Archive for the ‘Chinese Cinema Events’ Category

Filmmaking and Activism with Cui Zi’en in Chicago

Thursday, 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.


Reel China at NYU Film Biennial This Weekend

Wednesday, 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.


China Independent Film Festival Celebrates 10th Anniversary in UK

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

6450755The 10th Anniversary of the China Independent Film Festival UK Celebration will take place between 12May 2014 and 15 May 2014 in Newcastle. It is organized by the China Independent Film Festival and the University of Newcastle in partnership with the University of Nottingham and the China Visual Festival. The celebratory event in Newcastle consists of retrospective screenings of CIFF awarded films, an exhibition – A Decade of the CIFF and a workshop – Film Festival in Focus. The four-day event in Newcastle will provide the audience a festival-like celebratory atmosphere and the most exciting gathering of Chinese independent documentaries, fictions and animations. Screenings will go on tour to Nottingham and London.


“The Errol Morris of China:” Article and Presentation on Hu Jie in Portland

Monday, February 24th, 2014
Hu Jie

Hu Jie

On February 28, Professor Jennifer Ruth of Portland State University will give a presentation on international acclaimed documentary film maker Hu Jie and his work. The presentation, titled  “On Thinking for Oneself in Mao’s China” will show clips from three of his films: Searching for Lin Zhao’s Soul; My Mother Wang Peiying; and Spark.

In the current issue of Propeller Magazine, Professor Ruth profiles Hu, whom she describes as “the Errol Morris or Claude Lanzmann of China.” She writes:

Hu Jie finds individuals who lived through situations that seem to defy representation and creates an atmosphere in which they can tell their stories—in some cases, for the first time. As his interviewees grow more expansive with the soft-spoken Hu, the audience watches them shed years of trauma. In startlingly intimate sequences, individuals reconcile themselves to the wronged lives they’ve lived, performing the excruciating but powerful psychological work of turning wounds and scars into cautionary tales and object lessons.

Writing about Hu’s film Searching for Lin Zhao’s Soul, Ruth reflects on the struggles of those such as Lin Zhao, a victim of persecution during the Cultural Revolution, and others who sought to think and speak independently during the Maoist era:

Lin Zhao’s steadfastness in the face of extreme pressure attracted Hu Jie to her story, but so did the simple fact of her ability to think clearly when so many others couldn’t. “This girl continued to think for herself when the rest of China stopped thinking,” he says at the beginning of Searching for Lin Zhao’s Soul. How does one retain one’s critical capacity when under enormous psychological and physical pressure to conform to ideology? How does one hold onto right and wrong when one can no longer freely test one’s impressions among others? Whereas Hannah Arendt explained how easy it is to stop thinking in Eichmann in Jerusalem, Hu Jie shows how hard it can be to continue to think in films like Searching for Lin Zhao’s SoulMy Mother Wang PeiyingEast Wind FarmThough I am Gone, and Spark.


Read the full article on Propeller.

Hu Jie’s films Searching for Lin Zhao’s Soul, Though I Am Gone and East Wind State Farm are available through the dGenerate Films Collection.

Event Details:

Friday, February 28, 2014 at 6:30-8:00 PM in SBA 490
(631 SW Harrison Street, Portland, OR 97201)
Presentation: “On Thinking for Oneself in Mao’s China”  by Dr. Jennifer Ruth, Professor of English at Portland State University Sponsored by the Confucius Institute of Portland State University


“Hu Jie on Thinking for Oneself in Mao’s China,” Portland, February 28

Monday, February 24th, 2014
Hu Jie

Hu Jie

The Confucius Institute at PSU Friday Event Series presents

a lecture:

Hu Jie on Thinking for Oneself in Mao’s China”

by Jennifer Ruth, Associate Professor of Literature at Portland State University.

Friday, February 28, 2014
6:30 PM 
Location:  PSU School of Business Administration Building, Lecture Hall 490
631 SW Harrison Street, Portland OR 97201

This talk will introduce the audience to acclaimed Chinese documentary filmmaker Hu Jie’s work and show clips from three of his films:

  • Searching for Lin Zhao’s Soul,
  • My Mother Wang Peiying,
  • and Spark.


New Chinese Documentaries Screen at MoMA Documentary Fortnight

Monday, February 17th, 2014

Mothers (dir. Xu Huijing)

Mothers (dir. Xu Huijing)

Documentary Fortnight, the Museum of Modern Art’s annual showcase of outstanding nonfiction works, this year includes two acclaimed features from China. ‘Til Madness Do Us Part is the newest magnum opus by acclaimed documentary filmmaker Wang Bing. Mothers is an award-winning look at the effects of China’s one-child policy on Chinese village life, produced by leading Chinese documentary production company Cnex. All screenings at the Museum of Modern Art. Details and screening dates listed below. Click on film titles for more information.

