One of the most enduring urban myths about life in Hong Kong is that it is all but impossible to get tickets for anything at the annual Hong Kong International Film Festival. Conventional wisdom has it the only way to get to see anything is to camp out the day before the start of postal bookings and post your application as soon as the doors of the Cultural Centre swing open. And even then, you will probably only get the inconvenient morning screening. This year, however, things are slightly different, according to figures released by the organisers early this week. Only 60 per cent of tickets have been sold so far. Amazingly, for example, there are still tickets left for Mrs Dalloway (April 6, 7.30pm, and April 19, 9.45pm), starring Vanessa Redgrave in the title role of an excellent adaptation of Virginia Woolf's novel. The book is a jumble of thoughts, representing the memories and feelings of a middle-aged society lady about to hold one of her famous parties. Sally Potter was the last director to tackle Woolf in Orlando. In her latest movie, The Tango Lesson (April 15, 9.45pm, and April 18, 2.30pm), she goes in front of the camera as a director who decides to learn to tango. Love and Death on Long Island (April 10, 5pm, and April 12, 9.45pm) got rave reviews too. It is an unexpected romantic comedy about a highbrow British novelist named Giles De'Ath, played by John Hurt, who accidentally goes to see a film called Hotpants College II, instead of the latest E M Forster adaptation, and falls instantly and crazily in love with the star, a beefcake called Ronnie Bostock. De'Ath is determined to find Ronnie and he does, strutting around Long Island in his tweeds hunting in diners with names like Chez d'Irv. Shane Meadows is the new bright boy of British cinema, who makes for tuppence what Hollywood spends squillions on. His speciality is British lowlife, petty criminals and rogues, and he made his name with two shorts, Where's the Money, Ronnie? and Small Time (April 6, 7.30pm, and April 11, 2.30pm) which had almost sold out at the time of writing. He went on to make TwentyFourSeven (April 6, 9.45pm, and April 11, 5pm), starring Bob Hoskins as a determined boxing coach, who tries to save a group of lads from unemployment. Ken Loach is from a different era from Meadows, but he deals with the same end of the social spectrum. His political commitment is unfashionable in Tony Blair's Britain, but he remains true to his principles. His documentary on what will probably be the last docker's strike in Britain, The Flickering Flame (April 11, 9.45pm, and April 18, 7.30pm), will be shown as a double bill with Citizen Ken Loach, a documentary about the director. German director Rainer Fassbinder was a contemporary of Loach, but he packed into 13 years of film-making more than 40 films, all of which showcased his extraordinary vision. In a special section, the festival will showcase six rarely seen works, and a documentary about him made by his ex-wife, Julianne Lorenz, who will also be speaking about his works at a discussion on April 10, at 5pm. Tucked away in the world cinema section are gems such as Western (April 13, 5pm, and April 18, 7.15pm) which won the Jury Prize in Cannes. This is best described as a short-walk movie, about two guys who meet, fight, and become friends while walking along the craggy coastline of Brittany. The Russian film Brother (April 4, 7.30pm, and April 7, 5.30pm) has been remarkably successful in Russia, where audiences responded with alarming enthusiasm to the tale of a former soldier who comes home and starts working, and killing, for the Russian mafia. Audiences reportedly whooped and cheered during the most violent bits, leading one member of staff in a cinema in the outskirts of Moscow to shriek at them: 'What are you, animals?'