What Caroline Hu achieved in her first foray into filmdom could be the seed that sprouts into cinematic legend. A first-year student at City University (working on her master's degree in media design and technology), Hu won the Best Experimental Film award at the NYU Student Film Festival in New York in October - with her first video project. The university's alumni include Ang Lee, Martin Scorsese and Oliver Stone. 'I was just thrilled to be in New York,' says Hu, after showing her nine-minute film at the screening room in City U's media centre. 'It's such a great city. I shot as much footage as possible and didn't waste my time there. At the festival, when they honoured my film, Remembrance, it was completely unexpected. I was proud and thrilled.' After completing a bachelor's degree in comparative literature at the University of Hong Kong, Hu taught English before shifting gears. 'I've always been interested in cinema, the arts, literature - and this is a bit of everything. I was fed up with what I was doing. I wanted to do something practical and creative. So I embarked on a media course.' The leap of faith and academic shift paid off. 'The film took about four months to make. I shot it, edited it, mixed the sound, wrote the script, typed up all the subtitles. It was a one-woman production, so its merits and its faults are all mine. 'I made the film for my Moving Image course, and when my teacher recommended that I send it to New York for the festival, I had no idea I would return with an award,' Hu says. Shot while walking and riding public transport around Hong Kong, the film (in monochrome and then colour) is narrated by Hu and includes classical music from her own collection. The script is a mixture of quotes, memories and words from letters sent and received. 'I borrowed the camera from the university. It was quite heavy lugging it around. Shooting in the tram was not easy, with people bumping into me. But standing at the back of the tram, as the city passed me by, moving away from me, fitted perfectly with my theme of recollection. Remembering what has gone by.' Was she worried that her foreign audience and judges might have misunderstood the movie? 'I think the main reason the film won was that the theme appealed to a lot of people,' Hu says. 'It was a moody piece about what your city means to you. Hong Kong had gone through tragedies, and so had New York.' Now that her first film has done so well, what's next for Hu? 'There is that look of expectation now. I see it around me. My next project is due soon and it's not just others' expectations that I have to meet, but my own as well.'