Chinese Film Fest Studies Update

July 10th, 2014

An update from Chris Berry and Luke Robinson, organizers of the Chinese Film Fest Studies website:

In the past two months, news has emerged of details for the Qingdao
International Film Festival, slated to commence in 2017. Both the
Hollywood Reporter and Screen Daily reported on the organisational line-up
announced for the festival, which is the brainchild of the Dalian-based
Wanda Group. In addition, the 17th Shanghai International Film Festival
took place in June. This year, there was particular controversy
surrounding accusations that the festival “fixed” a press conference
around a sensitive local film whose star had recently been arresting for
soliciting. FilmBiz Asia has a report on this kerfuffle. Finally, Kiki Yu
Tianqi (University of Nottingham Ningbo) has just published a report on
last year’s Guangzhou International Documentary Film Festival in Studies
in Documentary Film, which we link to here.

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Sydney Film Festival Spotlights Variety of Chinese Cinema

May 19th, 2014

The 2014 Sydney Film Festival (June 4-15, 2014) includes a special showcase of Chinese cinema, curated by esteemed critic and programmer Shelly Kraicer. The program details are as follows:

China continues to be one of the most compulsively fascinating countries on the planet: it’s not an exaggeration to suggest that China’s future may very well be our future. Chinese movies lay out spellbinding ways to try to grasp that country’s complexities, its unfathomable beauty and its ongoing problems.

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Chinese Film Fest Studies website update

May 2nd, 2014

Chris Berry and Luke Robinson of the Chinese Film Festival studies website ( announce the following updates to the site:

NEWS: We have news here of the Washington DC Chinese Film Festival, due
to take place later this year in the USA. In addition, the 4th edition of
the Beijing International Film Festival is drawing to a close. There has
been general coverage in the trade press – we include here a link to an
article in The Hollywood Reporter on the festival film awards, along with
a gallery of photos – but Oliver Stone’s comments on politics and the
Chinese film industry were also widely discussed. A link to Screen Daily’s
report (behind paywall) on this incident is included.

GALLERIES: A small gallery of photos to accompany the report from our
second network meeting and accompanying one-day conference, both held at
Hong Kong University, have been added.

ARCHIVE: We include here a link to an interview in Chinese with Dr Lin
Wen-Chi of the Taipei Film Archive, organiser of the Golden Harvest
Awards, conducted by network member Ming-Yeh Rawnsley. Ming-Yeh is
researching the Golden Harvest Awards as part of her work with the network.

EVENTS: Finally, a written report on the second network workshop, and the
one-day conference that followed – both of which took place at Hong Kong
University on March 31st and April 1st, 2014 – is included under Events.
It’s accessible both as an html page and as a downloadable pdf.

Journal of Chinese Cinemas Call for Papers

May 1st, 2014

Journal of Chinese Cinemas is a major peer-reviewed academic publication
devoted to the study of Chinese film produced anywhere in the world. Now
into its eighth year of publication, it has found a new home with
Routledge from 2014. It is thus an opportune moment to invite new
submissions that reflect the current and future directions of scholarship
on Chinese cinemas. Recently published articles include topics ranging
from China’s distribution systems in the 1920s and 1930s and
representations of the Nanjing massacre to Hong Kong independent cinema
and kung fu comedies made in Malaysia. We also welcome proposals for
special issues on any topic, an example being a forthcoming issue on
Deleuze and Chinese cinema.
Manuscripts for consideration should be sent to Song Hwee Lim (Editor) at
shlim (at) or Julian Ward (Associate Editor) at
Julian.ward (at)

Authors must submit manuscripts electronically. Electronic submissions
should be sent as email attachments using a standard word-processing
program. Please check this webpage for instructions before submission:

Song Hwee LIM
Associate Professor
Department of Cultural and Religious Studies
Leung Kau Kui Building
The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Shatin, New Territories, Hong Kong

Interview with filmmaker Vivian Qu in Film Comment

April 15th, 2014
Trap Street (2013, Vivian Qu)

Trap Street (2013, Vivian Qu)

In Film Comment magazine, Xin Zhou interviews Vivian Qu, a longtime producer of Chinese independent films who recently debuted her first directorial effort, Trap Street. Excerpts:

Q. How did the story come about? It starts as a story about a man tracking
a woman, then slowly becomes a psychodrama.

A. What I wanted to portray in the first place was this feeling of
watching and being watched, which has obviously become one of the most significant characteristics of modern life. Since the 2008 Beijing Olympics, this feeling has been reinforced, distorted, and multiplied in many different ways. What propelled such a phenomenon? Can we even find out? The paradox is, today’s technology should enable us to discover truth, but it’s never been this difficult to tell the real from the unreal. I didn’t want my film to be a simple record of a particular event; I want it to be a synthesis of my thoughts and observations. Even if I cannot find the answer, at least I can raise the question: does 90 percent freedom amount to true freedom?

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Chinese Visual Festival in London Announces Lineup

April 14th, 2014
A Touch of Sin (2012, Jia Zhangke)

A Touch of Sin (2012, Jia Zhangke)

The London Chinese Visual Festival (CVF) is proud to announce its 2014 edition, which runs from May 7th – 18th at King’s College London, with events also being held at Riverside Studios in collaboration with DocHouse.

