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CameraWomen: Films by Women Cinematographers

Venue: Louis Koo Cinema, Hong Kong Arts Centre 
Date: 2023.06.14 - 2023.09.23
Price: Standard HKD 85. Concession HKD 68. Package HKD 630. 

“Cinematography speaks to everything that women do inherently well:

It's multitasking, it's empathy, and it's channeling visuals into human emotion.”

– Rachel Morrison, 

first woman nominated for Best Cinematography at the Oscars in 2018


Women have held vital positions in filmmaking since the beginning of its history. Based on our current knowledge, the first credited female director of photography (DP) is Italian Rosina Cianelli in 1915, but there are earlier examples in US magazines. Cinematography is traditionally a male profession. It is a technical and physical job, involving endurance and heavy lifting, which have not been thought of as something that women were good at. But as time goes by, many women have broken the stereotype, and secured their place in this line of work by making films across genres. Today, women cinematographers are still a minority, and widespread recognition of their contribution is still overdue. To appreciate their efforts, the Hong Kong Arts Centre presents this programme with our partners to introduce their work, accompanied by after-screening talks with them or their directors.

There have also been more women taking up creative roles in Hong Kong filmmaking. We hope this programme can encourage women to join the profession, and our audiences can learn more about the challenges, skills and mindsets that women and men in the profession have – for all to bask in the vast world of film creation and appreciation.

Guests that will be attending virtual after-screening talks include director Emmanuelle Nicot (Love According to Dalva); directors Mary Jimenez and Bénédicte Liénard, and cinematographer Virginie Surdej (By the Name of Tania); cinematographer Gabriela Betschart (Our Child and #Female Pleasure); Christine A. Maier (Quo Vadis, Aida?).

More guests to attend virtually or physically to be announced in due course.

Tickets and ticket package are now available on POPTICKET.hk.

【Buy tickets for a free t-shirt!】
For a purchase of 4 or more film tickets for the CameraWomen programme, or a ticket package of 9 films, you can receive a free t-shirt! Eligible audience members will receive the prize redemption email with detailed procedures. (Please click here.)


Programme Schedule

Love According to Dalva
13 Minutes
By the Name of Tania
All About Me
Our Child
#Female Pleasure
Quo Vadis, Aida?
A Dramatic Film
Portrait of a Lady on Fire

*With After-Screening Talk  |   **With more talks to be announced later


Featured cinematographers include Claire Mathon (France), Christine A. Maier (Austria),  Judith Kaufmann (Germany), Virginie Surdej (Belgium), Caroline Guimbal (Belgium), Gabriela Betschart (Switzerland). For their profiles, please click HERE


Programme Details



Opening Film

Love According to Dalva


14/6/2023 (Wed) | 7:45pm

*Emmanuelle Nicot (Director) will attend virtual after-screening talk.
Moderator: Lillian Liu - PhD student in Transcultural Studies at the Institute of Transtextual and Transcultural Studies (IETT), France (profile: please click here)


Unlike father. Like daughter.


Director: Emmanuelle Nicot

Cinematographer: Caroline Guimbal

Cast:  Zelda Samson, Alexis Manenti, Fanta Guirassy

Belgium, France | 2022 | 83’ | In French with English subtitles | DCP | Colour



IFFR Audience Award, Rotterdam International Film Festival 2023

Best Director, Actress, Cairo International Film Festival 2022

FIPRESCI Prize, Cannes Film Festival 2022

Best Director - International (Young Cinema - World), Hong Kong International Film Festival 2022



Best Film, Stockholm Film Festival 2022

Best Feature Film, Valladolid International Film Festival 2022


Cannes Film Festival 2022

Busan International Film Festival 2022


After her mother has left, 12-year-old Dalva thinks she has been in a true love affair with her father - that no one else can understand except herself. Until one day, when the police take her father away, and place her in a home for abused children, she slowly realises that their relationship is incestuous. This delicate and intense film on a victim of grooming and rape who takes the side of her abuser has won the first-time feature director, Emmanuelle Nicot, multiple high profile awards. First-time actress, Zelda Samson, also gives an arresting performance.

The film’s cinematographer, Caroline Guimbal, on how she shot the work, “It wasn’t all about image. It was more important for the image to be close to what Dalva feels, a really sensitive image and discover the reality through her prism.”




