Max! 2003 is more than just a German-language film festival. The annual event returns this Friday with not only a feast of films from Austria, Germany and Switzerland but a bunch of experts to dish out advice on how to make your first film. The Goethe-Institut Hong Kong, the chief organiser of the festival, will bring together eight local and overseas filmmakers and critics at a seminar called 'Making My First Feature', where members of the audience will get a chance to ask them questions. 'Because some of the films shown this time are debut features from filmmakers, we hope to use this as a theme and provide a chance for those who wish to become a filmmaker or a critic to learn,' says Alice Ho Suk-yin, programme co-ordinator at Goethe-Institut Hong Kong. Guests appearing at the seminar include filmmakers with entries in this year's Max! festival such as Switzerland's Vincent Pluss and Luc Peter (Back For More), Germany's Martin Gypkens (We) and Andrea Maria Dusl (Blue Moon) from Austria. Young film director Carol Lai Miu-suet will be one of the representatives from Hong Kong. Having earned international recognition with her directorial debut Glass Tears in 2001, Lai's latest work, The Floating Landscape, represented Hong Kong in this year's Venice International Film Festival. Another local talent is Wong Ching-po, whose Fubo was screened at this year's Hong Kong International Film Festival. Mainland director Meng Jinghui will also join the session. His Chicken Poet won the Golden Firebird award at the Hong Kong International Film Festival in April. This year's Max! festival features 24 full-length and short films. Kicking things off will be Goodbye, Lenin! (reviewed on page 12), which won the Blue Angel Award for best European film 2003 and took nine titles at the German Film Awards 2003. Max! 2003 runs from October 17 to November 2 at the Lam Por Yen Film Theatre in Hong Kong Arts Centre. Tickets priced at $50, or $30 for full-time students, are available from all HK Ticketing outlets on 3128 8288. All films are in German or French with English subtitles. 'Making My First Feature' will be held on October 25 at the Lim Por Yen Theatre. Admission is free. For further details log on to www.goethe.de/max2003 .