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Know a place from documentaries

出自香港新聞網 - 樹仁新傳系學生實習習作

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by Honor Leung


Documentary is a bridge to learn about a place, said Cheuk Cheung, a local documentary director.


“Filming documentary makes me think about questions I did not ask in my life. I want to know more about Hong Kong, that’s why I make documentary,” said Cheuk yesterday at a university talk.


Recently, Cheuk finished his first directed documentary My Way about male cross cast actors in Chinese Opera in Hong Kong. The idea was brought up by his production partner, who started filming the issue in school days years ago.


My Way exposed why male cross cast actors in Chinese Opera are not widely accepted and face discriminations. “I convinced my partner to include himself in front of the camera, to tell the story of singing Chinese Opera with his male cross cast friend,” said Cheuk.


Another local documentary director Wong Siu Pong, shot Fish Story from children’s angle. “The story was about what the world is like in the eyes of children from the grass roots of Hong Kong,” said Wong. The two kids featured as main characters of Wong’s documentary lived in illegal sub-divided units. Video extracts shot by kids’ holding digital video camera were designed to have distinguishable smaller frame size.


Proposal topics of documentary from China and Hong Kong were different because of social difference, said Ada Li, manager of CNEX foundation.


CNEX was the non-profit foundation which provided funding, promotion and distribution to Cheuk and Wong’s former mentioned documentaries.


China is a developing country and documentary proposals topics from its directors were about more serious issues, Li said. Topics brought up by mainland directors were about conflicts in city and country side development, such as households relocated due to building demolition, Foxconn workers and off-farm workers. Hong Kong documentaries often feature incidents driven by main characters.
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