AT this time of year Hong Kong seems like one big festival. With, astonishingly, more than a dozen different arts festivals between October and Christmas, the 'F' word is cropping up everywhere. Just as the Macau Arts Festival ends this weekend, with a performance of Il Trovatore at Forum 1 (tel: 2857-2287) the first Jewish Arts Festival opens at its tiny theatre in Mid-Levels, with a soul clarinet recital on Sunday by Shmuel Achiezer from Israel, followed by an exciting six-week programme (tickets on 2801-5440, ext: 815). At the same time the third Youth Arts Festival opens with more than a hundred different shows and events at 14 venues. The Hong Kong Dance Festival continues for two more weeks. On November 10 the City Contemporary Dance Company premieres a new work entitled San Mao, based on the life of one of Taiwan's best-loved writers. San Mao visited 59 countries, including spending several years living in the Sahara desert with her husband Jose. After he died in an accident in 1979 she returned to Taiwan and committed suicide 12 years later, at the age of 48. Choreographer Shu Qiao chose to centre the work around San Mao, not so much because she wants to honour her than that she identifies with her: 'San Mao worked very hard to live. She wanted to live a good life and that made her very tired. When she could take it no more she went to look for another world.' The Werner Herzog film festival is coming to a close this weekend: last chance tonight to see Stroszek, the story of a travelling musician who leaves jail to start a new life - with a prostitute. On Saturday, Herzog fans can have a bonanza, with Fata Morgana, Cobra Verde and Fitzcarraldo running one after the other. All at the Goethe Institut. Almost all the European delegations in Hong Kong will all be demonstrating their new sense of community with a huge European Film Festival at the Arts Centre through November. This is a chance to see the old favourites - including David Lean's Great Expectations (1946) and Visconti's Death in Venice (1971). The festival opens with Metropolis, Fritz Lang's 1926 silent movie about the 21st century, in which the city of the future is ruled by an authoritarian industrialist living in a paradise-like garden. Robot replicas and worker revolutions . . . Lang did not go that far wrong in his predictions. Another futuristic city (this time predicted by Ridley Scott in 1982) can be seen in Bladerunner - here the robots do the dirty jobs, and a few escape to form their own alternative lifestyle colony. The 'blade runner' is the human being who is sent to destroy them. Preparations for the annual Hong Kong Folk Festival are also underway. Lined up at Island School, in Borrett Road, and the Fringe Club on the weekend of November 10-12 are performers from England, Scotland, Chile, Canada, the United States and, of course, Hong Kong. Details on 2812-2156. Not on the festival circuit, but nonetheless an important occasion, is cellist Yoyo Ma's first concert in Hong Kong in two years. There are still some tickets left to hear Ma perform - without accompaniment - a programme including two of JS Bach's cello suites and compositions by George Crumb and Bright Sheng. Of all the composers, Bach has a special place in Ma's affections. His Sony recording of the six cello suites is one of his most popular. He once said in an interview with an American magazine: 'My father, who is a composer, spent World War II playing the Bach sonatas and partitas for solo violin in a little garret studio in Paris without electricity, food or water. He taught me to play Bach very early on. I remember playing the cello suites at night and that was the closest thing to meditation or prayer that I did when I was a kid.'