It was the sort of meeting of minds that only a film festival can throw up. In one corner sat the Spanish director Francisco Lorite, in town for the Hong Kong International Film Festival, where his wacky Cuco Gomez - Gomez Is Dead! (running time: 10 minutes) is screening in the Skyy Vodka Short Film Competition. In the other sat Filipino director Lav Diaz, whose Evolution of a Filipino Family runs for a whopping 643 minutes. As filmmakers - on paper at least - you wouldn't expect them to be any different. 'But that is what these festivals are all about,' said the 29-year-old Lorite. 'You come to festivals and you get a different take from people on the filmmaking process. 'I was certainly richer for the experience - learning about how he crafted this film over more than 10 years. It is the other end of the spectrum. And I certainly hope he left richer for learning about my film.' Born in Valencia, Lorite moved to Boston 10 years ago to study theatre at Northeastern University. He went on to work in New York theatre, radio and television before moving to his current home in Los Angeles. It was in LA that he got the idea for Cuco Gomez, an ensemble piece about the different theories a group of people have about how - and why - one of their neighbours died. The film won Best Cine Latino Award (Short) at the recent DC Independent Film Festival in Washington. And it is now in the running for the HKIFF's short film award, the winner of which will be announced during a party at Central's Fringe Club tonight. 'We started doing festivals with the film and it luckily just took off,'' said Lorite. 'We have been travelling with it for three months. It came totally as a shock to be invited here, first of all as part of the festival and then as part of the competition, because there are only five films picked out of the hundreds submitted. 'It is a delight to be here,' said Lorite, 'and to be able to show your work to audiences who might not otherwise see it. 'We sat in a screening on Monday for about 900 Chinese people and to me that is just unbelievable. And they laughed in all the right places, which is what you want for a comedy.' Next up for Lorite is his first feature film, a 'supernatural western' that begins shooting next year. 'I guess you could say I am taking a page out of Lav Diaz's book,' said Lorite, 'because now I am going to shoot a two-part, four-hour movie.' The HKIFF ends on April 6.