13 Minutes



30/6/2023 (Fri) | 7:45pm*
Speaker: Ruby Yang - an Academy Award winner for the Documentary Short Subject, The Blood of Yingzhou District (2006) (profile: please click here)


Down with tyrants


Director: Oliver Hirschbiegel

Cinematographer: Judith Kaufmann       

Cast: Christian Friedel, Katharina Schüttler, Burghart Klaußner

Germany, Italy | 2015 | 114’ | In German with Chinese and English subtitles | DCP | Colour



Best Production, Bavarian Film Awards 2015

Best Director Feature Film, German Directors Award Metropolis 2015



Best Actor, Seattle International Film Festival 2016

Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Editing, Best Cinematographer, Best Production Design, Best Costume Design, Best Make-up, German Film Awards 2015

Best European Actor, European Film Awards 2015



Edinburgh International Film Festival 2015


Georg Elser was a man who could have changed world history and saved millions of human lives. If only he had had 13 more minutes. With 13 more minutes, the bomb he had personally assembled would have torn apart Adolf Hitler and his henchmen. But this was not to be, and on 8 November 1939, Hitler left the scene of the attempted assassination earlier than expected – leaving Elser to fail catastrophically. Who was this man who recognised the danger emanating from Hitler sooner than many others, who took action when everybody else, including the German generals, meekly followed orders or kept silent?

According to the film’s co-producer, Boris Ausserer, on this first collaboration between the director, Oliver Hirschbiegel, and the cinematographer, Judith Kaufmann, he described, “Both were very curious about each other… And after about a week, they hardly exchanged a word any more. Not because they couldn't stand each other, but because they understood each other almost blindly.”




By the Name of Tania


1/7/2023 (Sat) | 7:30pm

* Mary Jimenez (Director), Bénédicte Liénard (Director) and Virginie Surdej (Cinematographer) will attend virtual after-screening talk.
Moderator: Lillian Liu - PhD student in Transcultural Studies at the Institute of Transtextual and Transcultural Studies (IETT), France (profile: please click here)


Pain knows no time


Director: Mary Jimenez, Bénédicte Liénard

Cinematographer: Virginie Surdej

Cast:  Tanit Lidia Coquiche Cenepo, Fiorella del Aguila, Ismael Vasquez Colchado

Belgium, Netherlands, Peru | 2019 | 85’ | In Spanish with English subtitles | DCP | Colour



Special Jury Prize and Best Cinematography, Namur International Festival of French-Speaking Film 2019

Best International Feature, Raindance Film Festival 2019



Glashütte Original Documentary Award, Berlin International Film Festival 2019

Best Documentary, Magritte Awards, Belgium 2020



Göteborg Film Festival 2020

Berlin International Film Festival 2019


This hybrid film tells the story of an Indian-Peruvian teenage girl who has fallen into the hands of a trafficker, and is forced into prostitution in goldmines. Her name is Tania, but it is not her real name. Her story is written based on real testimonies and stories from many nameless girls like her, with their initially hopeful attempt to escape the stifling limitations of village life going wrong. Step by step, these girls are robbed of their moral and physical integrity. It reveals the various facets of the perversity that feeds a system of exploitation and the suffering it brings about.

On their work with cinematographer Virginie Surdej, co-directors Mary Jimenez and Bénédicte Liénard cited that their “communal creation” with Surdej has provided them with “something of a new language.”




All About Me

(Der Junge muss an die frische Luft)


29/7/2023 (Sat) | 7:30pm


Life lives on comedy and tragedy


Director: Caroline Link

Cinematographer: Judith Kaufmann       

Cast:  Julius Weckauf, Luise Heyer, Sönke Möhring

Germany | 2017 | 100’ | In German with English subtitles | DCP | Colour



Outstanding Feature Film & Best Actress, German Film Awards 2019

Best Direction, Bavarian Film Awards 2019

Best Actor, Seattle International Film Festival 2019



Best Direction, Screenplay and Cinematography, German Film Awards 2019

Best Film, Bavarian Film Awards 2020



Hof International Film Festival 2021

Berlin International Film Festival 2019


By Oscar-winning director, Caroline Link, All About Me is one of Germany’s biggest commercial successes and a critic’s darling. It is based on the memoirs of a beloved German comedian, Hape Kerkeling.

Nine-year-old Hans-Peter might not be the most popular guy, but has the talent for making others laugh. However, dark shadows soon loom over the boy’s everyday life as his once cheerful mum becomes more and more depressed after an operation. His family’s love and care make it possible for him to survive the ensuing emotional turmoil, and use his comedic talents to heal his own wounds while also making people laugh.

The director has interweaved tragedy and humour in perfect balance. It is a film that has made its audiences laugh one minute and cry the next.

Like Kerkeling’s childhood that set him off to become a comedian, this film’s cinematographer, Judith Kaufmann, also decided to become a cinematographer when she was young. As she recalled, “At the age of 16, I went to a jazz concert at the Philharmonic. And standing there, behind a huge EB camera, I saw a small, delicate-looking woman. And that impressed me so much, I couldn’t get this image out of my mind. I decided then and there: I want to be a camerawoman.”




