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Asian American International Film Festival Opens with “My Voice, My Life”


The 38th Asian American International Film Festival (AAIFF) kicked off on July 23 to a packed house with the opening night screening of "opening night screening of Oscar-winning filmmaker Ruby Yang's latest documentary “My Voice, My Life”, which chronicles the lives of a group of misfit high school students from Hong Kong cast together for a musical theater performance.

A motivational feature-length documentary, “My Voice, My Life” chronicles the lives of a group of misfit high school students from Hong Kong cast together for a musical theater performance. From low self-esteem to blindness, each student confronts unique personal challenges in the process of developing his or her character.

The documentary recently won the National Public TV Human Spirit Award at the Nashville Film Festival in April 2015. WSJ.com named the documentary as “Hong Kong’s 5 most-notable films of 2014” while the China, Taiwan, Hong Kong Film Critics Associations ranked the film as one of the 1- best Chinese language films of 2014.

Ms. Yang and two of the film’s cast members, Coby Wong and Sio Fan Lam attended the opening gala and screening. They took part in the post-screening Q&A session, where they spoke on various topics, including how the film has made an impact on their lives.

Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in New York (HKEONY) is a sponsor of this year’s AAIFF, which will also screen the Hong Kong award-winning film “A Simple Life” in Flushing Town Hall on July 29 as part of the “Free Films in Flushing” initiative. The festival ran from July 23 – August 1.

At a July 22 press conference, Director of HKETONY Steve Barclay warmly welcomed Ms. Yang, Ms. Wong and Ms. Lam to New York. He said that he hopes that film will promote greater understanding of Hong Kong to the New York and American audience.

Also speaking at the press conference, Ms. Yang said a youngster in Hong Kong who gradually lost his eyesight inspired her to direct the documentary, which chronicles the transformation of a group of young people with weak academic performances and disabilities after taking part in a live musical.

On July 15, “My Voice, My Life” was screened at the opening night of the 20th anniversary of the Made in Hong Kong Film Festival at the Smithsonian Institution’s Freer Gallery of Art, organised by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Washington, D.C.

Director of HKETONY Steve Barclay (left), pictured with Oscar-winning director Ruby Yang (right) who autographed the “My Voice, My Life” poster at the press conference.
Director of HKETONY Steve Barclay (left), pictured with Oscar-winning director Ruby Yang (right) who autographed the “My Voice, My Life” poster at the press conference.

 
Hong Kong Commissioner to the United States Clement Leung (far right) and his wife (far left), welcome Oscar-winning director Ruby Yang (second from left) and her husband at the premiere reception for the 20th anniversary of the Made in Hong Kong Film Festival on July 15 in Washington D.C.
Hong Kong Commissioner to the United States Clement Leung (far right) and his wife (far left), welcome Oscar-winning director Ruby Yang (second from left) and her husband at the premiere reception for the 20th anniversary of the Made in Hong Kong Film Festival on July 15 in Washington D.C.
     
(From left) Joining Mr Barclay at the New York press conference are Hong Kong film director Ruby Yang; cast members of “My Voice, My Life” Sio Fan Lam and Coby Wong; and executive director of Asian American International Film Festival John C. Woo.
(From left) Joining Mr Barclay at the New York press conference are Hong Kong film director Ruby Yang; cast members of “My Voice, My Life” Sio Fan Lam and Coby Wong; and executive director of Asian American International Film Festival John C. Woo.
 
(From left)  Asia Society’s film curator La Frances Hui moderates the Q&A session with Coby Wong, Sio Fan Lam and Ruby Yang, on opening night of AAIFF.
(From left) Asia Society’s film curator La Frances Hui moderates the Q&A session with Coby Wong, Sio Fan Lam and Ruby Yang, on opening night of AAIFF.
     
Mr. Barclay (right) attends the opening night gala of AAIFF with (from left) Coby Wong, Ruby Yang and Sio Fan Lam.
Mr. Barclay (right) attends the opening night gala of AAIFF with (from left) Coby Wong, Ruby Yang and Sio Fan Lam.
 
Director of HKETONY Steve Barclay welcomes guests to the opening night screening of “My Voice My Life” at the 38th Asian American International Film Festival.
Director of HKETONY Steve Barclay welcomes guests to the opening night screening of “My Voice My Life” at the 38th Asian American International Film Festival.


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