‘Til Madness Do Us Part
2013. Hong Kong/France/Japan. Directed by Wang Bing. In a bleak asylum in southwest China, 50 inmates who have committed crimes, are mentally ill, or simply don’t fit into society spend their lives locked on a single floor, negotiating sparse quarters, extreme isolation, and minimal food as best they can, in a world beyond societal norms. 228 min.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014, 6:30 p.m.

2013. China. Directed by Xu Huijing. The complex personal consequences of China’s one-child policy are unveiled through the experiences of women and families in one rural town. Local leaders coldly enforce national policies, without regard to individual circumstances, by methodically carrying out the long-standing government decree. 68 min.

screening with:

The Private Life of Fenfen

2013. USA. Directed by Leslie Tai. Born in a small Chinese village in 1983, Fenfen has kept a video diary since 2007. The film follows three years of her life through her video diary and viewers’ reactions to scenes from it as they are screened in a restaurant, a hair salon, and other public places. 29 min.

Monday, February 24, 2014, 8:00 p.m.

Thursday, February 27, 2014, 7:00 p.m.

The Animation of the Real: Liu Jian Northeast US Tour

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014
Piercing I (dir. Liu Jian)

Piercing I (dir. Liu Jian)

A series of events to showcase the work of seminal Chinese independent animation filmmaker Liu Jian is taking place during February 2014, with visits to Harvard University, Colgate University, College of Staten Island, and Spectacle Theater.

Animation is often conceived of as a surrealist and fantastical mode of filmmaking. In Piercing I (Citong wo, 2010), Liu Jian presents us with an alternative style. Liu’s film is a raw, social realism through animation that confronts the accelerating speed of Chinese society, and represents the lives of migrating souls as they navigate China’s radical social and economic transformations. Piercing I is a strikingly real and contemporary take on the urban landscapes of this fast-developing nation. The film looks into the struggles of rural migrants as they inhabit new urban realms, and touches upon issues of mobility, corruption and social inequalities. The current social and political stances of the establishment in China cannot tolerate a film with these topics, and indeed Piercing I was not granted official approval for commercial release.

Updates on Chinese Film Festival Studies: Festival Reports and Conference

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

Our friends at the Chinese Film Festival Studies Research Network website  announce that April 1, 2014, the University of Hong Kong and the Chinese Film Festival Studies Network will host a one-day conference on Chinese film festivals. This is open to non-network members, and we invite proposals for papers to be presented. Details can be found on the News section of the website.

Additionally the website has two new festival reports from members of the Chinese Film Festival Studies network:

Dina Iordanova (St Andrews) reviews the Festival du Cinema Chinois in Paris, which took place in November 2013.

Ma Ran (Nagoya) reports from the 4th Chinese Independent Film Festival in Tokyo, which took place in December 2013. Excerpt:

The festival itself is motivated by the desire to establish Sino-Japan connections at a grassroots level, where communication is greatly valued and prioritized. Hence throughout the years, CIFFT has alternated routine Q&A sessions with Chinese independent cinema-themed discussion roundtables or events of similar nature in its programme (sometimes collaborating with universities), where Japanese film professionals (independent filmmakers, translators, scholars and festival programmers) and Chinese filmmakers can honestly dialogue and exchange ideas with each other.

Visit the Chinese Film Festival Studies Research Network.


Film Series: New York’s Chinatown on Screen

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014


January 24 – January 26, 2014

Whether you see Chinatown as a place or a state of mind, a purgatory or an
oasis, a shrinking immigrant community or an expanding business district,
its presence in our cinematic imagination is enormous. Situated north of
NYC’s Wall Street, east of the Tombs, west of the old Jewish Ghetto, and
mostly south of Canal, the neighborhood that began in the mid-19th century
has maintained its distinct character – savory, hardscrabble, succulent,
and cacophonous.


Event: “The Golden Age” of Chinese independent film at Union Docs

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013
Image from "I Have What? Chinese Peasants War: Rhetoric to Justice" (dir. Mao Chenyu)

Image from “I Have What? Chinese Peasants War: Rhetoric to Justice” (dir. Mao Chenyu)

Monday, November 25, 2013 at 7:30pm, $9 suggested donation

With filmmakers Yi Sicheng, Cong Feng, and Mao Chenyu in attendance for a discussion with curators and presenters Zhou Xin and Benny Shaffer.
322 Union Ave. Williamsburg
Brooklyn, NY 11211
Last year, film festival organizers and filmmakers in China witnessed widespread strategic interventions when governmental authorities clamped down on independent film festivals in the cities of Kunming, Beijing, Nanjing and Hangzhou. Numerous festivals were cancelled and forced to go underground. The power was pulled by local authorities at the opening ceremony of the 2012 Beijing Independent Film Festival (BIFF), and this past August, when BIFF faced similar obstacles, a journalist in Beijing wrote of the death of indie cinema in China, though this claim was soon overturned by film festival organizers, who argue that the independent film festival will survive, even if forced to reinvent itself.