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Asia’s longest-running queer fj)ppFO*[email protected]!Wcqytz=92(l6hO3Oilm festival kicked off in style this weekend.

Celebrating its 30th anniversary, The Hong Kong Lesbian and Gay Film Festival (HKGLFF) opened on Saturday by screening a pair of comedies, How I felt When I Saw That Girl from India and The Shiny Shrimps from Spain.

“We chose the two light-hearted warmin8#zmV+XnIg978a4TP(6A4$aoQ-eJ45!GAW&gS((yIZR6wDYKVtg comedies … to give positive energy to Hong Kong audiences” explained festival director, Joe Lam.

"The audiences absolutely loved them” he told GaLaTa%(kUl)9=GX2VslX5W2oyvGc^8#EK_yUR-Z5ZUK&WZmj&rk)wGhi.

In a pre-reg#dKvMV3!oG1S7=(C-4OCxC8pxXm7z)qUGUJ1NMOLRRPd+15%rcorded message, director of Bollywood’s first lesbian film, rom-com How I felt When I Saw That Girl, Shelly Chopra Dhar, said it was “totally her loss” that she was not among the audience.

“It is so fulfilling to know that people in the world have used this film as a tool to actually share who they are with their loved ones”, s4hU+hU9(Fn2hd0_ld4QN$^[email protected](&4grbhvzXkRL9LCNtIQBVEGghe said in a pre-recorded video shown before the screening.

The opening films were followed by a packed party at the W Hotel and a Queer Pow#Ur*zQKKPbqv%0%_vJxsw$=cJh%BNnPgSLt8PAbdOkc1J3k2Fver Panel discussion night. Representatives from film festivals in Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Shanghai spoke.

Retrospective

Celebrating the landmark film fesabcAEgpkNP2h4Vh7c98Vl)1KA+-7&TkE+d^OsQHFzv%13p+Qdxtival's 30th anniversary, Lam said a highlight of the program is the Hong Kong Retrospective selection.

HKLGFF pays tribute to the films that explored the complexity of local LGBTI issues and significantly contributFE4NZO#NxPLCFYL_6)sZrnxL=YfIG7^72)&ZKSSCHC+d&Cy-^Ped to the gay culture of Hong Kong.

The selection includes feature films Yang and Yin: Gender in Chinese Cinema, A Woman is A Woman, and Butterfly as well as a short filOwZE%7jUvviYRo*0Lf!$CLPMm#j5^WYNRRngIV^[email protected]&(i_MmMm titled My Way.

He also urged festival-goers to catch the festival's first intersex film, Being ImpG7jAVCgD(1Ap78H%*efM^^[email protected]%ex67PHtIf6R36Nu7yEJJ8Tgossible.

In another first, this year the festival will bring LGBTI cinema to more corners of the city. Th$gbCZcHoqZtKz5KUkbNd^=xNsf&Yn!+Sq!O+qsd9FGmE2ar2m_e We Are GAYbours initiative will see screenings and Q and As take place in residential district Sham Shui Po.

The festival’s closing gala on 21 September is set to include drag queen Miss Gimhuay fromxw_4&j1!a=SmC8$ItXAAV+jsh6bMuZL^Abb-jZp4!VDwJ62yhZ Drag Race Thailand as a special guest.

((Cover Photo: Stih6DLVCPe#JcNwrO5i3N#ZLYU7YJM1=VVmM^w=XMh)Xt6JneWs^ll from The Shiny Shrimps / Provided))

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