Our Child



5/8/2023 (Sat) | 4:00pm

A new era of making babies


Director: Marina Belobrovaja

Cinematographer: Gabriela Betschart, Kaleo La Belle, Marina Belobrovaja, Sergei Freedman

Switzerland | 2021 | 82’ | In German with English subtitles | DCP | Colour



New Voices in Documentary Cinema, Astra Film Festival Award 2021



Solothurn Film Festival 2022

Visions du Réel 2021

Munich International Documentary Festival 2021


Compelled by the need to have a child, the director, Marina Belobrovaja, seeks out a sperm donor and has given birth to a daughter. This film follows her own life with her child and family back in Israel to probe the traditional concepts of nuclear family and parenthood. It also consists of encounters with sperm donors and other parents. Their dialogues are intelligent and emotional, resolute and sensitive. The authenticity of life unfolds beyond the normative structure of society. The more the story of Our Child develops, the more complex it becomes.

As Belobrovaja is also the protagonist, its cinematographer, Gabriela Betschart, played an important role in determining how scenes were laid out as she filmed the director, “Since the director herself is part of the story, it was important for me to recognise the authenticity of the moment in each case when she didn’t function as a director.”




#Female Pleasure


5/8/2023 (Sat) | 7:30pm

*Gabriela Betschart (Cinematographer) will attend virtual after-screening talk.


Women power changes destiny


Director: Barbara Miller

Cinematographer: Jiro Akiba, Gabriela Betschart, Anne Misselwitz            

Cast:  Deborah Feldman, Leyla Hussein, Rokudenashiko

Switzerland, Germany | 2018 | 101’ | In English, German and Japanese with English subtitles | DCP | Colour



Best Documentary, Victoria Film Festival, Canada 2020

Best Documentary, Romy Gala, Austria 2019

Premio Zonta Club Award, Locarno International Film Festival 2018



Best Documentary, Editing, Swiss Film Award 2019



Seattle International Film Festival 2019

Amsterdam International Documentary Film Festival 2018


As we live in an inherited world of archaic patriarchal communities, many enlightened, innovative and courageous women break their silence to create new ways of life. In this revealing documentary, five women that have been oppressed by sociocultural prejudice and religious dogmas fight back – for sexual liberation, as well as intellectual and emotional autonomy. They are originally from Japan, India, Somalia, Germany and the US. Their victory has come at a high price: they have experienced public defamation, threats and prosecutions. Their fight still goes on with optimism – not only for themselves, but also for the pleasure and peace of new generations of women.

Cinematographer, Gabriela Betschart, recalled her shooting of the film, “The different stories and women touched me deeply. With the smallest crew (director and me), we tried to give a visual face to these stories and emotions.”




Quo Vadis, Aida?


6/8/2023 (Sun) | 7:30pm

* Christine A. Maier (Cinematographer) will attend virtual after-screening talk.


Moral choices on the brink of disaster


Director: Jasmila Žbanić

Cinematographer: Christine A. Maier

Cast:  Jasna Đuričić, Izudin Bajrović, Boris Ler

Bosnia and Herzegovina, Austria, Romania, Netherlands, Germany, Poland, France, Norway, Turkey | 2020 | 103’ | In English, Dutch, Bosnian with English subtitles | DCP | Colour



Best Film, Director, Actress, European Film Awards 2022

Best Film, Director, Screenplay, Editing, Polish Film Awards 2022

Best International Film, Independent Spirit Awards 2021

Best Cinematography, Austrian Film Award 2021

SIGNIS Award and UNIMED Award, Venice Film Festival 2020



Best Actress, Polish Film Awards 2022

Best International Feature Film, Academy Awards, USA 2021

Best Director, BAFTA Awards 2021



International Film Festival Rotterdam 2021

Toronto International Film Festival 2020


In 1995, over 8,000 residents of the east Bosnian town of Srebrenica were systematically executed by the Serbian force at the end of the Bosnian War. This film tells of the story of Aida, a translator for the United Nations in the small town. As the Serbian army overruns the area, her family is among the 30,000 other refugees looking for shelter in the UN camp to escape death. As an insider to the negotiations, Aida has access to crucial information that she needs to interpret. Will she be able to save her family and people?

The film’s director, Jasmila Žbanić, shared her goal with the cinematographer, Christine A. Maier, “Our main thing was to be on the level of Aida and of human beings. We both believe that war is the banality of evil. There is nothing spectacular or erotic in it, and we wanted to show that in every scene… We also wanted to show people’s faces. We were choosing the extras in the film very carefully because war is in the people, not in bombs and shells and whatever else. Plus, we thought, we will not give the spectacle of violence.”



