The 10th Hong Kong Independent Short Film and Video Awards (IFVA) has received more than 100 applications for its youth category - the highest since 2001. And the growing interest in film- and video-making among young people is reflected in the quality of their work, according to the organisers. 'The jury feels that young people now are very familiar with the [film or video] medium. But their style - such as their handling of music and images - tends to be more mainstream,' said Sarah Cheung, IFVA project officer. Everlasting is a short romantic video by 18-year-old Chester Ng King-yeung, a member of independent film website umovie.net and one of 10 finalists in the youth category. King-yeung's experience in directing advertisements and music videos shows in Everlasting, which stands out with its slick editing, well-designed shots and neat storytelling. 'A love film must have a slow tempo. But a shot cannot be too long, otherwise it would be boring,' Chester said. Other young film-makers also showed a remarkable knowledge of mainstream stylistic conventions. Ho Sai-kit, 17, a student at Cheng Chek Chee Secondary School and one of the four directors of the horror comedy Shivering Frequency, said: 'If you want to shoot a horror picture, music is very important. If you take away the music from a horror film, it may not be as scary.' There are four documentaries among the finalists. One of them, Until I Die by Lou Yee-nam from Buddhist Mau Fung Memorial College, looks at the popularity of internet cafes. Yee-nam, whose work with classmate Chan Wai-yee Gay Or Not was screened at the Bangkok International Film Festival earlier this year, is aware of the benefits of using a digital video camera to make documentaries. 'The challenge is to make the interviewees speak their mind,' said Yee-nam, 18, who spent his summer holidays shooting and befriending people at an internet cafe. 'Using a [digital video] camera makes the interview more relaxing.' One video which is a cross between a documentary and storytelling film is Forward Flow Motions by Chui Tsz-mei, an 18-year-old Institute of Vocational Education student. The experimental work records Chui's feelings about travelling on buses using abstract images and poetical text. For more information about the IFVA festival, which runs from March 18 to 29, call 2824 5307 or visit www.ifva.com We have five pairs of tickets for each screening of the 10th IFVA finalist (youth category) showcase on March 20 at 4pm and 6.30pm to give away. Send an e-mail to email@example.com with your name, phone number and address. Tickets will be given on a first-come, first served basis.