Barber film a cut above

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 13 July, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 13 July, 2010, 12:00am

Five students from a Wong Tai Sin school have won the best documentary award in a filmmaking competition for young people. Participants took a nostalgic look at the Shanghainese barber shop.

Buddhist Hung Sean Chau Memorial College was among 400 local secondary schools that took part in the inaugural National Geographic Channel Live Curious Documentary Awards. Students formed teams to create inspiring short films about Hong Kong's forgotten memories.

Buddhist Hung Sean Chau won the Best Documentary Award for Ashes of Memory. It explores the decline of traditional Shanghainese barber shops in the city.

Their five-minute film, which also earned the Best Directing Award, is an exploration of Hong Kong's distinctive cultural identity.

At a prize ceremony last month, judges said the short captured the spirit of the award and praised it for its exceptional standard.

The winning team said they wanted to introduce the disappearing barber shops to a younger generation. Team leader and sixth former Law Nai-chi said these traditional shops are very different from the trendy hairdressers of today.

'There are customers who have been going to the same barber shop for decades. In modern hair salons, getting a haircut is like buying a service. But in the traditional barber shop, it's like a meeting an old friend,' he said.

Salem-Immanuel Lutheran College won the Best Editing and Best Writing awards for its Our Chinese Restaurants, Local Cafes and Food Stalls.

Sha Tin College earned the Best Cinematography Award for outstanding visual storytelling in their work, The Peak Tram.

Relationship of the Cloth by Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, won the highest number of votes from online viewers to receive the Viewers' Choice Award.

The student filmmakers had to manage every aspect of production, from scriptwriting and filming, to editing and special effects. The aim of the competition was to strengthen the filmmaking industry and raise awareness of and pride in the unique culture of Hong Kong.

The shortlisted films can be viewed at www.livecurious