7th Annual

PUFF Film Festival Hong Kong

December 08, 2018 to December 20, 2018

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PUFF 2018 Program Director
9th Floor Chinachem Johnston Plaza
178-186 Johnston Road
Hong Kong 000

CLOSED FOR THE SEASON • Information may be outdated. Add this event to your Watch List and set a Remind-Me if you want to be notified when the next Call For Entries is posted.

Feature Film
World Cinema Dramatic Competition : these are exceptional feature films by ground-breaking filmmakers from around the world. PUFF looks for filmmakers whose experience is on the cusp of making a major feature film with a staring cast. Last year, our films & filmmakers came from the USA, Germany, UK, Portugal, Romania, India, Japan, Vietnam, Sierra Leone, Mexico, Chile, France, Sweden, China and Hong Kong. ( Please note that all films, including films in English needs to have English subtitles if the film is selected for exhibition purpose )
Feature Film (Politics & Underground)
Dedicated to passionate filmmakers with a view to making an underlying political statement with a feature narrative or dramatic film; this category showcase filmmakers who are also scholars, political activists, writers, performers and artists. This is a multi-disciplinary era. These are issues which takes more than one medium to explore.

(Filmmakers feel free to enter in either the Feature Film category or in this category; the panel of judges will make the final decision as to which category the films belong )
Short Film
The only limit in this category is the run-time : narrative, documentary, experimental and original films around the world of under 60 minutes.
New Frontier
Transcending film genres and visual art : experimental and innovative, these films are a convergence of the moving image, art, and new media technology. Trans-media, 3D, Virtual Reality, inspiration and alternative intervention that challenges the film festival language and cinematic presentation. PUFF Experimental are first screened during the film festival and then selected artists will be invited to create a stand-alone exhibition in alternative spaces, theatres and galleries in China.
Documentary Features
Documentaries of over 60 minutes that examines issues that will change our perception of what's happening around us. These people are the pioneers & change-makers !
(Documentaries under 60 minutes will be categorised as Short Film )
Animation Spotlight
PUFF animation spotlight is renowned in Asia for the amazing and outstanding standards in new animation work.

Created by hand or by software, 2-D or 3-D, animation stretches our imagination and creates different spheres in storytelling. If your project is multi-media, please include in your curatorial statement as to the ideal presentation ideas.
Sound & Original Score Showcase
Two Worlds Collide

It is not the image alone that creates the meaning; the language of film is created by two worlds collide : sound and sight. PUFF hopes to create an alternative way to think about scoring. The scores and sound design not merely enhance the emotion of the writing, but the non verbal medium provides a commentary in contrast to the visuals or it can lead the narrative flow of the work.

Film as Sound Art - The PUFF Indie Music Showcase is an extraordinary way of pairing original music writers and film. It is a new direction initiated by a film festival. Here, the emphasis is not the film as a whole, but sections of the work with sound and music that creates an outstanding piece of work in its own right.

We highly recommend the filmmakers to nominate their sound editors or the musicians who write the original scores of their films.
Virtual Reality films
A short film in Virtual Reality of any length.


PUFF has established as one of the most important premiere and showcase destinations for independent films from around the world. Last year, 68 films were shortlisted for competition from over 18 countries; of which 9 feature films and 11 short films were World Premieres. The films were screened over 3 weekends in multiple locations in 2017 in the global city of Hong Kong, serving as a gateway to audiences in the rest of China. PUFF also held an Indie Cinema in OCT in Shenzhen, China as part of the festival in 2017.

The highly competitive selection focuses on films with narratives that break new grounds, ideas that transcend our times and courage that inspires the world.

What makes PUFF, China becoming a heavy weight is also of its strong curating and programming of the New Frontier program. This program challenges the film festival and film watching language - thus pushing the frontier to transmedia, 3D intervention, experimental and innovation forms for cinematic presentation.

Countries that took part include : China, Italy, Germany, UK, Serbia, Romania, Chile, Brazil, Mexico, USA, Canada, Norway, France, Spain, India, Australia, and Japan.


Artistic Focus and Objectives

PUFF creates a platform for established and emerging filmmakers and artists whose work may not easily fit into a commercial film festival. Our New Frontier films pushes film language and storytelling to new limits; our Documentaries reveal real topics that need a more dynamic global discussion; our Feature Films represent the best there is in independent film production around the world from Africa to Argentina and PUFF's celebrated Shorts and Animation programs tells the unconventional as well as universal stories as an art in their own right.

The Festival will consider dramatic, narrative, documentary, experimental or animated films, trans-media, 3D inspiration and innovative forms of videos or digital audio-visual productions that pushes the boundary of cinematic presentation.

If your film is selected , we would require the following :
Dialogue list in English (via e-mail)
A completed Withoutabox submission form
An FULL HD H264 file, .mp4 or .mov, 1920x1080 .

( We make an exception and accept lower resolutions for filmmakers that belongs to a minority group, women filmmakers and filmmakers that are currently living in Africa, South East Asia and the Middle East. If you belong to this group, you are also entitled to a fee waiver, please email us info@puff-festival.org )

PUFF is not only a film festival, but also an initiative that helps filmmakers to gain more exposure for their films. PUFF organises around 3-4 screenings throughout the year and whenever filmmakers pass through Hong Kong to promote their films , Submitting a film to the festival implies entering this community, where the selected films could be screened as part of a PUFF curated film screening program.

Please note that films in the English language must be subtitled in English. The audience in Hong Kong needs English subtitles to fully understand the film even though people here all learn English in school. We highly recommend English films to add English subtitles for the audience.

Entrants are responsible for securing all necessary rights and permissions for the Festival’s exhibition of each film submitted and use of all accompanying materials.


