'Prove yourself' is the advice offered to young filmmakers by veteran director Lawrence Lau Kwok-cheung in the run-up to the 2010 Fresh Wave International Short Film Festival. The event will showcase 50 short films from both Hong Kong and overseas from September 17 to 26 at the Broadway Cinematheque and Palace IFC. The 29 films entering the local competition will be judged by a panel that includes Alberto Pezzotta, a member of the selection committee for this year's Venice Film Festival. Organisers and directors are expecting high quality entries; about HK$40,000 was provided for each local short film, which enabled filmmakers to use resources they would not have been able to afford otherwise. 'If there wasn't this competition it would have been impossible to make the film - and graduate as well,' said Fintan Cheng, who directed Trapped and has a master's degree in fine arts from Baptist University. Yet networking has proved even more valuable than the funding. Each team was assigned a mentor; for Cheng it was Lau. With contacts vital in the profession, Lau said budding filmmakers either had to work from the bottom up in a production house or offer a script that proved their worth to someone in the industry. Festival tickets go on sale today. Director Lee Chang Dong's Poetry, which won best screenplay at Cannes, premieres on the opening day.