Inspired by filmmaking

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 09 September, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 09 September, 2007, 12:00am

Over 50 local artists have been inspired by Hong Kong's markets to create a piece for 'High & Dry', Hong Kong's first multimedia fruit and vegetable exhibition.

The highlight is a series of films featuring Graham Street market. The films were made by a group of local and overseas 11- to 15-year-olds with Focus on Film, a non-profit organisation that believes learning how to make films can inspire young people.Ho

In less than three days, the students produced four short documentaries about the Graham Street Market. The teens were divided into groups of four or five, and each took on the role of director, producer, actor or sound technician.

Mary Yeung, 14, was one of the local students taking part. She was her group's producer, responsible for organising the team and editing the film.

As well as learning how films are made, Mary said the project helped her appreciate how long a seemingly simple project can take.

'Our documentary lasts about nine minutes, but we had to edit it for nearly five days. Before the project, I never could have imagined the time needed to prepare a short documentary.'

Morgae Azevdo, 14, was in another group. She discovered that video is a great alternative to verbally expressing opinions.

'We filmed the stall owners, residents, customers and tourists laughing and talking in order to show the link between the market and people,' she said.

Bonnie Au's group presented the pros and cons of redeveloping the wet market though interviews.

Although her group found it difficult to persuade people to be filmed, the 14-year-old said the assignment was interesting and helped her team grow closer.

'The production taught us the importance of team spirit and our friendship is more solid than ever.'

'Each documentary has its own clear voice. For example, Mary's group's documentary is more local and journalistic, while Morgae's group's work has a very strong message about the connections between people and the wet market.'

'I'm surprised at their great performance under limited training and basic technical support,' said Elissa Rosati, the founder of Focus on Film, adding that they overcame many obstacles.

'They only had one morning to shoot the documentaries ... The kids has to fight together to solve problems ... They learned to think out of the box, as well as problem-solving skills.'

When the teenagers watched their documentaries at the launch party, they all felt satisfied.

Jenny Ho, a member of Bonnie's group, summed up their feelings: 'I'm very proud to see our product on screen. It's the best experience I had all summer.'

'High & Dry' runs until September 30 at the Conservancy Association Centre For Heritage, Sai Ying Pun. See for more details and visit for more information about film workshops.