Film fans will have the opportunity to enjoy eight recent Australian movies at the Australian on Screen Festival at Hong Kong Arts Centre. The festival, which starts today and runs until February 12, showcases films from many different genres, from off-beat comedy to gritty docu-drama. The line-up comprises Oscar & Lucinda, Floating Life, Cosi, Malpractice, Doing Time for Patsy Cline, The Boys, Fistful of Flies and Shine, with most of the films making their Hong Kong debut. Australian Consul General Susan Boyd said the Australian film industry is recognised internationally for its diversity and originality. The films in this year's festival live up to that description, she said. 'Australian film directors are also making their mark internationally, with the pioneering work of well-established directors like Gillian Armstrong now complemented by that of many rising stars in film direction,' she said. The Australian film festival will be opened by Ms Boyd today at 6.30 pm in the foyer of the Lim Por Yen Film Theatre at the arts centre, 2 Harbour Road, Wan Chai. The opening film will be Oscar & Lucinda, directed by Armstrong and starring Ralph Fiennes and Cate Blanchett, which is based on the novel by Australian writer Peter Carey. Shine, one of the best- known Australian films in recent years, will also return to Hong Kong for the festival. Shine tells the true story of Australian pianist David Helfgott. Geoffrey Rush's excellent performance in the film won him the Oscar for best actor. The festival is also screening Floating Life, the first Cantonese language film made in Australia by Hong Kong film director Clara Law. It tells the story of a family of Hong Kong migrants to Australia. The film won the prestigious Silver Leopard Award in 1996.