HKIDF2020 - Jurors Notes for Chinese Doc Competition

Augustine Lam, Jury of Chinese Doc Competition


One and a half years flew by and since it expanded its scope last year, we have organized and presented the Hong Kong International Documentary Festival in much turbulent and challenging times two years in a row. Last year, we managed to screen most of our films even though we had to cut down on the number of interactive events. This year, the Festival started amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, with many unpredictable factors beyond our control. Yet despite the world coming to a halt under the pandemic, we saw an unexpected increase in the number of entries, to some 2,000 works. As one of the judges for the Chinese Doc Competition, I must say I am disappointed with the drop in quantity and quality of the Chinese language entries. For Hong Kong and Mainland China, it is understandable there are fewer entries due to the depressing social climate, but what truly puzzles me is the same observation can be made for the entries from Taiwan.

Since the upgrade and rebranding of the Chinese Documentary Festival into the Hong Kong International Documentary Festival, we are able to showcase more films with diverse themes and styles from different countries. We truly hope this will inspire more imagination and creativity from local film makers and encourage everyone to enjoy and reflect on the value of documentaries.



Augustine Lam is a photographer and Programme Director of the Hong Kong International Documentary Festival. He worked as a photojournalist for many years. Since 2002, he has produced documentary films with Tammy Cheung. Together they have produced over a dozen films.