Dramatic film 

A Dramatic Film

(Un Film Dramatique)


22/9/2023 (Fri) | 7:45pm


I film my own life


Director: Éric Baudelaire

Cinematographers: Claire Mathon, Raphaël Vandenbussche

Cast:  David Pop, Anida Ait Abdesselam, Fatimata Sarr

France | 2019 | 114’ | In French and Romanian with English subtitles | DCP | Colour



Grand Prize, International Documentary Film Festival of Navarra Punto de Vista 2020



International Film Festival Rotterdam 2020

Locarno International Film Festival 2019

New York Film Festival 2019


Filmed over four years, this is a powerful collective work by its director, Éric Baudelaire, and 21 middle school students in a culturally diverse Parisian suburb. These youngsters explore the drama of their daily lives by experimenting with cameras, and also discuss politics, racism, philosophy and other matters. With Baudelaire’s help, they go deeper. Instead of complaining about “fake news” or the unreliability of the dominant media, they delve into how information is given form and perceived through filmmaking. As described by film writer, Andréa Picard, this film is “about friendship, emancipation, trust, and the act of filmmaking for a generation raised by selfies and YouTube.” This documentary reminds us of how much we can learn from the way teenagers see the world.




Portrait of a Lady on Fire

(Portrait de la jeune fille en feu)


23/9/2023 (Sat) | 7:30pm


Set my heart on fire


Director: Céline Sciamma

Cinematographer: Claire Mathon

Cast:  Adèle Haenel, Noémie Merlant, Valeria Golino

France | 2019 | 121’ | In French and Italian with Chinese and English subtitles | DCP | Colour



Best Cinematography, César Awards 2020

Best Screenplay, Cannes Film Festival 2019



Best Director, Screenplay, Actress, European Film Awards 2019



Toronto International Film Festival 2019

San Sebastián International Film Festival 2019


Set in 18th century France, Marianne, a young painter, is commissioned to paint a wedding portrait of a young noblewoman and reluctant bride to be, Héloïse. Knowing that Héloïse has just come out of a convent and has previously refused to sit for portraits, Marianne disguises herself as the lady’s companion by day in order to paint her portrait from memory by night. Intimacy and attraction grow between the two women. They ignite in each other feelings that are passionate yet forbidden. This is a film that is based entirely on the female gaze: a gaze of artistic appropriation, of inquisition, and of unstoppable desires.

Claire Mathon, the cinematographer, on shooting the film, “There’s also a connection to beauty. Just wanting these women to be very beautiful. It harks back to skin tones from another era. It also makes me think of paintings. Among the paintings we saw, many were from the 18th century, but we were also inspired by other works.”




Presented by: Hong Kong Arts Centre

Co-Presented by: Alliance Francaise Hong Kong, Austrian Consulate General in Hongkong and Macao, Consulate General of Belgium in Hong Kong, Goethe-Institut Hongkong, Swiss Films, Wallonie-Bruxelles Images, Wallonie-Bruxelles International

Special Thanks: ARRI Hong Kong Limited, Association Concerning Sexual Violence Against Women, Women In Work

Media Partners: Film Pilgrimage, P-articles Literature, Todayscreening

Tickets and ticket package are now available on POPTICKET.hk.

For a purchase of 4 or more film tickets for the CameraWomen programme, or a ticket package of 9 films, you can receive a free t-shirt! Eligible audience members will receive the prize redemption email with detailed procedures. (Please click here.) 

Ticket Information
Standard: HKD 85
Concessions*: HKD 68

Ticket package (one ticket each for all of the 9 European films) - 30% off discount: $630 (service charge included)

*20% off discount for full-time students, senior citizens aged 60 or above, people with disabilities and the minder and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) recipients. Tickets for CSSA recipients available on a first-come-first-served basis. Concessionary ticket holders must produce evidence of their identity or age upon admission.

*20% discount to HKAC members, bcinephile members, Hong Kong Arts Administrators Association (HKAAA) members, Women In Work members. Ticket holders must present a valid membership card upon admission.

*20% discount for each purchase of 4 or more standard tickets.

*Group booking offer for each purchase of 20 or more tickets. Please click here: Group booking

*Only one discount offer could be applied to each ticket purchase.

For admission, audience must present the QR code (either in electric or printed version) shown on the popticket.hk e-ticket at the venue.
Ticketing enquiry: ask@popticket.hk (Office hour: Mon-Fri 10am-7pm)

Programmes are subject to change without prior notice.
No smoking, eating and drinking. Unauthorised photo-taking, audio and/or video recording is strictly forbidden.
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