Annie Yip Floating Life (1996)
Annie Yip Floating Life (1996)
Floating Life (1996) Courtesy: Felix Media and NFSA Restores

ACMI presents

Floating Life + Q&A

Featuring Clara Law and Eddie L.C. Fong in conversation after the 16 Feb screening

Clara Law | Australia | 1996 | MA15+

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ACMI Member



Thu 16 Feb - Sun 26 Feb 2023

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A migrant Hong Kong family grapples with their new Australian home in Clara Law's groundbreaking, newly restored film.

…undeniably, heartbreakingly moving.

The Age

The Chans, a Chinese family in Hong Kong, migrate to the sunny yet stark Australian suburbs to join their adult daughter Bing (Annie Yip). With 7 years of living in Australia already under her belt, Bing is caught between the customs of her ageing parents and younger siblings, and the new, isolated life she has built for herself.

Deftly navigating humour and tenderness, and spanning multiple continents, vignettes and decades, Floating Life follows the Chans as they push and pull at each other while adapting to their new lives.

Curator's Note

Floating Life boasts many 'firsts': Australia's first submission in the 'Best Foreign Language' (now 'International') film category at the Academy Awards; the first example of Asian-Australian cinema; and the first film Law made in Australia after finding success in the Hong Kong film industry.

Law and partner/co-writer Eddie L.C. Fong drew from their own migratory experiences when developing the script, blending farcical moments of culture shock with poignant scenes of intergenerational tension. Lensed by cinematographer Dion Beebe, who expertly captures the harsh suburban sun, and featuring heartfelt performances, Floating Life has inspired a wave of Asian-Australian filmmakers since its release.

Floating Life won the Silver Leopard award at the 1996 Locarno Film Festival, and was nominated for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay at the Australian Film Institute Awards. In 2019, the film's cultural significance was recognised by the National Film and Sound Archive and digitally restored as part of NFSA Restores.

The Thur 16 Feb screening is followed by a Q&A with Director Clara Law and Writer Eddie L.C. Fong.

Format: DCP
Language: Cantonese, English and German with English subtitles
Source: NFSA Restores
Courtesy: Felix Media
Runtime: 97 min

NFSA Restores

Event duration

97 mins



Medium level sex scenes, Adult themes


Cinemas, Level 2
ACMI, Fed Square

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Clara Law on Floating Life

Director's notes

Floating Life describes most aptly for me the world of an immigrant. An immigrant is cut off from history, both from one’s personal history and the nation’s history...

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Clara Law headshot

Focus On Clara Law (Thu 16 – Sun 26 Feb 2023)

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