Hong Kong’s indie film scene isn’t big, but there are a few theaters around the city that are hidden gems for lovers of alternative cinema. Here’s a moviegoer’s guide to Hong Kong’s best spots for offbeat, arthouse, and independent film.
Hidden inside a building estate in the historic neighborhood of Yau Ma Tei, Broadway Cinematheque opened in 1996 and presents a range of independent and big-budget films around the world, from underground French cinema to award-winning Chinese features. Retrospectives and classic hits are also frequently played. Films only run for a couple of weeks, so keep checking the schedule and get your tickets fast.
Hong Kong Film Archive
The Hong Kong Film Archive is dedicated to preserving and promoting Hong Kong’s rich film heritage. This five-story building houses a treasure trove dating back to the earliest days of Hong Kong film, from beloved cult classics to obscure Cantonese opera flicks from the silver screen era. Screenings, exhibitions, and thematic retrospectives are held frequently, accompanied by seminars that occasionally feature Hong Kong filmmaking luminaries.
The Grand Cinema
The Grand Cinema boasts 12 screens and a total of 1,600 seats, making it Hong Kong’s largest cinema complex. The programming includes mixture of mainstream and alternative films. If you’re hoping to see this year’s Cannes or Sundance winners on the big screen, the Grand should be one of the first places to look.
Hong Kong Arts Centre Cinema
Located inside the basement of the Hong Kong Arts Centre (HKAC), this intimate, 119-seat cinema plays arthouse and indie films. It’s a frequently used venue for film festivals, but otherwise, there’s no consistent programming. Check the HKAC website for upcoming screenings.
The Hong Kong International Film Festival is the biggest film event of the year, and takes place every spring (usually around March or April). The festival’s lineup typically includes films of every budget and genre in order to cater to as many filmgoers as possible, from experimental European films to mainland Chinese blockbusters.
In addition, cultural associations and foreign consulates often present film festivals in order to promote their cultures in Hong Kong. Among such events, the biggest is Le French May, a celebration of Francophone culture that takes place from May through June.