honour help me open many windows and doors in my documentary making journey.

I often mention”Long Hair Revolution (長毛革命)” and sometimes the National Archive connection (like today) when  arranging face-to-face or Skype video interviews, requesting copyright owners’ permissions to use their works (photos, artworks, video clips, etc) to help give myself instant “credibility” and hopefully smooth things out. Opening these windows and doors are crucial to my ability to try to make (HKtv+Umbrella)Revolution (香港電視+雨傘)革命 a reasonably “good” documentary since part 2 my documentaries (namely the “Umbrella Revolution” part) is heavily (or almost totally) “crowd sourced”.

P.S. To my friends and supporters: Yes, I am trying to fix the giant 10 years gap between my first documentary and my second film! I guess which is why I am making my 2nd and 3rd film together! Will see what happen.


Interview with Adler Yang, director of Taiwan documentary “If There is a Reason to Study” (學習的理由)

Monday, 15 September, 2014
If there is a reason to study

If there is a reason to study

Taiwan documentary “If There is a Reason to Study” (學習的理由) by Adler Yang (楊逸帆) will be screened at Chinese Documentary Festival 2014 in Hong Kong. This reporter has the great pleasure to have an in-depth video interview with the young 19 years old director to talk about the film. Here is a brief film description from the festival,

Humanity [RenWen] Junior High School is a non-traditional school in Taiwan. To encourage free development, there is no ranking based on grades. On the other hand, however, students must face the same standardised tests as students from traditional schools in order to progress to senior high.

The director, aged only 14 at the time of filming, used his camera to record what his classmates said as they faced the challenge, and to explore the motivations behind studying.

When Yang was only 14 years old in 2009, he started filming footage for an earlier 6 minutes version of this film called 《不想考基測 The Soul》(2010)). Majority of the filming for Reason to Study was completed in 2010 with brief update footage of the documentary subjects at the end of the film. Readers may be amazed to hear that Yang already had 70+ hours of footage to work with to create his 6 minutes short 2010 film《不想考基測 The Soul》 (viewable on YouTube). And then 300+ hours of footage to work with in his latest 93 minutes feature  “If There is a Reason to Study” (學習的理由).

The film is a frank and interesting look at education in RenWen and it even features the film director taking a public exam specifically for this film in order to experience what his schoolmates experienced through the eyes of the young director (14/15 years old at the time). The film is screening on 17/9 (Wed) at 7:30 pm & 21/9 (Sun) at 2:30 pm at agnès b. CINEMA, Hong Kong Arts Centre (香港藝術中心 agnès b. 電影院).

Here is my in-depth video interview with Yang to talk about the film,

Here is a trailer,


Cantonese interview with Jo Ho, co-director of HK documentary Women’s Horizon (好風景)

Tuesday, 9 September, 2014

Jo Ho Ka Wui (何嘉滙) is the co-director of HK documentary Women’s Horizon (好風景) with Bryan Chang Wai Hung (張偉雄). A documentary that recorded the lives of five Hong Kong women from 2010 to 2012. Here is a description of the five women from the film outline,

“Kitman, a big fan of online sweepstake; Charlene, a dance instructor and urban fashion shop owner; Esther, growing up in in a christian community aspiring to live the life within the church; Chan Hei, was an advocate for the fair treatment of sex workers and is employed at a bookstore; Kai Kai, Representative of the League of Fanling North Villages and Residents.”

Here is a trailer,

When Jo and Bryan were first planning to shoot Women’s Horizon in 2010, they talked about being inspired by the British Up Series documentary that has “followed the lives of fourteen British children since 1964, when they were seven years old.” The directors of Women’s Horizon hopes to revisit the lives of the five Hong Kong women in a few years to make another documentary. Over the two and a half years, the filmmakers made the documentary with their own money and shot ~60 hours of footage and editing the footage down to a 58 minutes documentary.

Here is an extensive and exclusive interview with co-director Jo Ho Ka Wui (何嘉滙) conducted on the eve of the film’s world premiere on September 9th at the Chinese Documentary Festival 2014.


Money is the cheapest thing – New Quote I Love

Sunday, 2 February, 2014

I’m adding this Bill Cunningham quote to my long list of Quotes I Love,

Money is the cheapest thing. Liberty/freedom is the most expensive.

If you can, check out this fun and deeply insightful documentary “Bill Cunningham New York” (trailer):

You can also check out Bill’s video work at NYT. And Bill is definitely one of the Great Minds if Our Time!

[HT Saw this great brief note about the doc by Kathrin]


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