Odyssey 2023 officially launched at The Cinema in the Battersea Power Station in London.
In its 3rd edition, UK based independent film festival Odyssey: a Chinese cinema season 2023 celebrates “Global Sustainability” as its main theme this year, responding to the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). There are 5 main strands in the festival programme comprising both online & offline screenings. They include “JOURNEY”, “EQUALITY”, “BIODIVERSITY”, “ENVIRONMENT” and “URBAN DEVELOPMENT”.
Hong Kong has been selected as the “City of Honour” this year and the festival opened with documentary Finding Bliss: Fire and Ice (The Directors’ Cut) on 26th May evening at The Cinema in the Battersea Power Station in London. Actress, producer Josie Ho and director Kim Chan both attended the opening in person to engage with the audience.
Odyssey 2023’s Opening Screening at The Cinema in the Battersea Power Station
Surprised to discover that Hong Kong ranks a low 74 on the World Happiness Index, creative powerhouse Josie Ho (Dream Home, Full Strike, Butterfly) decides to do something about it. After interviewing some folks about their personal dissatisfaction, she takes a group of musicians and students to Iceland, officially one of the world’s happiest—and most scenic—countries. There the adventurers relearn how to laugh, connect with, and trust one another, explore natural wonders, and finally, collaborate with Icelandic musicians on a trans-generational musical journey in a dark and disconsolate world.
Director Kim Chan, Actress and Producer Josie Ho
Josie Ho’s passion for music and documentary making inspired her to create this thought-provoking documentary. It was entirely filmed in Iceland, the northernmost country on Earth, which also gave birth to the peculiarity of going through near national bankruptcy and simultaneously claiming the top position on the worldwide happiness index. Josie and her team went on a mission to learn some lessons for Hong Kong.
Odyssey 2023 recognises its efforts in contributing to the debate on “Global Sustainability” and therefore sees it as an important work to be acknowledged and promoted.
Finding Bliss first received its International Premiere at Udine’s Far East Film Festival in 2022, where it was discovered by the Odyssey’s organising committee.
Revealing the back story about selecting the opening film, Founder and Director of UK-China Film Collab, Dr Hiu Man Chan said: “I have been chasing Josie’s film for over a year since Udine in 2022 and it is our honour to include Finding Bliss as Odyssey’s opening film this year. It is perfect for the festival’s theme, and it also paints an important new direction for contemporary Hong Kong cinema.”
Odyssey 2023 takes place between 26th May and 30th June, showcases over 60 films online and offline from or about Greater China. There is also a sizable collection of Hong Kong films in this year’s programme as the “City of Honour”.
Odyssey is an annual film festival presented by NGO UK-China Film Collab. The opening reception and film screening is kindly sponsored by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in London.
ABOUT ODYSSEY 2023
Cinema is where people connect.
60+ films, masterclasses, discussion panels and exclusive Q&As. Odyssey is the biggest annual film festival in the UK, bridging curious audience with Greater China and overseas Chinese communities. The theme for 2023 is ‘Global Sustainability’.
Presented by UK-China Film Collab (UCFC)
Festival Date: 26 May – 30 June 2023
Format: Offline in Person and Online via Shift 72
Festival Website: odysseychinesecinema.uk