In 2005, the Hong Kong Arts Development Council (HKADC) initiated the Fresh Wave Short Film Competition, with an aim to promote local filmmaking, and to identify and nurture budding cinematic art talents in the territory. Fresh Wave has evolved into an international short film festival in 2010, so as to foster cultural exchanges and to broaden the horizons of local young filmmakers and audiences, as well as to promote local short films in the international level.
Fresh Wave has already come to its eighth edition in 2013. Over the past years, the number of entries for the local competition has been on the rise. The number of participating tertiary institutions has increased from the initial 8 universities at the beginning to 19 in 2012. This year, there are around 120 entries for the Open Divisions as well. Since the launch of International Short Film Festival in 2010, selected shorts will be screened during the festival and their directors will also be invited to visit Hong Kong and exchange with local young filmmakers. In 2012, the 10-day festival screened 46 local and international short films, and the average attendance rate is nearly 90%.
In the past few years, Fresh Wave has earned its reputation as one of the most celebrated events for local filmmakers. Some of the participating films even became sought-after items in overseas festivals and contests, including Paris Cinema Festival in France, Udine Far East Film Festival in Italy, Pan-Asia Film Festival in the UK and Five Flavours Film Festival in Poland.