Australia, 1996 (MIFF 2017, Pioneering Women)

Director: Clara Law


A Silver Leopard recipient at the 1996 Locarno International Film Festival, Hong Kong-raised, Australian-based director Clara Law crafts a pioneering exploration of Asian emigration.

Five years after moving to Melbourne, Law (Like A Dream, MIFF 2010; Letters to Ali, MIFF 2004) and her writer/producer husband Eddie Fong made the first feature focused on the contemporary Chinese experience in Australia.

In a fictional tale told by filmmakers keenly aware of the struggles of charting a different life down under, the Chan family arrives in Sydney with hope in their eyes. The year is 1997, and Hong Kong's handover is imminent; however, as they endeavour to leave their past behind for a fresh future, their new existence requires a significant period of adjustment.

Shot by Academy Award-winning cinematographer Dion Beebe, Floating Life's intimate and evocative look at clashing cultures, dreams and desires was nominated for three AFI Awards. Initially screening at MIFF in 1996, it made history as Australia's first-ever submission in the best foreign-language film category at the Academy Awards.

Director Clara Law will attend the session to introduce the film and take part in a post-screening Q&A.

See also...


... ... Culture clash and the effect of centuries of displacement are the themes at the heart of Clara Law and Eddie Fong's tenderly handled and often very funny saga of a Hong Kong Chinese family rel... More »


Letters to Ali Australia'Throughout the years as an immigrant living in Australia, I have reflected often on this new country. In the year 2001, I felt the country was heading in a very negative direc... More »


In his dreams, she appears as an otherworldly beauty. In reality, she 's a brassy country girl. Which version of this woman does he love? ... A Chinese man (played by Hong Kong superstar Daniel Wu) li... More »


Winner of the Gold Leopard (Grand Prix) at the last Locarno Film Festival, Autumn Moon is a striking departure from the archetypal Hong Kong feature — European critics have compared it to the early cl... More »


Winning the Australian Writers Guild's award for best original film, this clear-headed, warm-hearted romance offers a vibrant, Dogs in Space-esque slice of 1980s inner-city Australian life. ... After ... More »


Horror meets coming-of-age drama in Ann Turner’s critically lauded creation. ... Melbourne, 1957: with a rabbit plague in full swing and anti-communist paranoia at its peak, nine-year-old Celia (Rebec... More »

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