Chen Zhi Feng (Program Director); Cherrion Rodriquez (Publicity Director (English Press)); Gary Sze (Director); Kwai Lim Feng (Co-Director); Li Jia Qin (Artistic Director); Lim Hua Yun (Artistic Director); Si Yuan Huang (Artistic Director); Sze Yuan Leung (Director); Wai SZE (Artistic Director)


The Festival will consider dramatic, narrative, documentary, experimental or animated films, videos or digital audio-visual productions.

For Features Films in the "Underground & Politics" Category, please send a short & concise mission statement about your viewpoint or cause; state your budget and if it is self-financed. The festival will factor your budget into our consideration.

All films including films spoken in the English language must be subtitled in English unless dialogue is not essential to appreciation. As PUFF screening event has become bigger and they are now attracted to more people in Hong Kong, whilst Chinese audience needs English subtitles even though most people here understands English. All films, be it Hollywood big budget or art house films shown in Hong Kong has English and Chinese subtitles.

Entrants are responsible for securing all necessary rights and permissions for the Festival’s exhibition of each film submitted and use of all accompanying materials.


Submissions will be made exclusively through www.withoutabox.com. We do not work with any other platforms. Please send an USB or your film files ( in .MOV or MPEG-4 with a minimum size of 1080p ) to Mr Gary SZE , Director . ChinaChem Johnston Plaza No.178-186 Johnston Road, Hong Kong, China.

Exhibition format : if your film is selected to be screened at the Film Festival, the films must be in .MOV or MPEG in 1080p or 4K format. Due to increasingly high standards of screening specifications in China and Asia generally, we cannot accept or screen films that are not 1080p.

Exceptions : If you are filmmakers who are currently living in Africa, Middle East or South East Asia and your film file is smaller than 720p, please send us an email and we will still accept your film. If you are a woman filmmaker or from a minority group, we most welcome your films and will give you extra help.

English language films : All films in English MUST have English subtitles. The culture in Hong Kong and China is such that the general public cannot understand English language films without English subtitles. Foreign Language films : Must have English subtitles. We also require all selected feature films ( films over 60 min) to send us a copy of their dialogue in English , so that we can translate it into Chinese.

Photos from your work are requested if your submission is selected to be screened at the festival; we need them in JPEG format and 300 dpi (dots per inch).

The Festival will not consider demo reels, advertisements, obvious branded content or films with pornography or extreme violence.

Submissions after Early Bird deadline must be completed projects.



1. Please submit your film in .MOV or MPEG format in 1080p for the selection process. We do not accept DVDs anymore starting this year.

( But if you are currently living in Africa, Middle East and South East Asia, a woman filmmaker or from a minority group, please send an email to Gary SZE gary@puff-festival.org, and we will accept your format . )

2. Screening or exhibition copies of your film must be in .MOV or MPEG format of 1080p or 4K quality. Please clearly mark with your film title and WAB confirmation number in all correspondents.

3.The Pineapple Underground Film Festival ( "PUFF") will only screen productions finished on digital format starting this year. We do NOT screen from other formats.

4. We accept all film types i.e. narrative, animation, documentary, and foreign language (all films including English language films should have English subtitles).

5. All shipping and handling costs to the festival office will be covered by the entrant. Please make sure to indicate "For cultural purposes only, no commercial value" on the shipping/ postal declaration.

6. We encourage selected films for screenings and all entries to be sent to us via a Dropbox account to reduce use of cardboard paper when shipping which is much kinder to the environment. But if your film is a feature film or is over 10GB, we recommend you save it in an USB and send it to us.

7. If your film is selected for the competition you will be notified by email during the months of September, October 2018. Screening copies of films, press kits and stills of selected films must be received by November 2018.

If your original entry copy is of screening quality there is no need to send another copy.

8. The festival will keep all USB and promotional material.

9. The producers and filmmakers grants PUFF the rights to:

a. Exhibit the film in the 2018 The Pineapple Underground Film Festival and any pre or post Festival screenings or tours for up to 18 months after the 2018 festival;

b. Utilize an excerpt from any film submitted and accepted for promotional purposes and to exhibit the film in a dedicated 2018 PUFF channel with a view to promoting the film during and after the festival; and

c. Reproduce the films that are selected to screen for exhibition, judging (nominated films go out to jury) or for media review purposes only.

10. Warrants to the The Pineapple Underground Film Festival ( PUFF) that they have obtained all the necessary permissions to enter this film and that the film does not infringe the rights, including copyright, of any third party.

11. Agree to defend, indemnify and hold harmless The Pineapple Underground Film Festival (PUFF) , its board, judges, sponsors and partners, individually and collectively, from all claims and demands, losses, damages, costs and liabilities relating to any films submitted to this festival.

12. Whilst The Pineapple Underground Film Festival will take due care of USB or film files entered, the Festival will not be responsible for any loss and/or damage to USB or files while they are in the possession of the Festival or any of the venues hosting the Festival or the tour.

13. Films submitted will be considered for awards for all suitable Festival categories. The circumstance may arise that an award will not be given if no film is deemed outstanding in a category. Advertised prizes are subject to change.

14. Films that have been broadcast on television in or currently screening on the Internet are not eligible for consideration for Awards/Prizes in this Festival. If you still wish to submit your film OUT OF COMPETITION, please contact the Festival Director via email at gary@puff-festival.org

15. In the unlikely event the festival is cancelled for any reason fees would be refunded but USB or film files cannot be returned.

16. While we will make every effort to stick to screening times as printed, The Pineapple Underground Film Festival cannot be held accountable for changes to the schedule after schedule is announced.