Film is a powerful platform for spreading a message. And the environmental messages of this year’s Hong Kong Eco Film Festival (HKEFF) might be difficult for some viewers to digest. “We will address serious issues but I don’t want people to get depressed and leave screenings feeling the planet is all doom and gloom,” says HKEFF founder Cynthia Chow Ci-wan. “To alleviate any eco-anxiety the films might trigger, audience members can attend related talks and workshops to learn more about the issues addressed and ways in which they can help.” The festival, which will be held at the Asia Society, in Admiralty, from November 15 to 17, is designed to provide directors with a platform because, as Chow explains, “Many films in our programme won’t get a general release, which is a shame because a lot of work goes into these projects – filmmakers spend a lot of time in difficult conditions in the wild.” The festival is divided into four themes: “biodiversity”; “ocean”; “sustainability”; and “inventing tomorrow”. Featured films include Diedie Weng’s 2016 documentary, The Beekeeper and His Son , followed by a Q&A with local beekeeper Arthur Au, and Jeff Orlowski’s Chasing Coral (2017), which focuses the lens on a team of divers, scientists and photographers documenting the disappearance of coral reefs. Also showing are local documentaries Breathing Room (2018), about the endangered Chinese white dolphin, and The Loop , a recent release that follows a couple’s six-day coasteering adventure around Hong Kong Island to raise awareness about marine pollution. A Q&A with The Loop ’s director, Mike Sakas, will be held after the screening. South Korean director Lee Jeong-joon, whose film Warning From the Ocean is about the country’s threatened finless porpoise, will also talk at the event. Turning the spotlight on the fast-fashion industry is The True Cost (2015) while 2018’s Inventing Tomorrow features “teenage innovators from around the globe who are creating cutting-edge solutions to confront the world’s environmental threats”. Rhinos are the subject of two films: The Last Male on Earth (2019), which follows Sudan, the sole remaining male northern white rhino until his death last year, and Operation Sumatran Rhino (2016), which highlights the work of the Borneo Rhino Alliance. Chow says she hopes people will learn something new and take away important lessons from the festival, which was founded last year. For instance, she asks, “Did you know Hong Kong has a species of oyster that are super ocean cleaners?” A tank on site will be used to demonstrate this. Besides an eco-market and organic food stalls, the festival will include panel discussions covering such topics as “Creating a Successful Eco Business” and talks by South African conservationist Divan Grobler, bat experts Bel Li and Liz Rose-Jeffreys from Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden, in Tai Po, and underwater photographer Nicholas Cheung. For more information on the festival, visit hkeff.com. For tickets, go to eventbrite.hk.