For 2014, the festival is thrilled to welcome two of the most important filmmakers in modern independent Chinese language cinema, Jia Zhangke and Pema Tseden. In addition to a preview of his latest work, the award winning A Touch of Sin at the BFI, Jia will also host a very special screening session at King’s of his rarely seen short films. Acclaimed Tibetan director Pema Tseden opens the festival with Old Dog, as well as screening his other works and taking part in panel discussion sessions on Tibetan Culture and filmmaking. CVF is also delighted to be collaborating with Newcastle University in holding a celebration of ten years of the China Independent Film Festival (CIFF), one of the most vital and enduring Chinese language film events. To help mark this remarkable anniversary, CVF will be hosting a special animation session, as well as welcoming CIFF’s Cao Kai and Zhang Xianmin for what promises to be a fascinating panel discussion.

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Filmmaking and Activism with Cui Zi’en in Chicago

April 10th, 2014
"Queer China, 'Comrade' China" (dir. Cui Zi'en)

“Queer China, ‘Comrade’ China” (dir. Cui Zi’en)

From the Center for East Asian Studies at the University of Chicago:

Documentary Filmmaking and/as Activism in East Asia

Please join us for three days of film screenings and discussion with three
of East Asia’s leading independent filmmakers at the University of Chicago.

Venue for all film screenings: Rm 157, Cochrane Woods Art Center, 5540 S.
Greenwood Ave.

Monday, April 14, 5:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Featured Visiting Director: Cui Zi’en

Novelist, scholar, and Beijing Film Academy professor Cui Zi’en is a
pioneering figure in China’s queer arts and social movement. A driving
force behind the Beijing Queer Film Festival, Cui has made numerous
fiction and documentary films on the subjects of sexual and gender
identity, migrant workers, and public space. In his experimental films,
literary works and political activism, Cui’s provocative portrayals of
queerness open up new possibilities of community and cultural pluralism
that challenge nationalism as the hegemonic discourse of identity in
contemporary China.

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100 Best Mainland Chinese Films Poll Spotlights dGenerate Titles

April 9th, 2014
"Oxhide II" (dir. Liu Jiayin)

“Oxhide II” (dir. Liu Jiayin)

The sister publications Time Out Beijing and Time Out Shanghai recently conducted an international poll of 88 Chinese filmmakers, scholars, professionals and other experts to compile a list of the 100 greatest films made in Mainland China. They have presented the results in generous fashion, with a multi-page, suspense-building countdown of the 100 films with brief introductions to each. The countdown begins here; the list can also be accessed in complete form here.

We at dGenerate were pleased to see that six titles in the dGenerate collection placed in the poll:  Oxhide (#27), Oxhide II (#63), Winter Vacation (#74), Disorder (#80), Karamay (#86), and Fortune Teller (#88). Congratulations to directors Liu Jiayin, Li HongqiHuang Weikai, Xu Xin and Xu Tong on making the list. We also congratulate directors Jia Zhangke and Ying Liang, who are also represented in the dGenerate collection, on making the list with their films (Jia alone had seven titles on the list).

Included among the 88 contributors to the poll are three members of dGenerate who submitted their top tens. Their names and ballots are listed below, and also on the Time Out website.

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Reel China at NYU Film Biennial This Weekend

April 9th, 2014

Screen-Shot-2014-03-31-at-11.26.26-AMReel China@NYU 7th Film Biennial
Friday, April 11 – Sunday, April 13

Reel China 2014 once again samples outstanding contemporary Chinese
independent documentaries, while also showcasing a few innovative
narrative and experimental films, using different kinds of media or
technology, by emerging filmmakers in China, Hong Kong, and the diaspora.
Several are award-winning films from the Beijing Independent Film Festival
(BIFF), our long-term collaborator in China.  Participating filmmakers
range from more experienced documentarians to young novices.  As their
disparate visions and voices extend and overlap, we witness the persistent
presence of independent cameras that assures the discovery and creative
engagement of disorienting contemporary social and psychic fragments
becoming history at breakneck speed.

Film descriptions follow after the break – full schedule and details can be found at the NYU Center for Religion and Media.

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Updates from Chinese Film Fest Studies

April 9th, 2014

Chinese film scholars Chris Berry and Luke Robinson, who manage the website Chinese Film Fest Studies, offer the following recent updates to the site:

NEWS: We have an item via Screen Daily that discusses the popularity of
the French Online Film Festival in China. Additionally, we have
information on the tenth anniversary celebrations of the Nanjing-based
China Independent Film Festival, which will be taking place in May in the
UK. As part of the celebrations, films from the festival will be being
screened in Newcastle, Nottingham and London, with directors Feng Yan and
Pema Tseden in attendance. There will also be a symposium and exhibition
at Newcastle, at which Zhang Xianmin (BFA) and Cao Kai (CIFF) will both
speak. Details about the events in Newcastle and Nottingham can be found
on the website, under News. Further news about the London events to follow.

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