Cinematic Harmony: Unveiling ASEAN Cultures Through Film


The ASEAN Film Festival 2023 concluded with a spectacular finale, featuring the screening of the award-winning Indonesian film 'Before, Now and Then' at the Hong Kong Palace Museum in the West Kowloon Cultural District. The festival, held from August 4 to 19, showcased a rich array of films from ASEAN countries, promoting cultural exchange and collaboration in the creative sector.

Distinguished guests, including officials, diplomats, and representatives from various nations, attended the event, highlighting the significance of regional unity through cultural exploration. The ASEAN Film Festival was organized by the Hong Kong-ASEAN Foundation, with screenings of 21 films during its two-week run.

The closing ceremony welcomed luminaries such as the Honourable Mr. Kevin YEUNG Yun-hung, GBS, JP, Secretary for Culture, Sports, and Tourism of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), Mr. Muhammad Neil El Himam, Deputy for Digital Economy and Creative Products at Indonesia's Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy, and other esteemed figures. Consul Generals and representatives from ASEAN countries, along with supporting organizations, added their presence to the event.

Hong Kong's role as a cultural bridge was underlined by Mr. Kevin YEUNG Yun-hung, who expressed gratitude for the festival's role in accelerating cultural exchange. The Hong Kong-ASEAN Foundation's efforts in bringing diverse films from Southeast Asia to local audiences align with the city's aspirations to become a global hub for international cultural exchange. Mr. YEUNG emphasized the HKSAR Government's commitment to enhancing the Hong Kong film industry's international connections and establishing the city as a prominent center for Asian cinema.

The festival's finale featured a special screening of 'Before, Now and Then,' an Indonesian film directed by Kamila Andini. Set in the backdrop of Indonesia's tumultuous late 1960s, the film explores important social issues and aims to foster a deeper understanding of Indonesian culture. Mr. Muhammad Neil El Himam highlighted the potential for cross-regional collaboration through cultural platforms like cinema.

Mr. Daryl Ng, Chairman of the HK-ASEAN Foundation, noted the long-standing partnerships between ASEAN and Hong Kong. He emphasized the festival's role in presenting the vibrant cinematic tapestry of ASEAN countries to Hong Kong audiences, fostering mutual cultural understanding. The festival served as a celebration of Hong Kong's creative industry strength and its role as a bridge between ASEAN nations and mainland China.

Throughout the festival, over 600 young people were invited to screenings of specially curated films, providing them with the opportunity to explore the diverse cultures of ASEAN countries. Mr. Ng expressed hope that the festival would inspire further collaborations and partnerships, and he extended gratitude to the ASEAN Consulates in Hong Kong and the event's esteemed partners for their contributions to the successful event.

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