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Hong Kong’s industrial club Acadana celebrate 7th anniversary with a visceral short film

'Acadana Dreaming' was produced by Phone Made Good Film and recently aired for a private viewing at the warehouse club

  • INTERVIEWER: Adrianna Cheung | WORDS: Arun Ramanathan | IMAGES: Mariuzs Bogacki
  • 20 October 2022

Founded by JayMe aka the ‘Disco Doctor’ — a gynaecologist by day and a strictly vinyl DJ by night — Acadana served as more than a dancefloor for hedonists; it was a home away from home in the industrial-turned-urban area of Fo Tan.

Despite struggles and upheavals over their seven years, with the last three years being most arduous, Acadana has managed to sustain a space and community that are connected by both kinship and viscerality. On the music tip, Hong Kong’s top stalwarts would frequent the almost-all-night weekend sessions, as well as international guests like Colleen ‘Cosmo’ Murphy, Paramida, Telephones, Marcel Vogel and Lemmy Ashton.

Watch the ‘Acadana Dreaming’ (7th Anniversary) Aftermovie filmed by Adrianna Cheung below.

The venue’s cerebral roots have always been anti-mainstream, and Rex and Daniel’s ode-in-film to the warehouse space assumes that ethos.

‘Acadana Dreaming’ is a 14-minute film that was aired as the debut to the club's seventh anniversary weekend. Produced by Daniel Chan, directed by Ren Xia (Rex) and funded by the club’s founder JayMe, the short film depicts a young guy and girl who supposedly meet in their dreams. Their encounter takes place at the club which is elusively portrayed as an hourly motel.

Featuring local DJs and promoters that understand such values and know the venue by heart, ‘Acadana Dreaming’ draws on Hong Kong’s vibrant yet clandestine clubbing community.

The short film features an eclectic range of music from band sound to techno to ambient. The theme song, Acid Rain, is by a local indie band Virgin Vacation. The band’s music has a psychedelic and dancey vibe which reignited Daniel’s passion for band sound after a long time pursuit of electronic dance music as a DJ.

Acadana Dreaming is essentially a revision of Rex’s unfinished idea that would have been titled after 90’s Cantopop icon Faye Wong’s ‘Sleepwalking’; it initially involved a motel worker and a customer in an hourly motel Rex’s unfinished archive before it was rehashed with Daniel who happens to be a resident DJ at Acadana. Inspired by Acadana’s unique space, Rex then started rewriting the story to fit into the venue’s idiosyncratic style; the film’s protagonists went from motel worker and customer to the club’s DJ and doorman, respectively. The reformed plot and scene resulted in ‘Acadana Dreaming’.

Phone Made Good Film, meaning “A Big Fat Arse” in Cantonese which also rhymes with their English title, is a video collective that shoots solely by phone.

Speaking to Mixmag Asia, producer Daniel Chan said, “Phone Made Good Film was born during the beginning of the pandemic. It was partly inspired by American indie maverick Roger Corman’s Quarantine Film Festival on Instagram back in 2020. I think our spirit is still the same when it comes to filmmaking - whether there’s a pandemic or not, it won’t stop us from filmmaking. We wanted to demonstrate our unstoppable creative urge and we can do it even just inside a tiny flat with the handiest deceive in our pocket. So Covid or no covid, it doesn’t matter.”

Like Phone Made Good Film, Acadana is also a rhyming combination of two words — acapella and sidanla, the latter meaning I don’t give a shit in Cantonese. “I think the name reflects our Cantonese cultural root while showing to a larger audience that we have an attitude - an attitude that we don’t give a shit about typical mainstream stuff,” Daniel continues.

Watch the ‘Acadana Dreaming’ (7th Anniversary) Aftermovie below.

Adrianna Cheung is Mixmag Asia’s Culture Curator, follow her on Instagram.

Arun Ramanathan is Mixmag Asia’s Director. Follow him on Instagram.

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