China Independent Film Festival Celebrates 10th Anniversary in UK

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 China Independent Film Festival, taking place every autumn in the city of Nanjing, has been an influential event for Chinese independent filmmakers. It is considered the most important film festival in China by professor Chris Berry. Founded in 2003, endorsed by the pioneering member of the Fourth Generation Xie Fei and the leading figures of the Sixth Generation Zhang Yuan and Lou Ye, the CIFF has nurtured a large number of talented filmmakers with its commitment to independent thinking and freedom of expression. It serves as the main domestic platform for showcasing debuts of Chinese new-emerging independent filmmakers who subsequently have been awarded at international stage such as the golden bear winner Diao Yinan and Dragons and Tigers Award winner Li Luo. In its first decade, the CIFF has screened and collected hundreds of outstanding independent films. The Tenth Anniversary of the China Independent Film Festival UK Celebration will present a selection of best films in the past ten years and bridge conversations between UK audience and two independent filmmakers from China, Pema Tseden and Feng Yan.

Old Dog
Monday 12 May 2014
16:00-17:30
Culture Lab: Space 4/5

Pema Tseden is recognized as the first Tibetan filmmaker with his three masterpieces The Silent Holy Stone (2004), The Search (2009) and Old Dog (2011). All his films revolve around his hometown Tibet and make deliberate contrast to the exoticizing fiction features that have been made by outsiders. He made his films with amateur Tibetan cast in Tibetan language. Pema Tseden is also the first one of Chinese nationality to do this. Our event will show his latest film Old Dog as the opening film. 

Bing’ Ai
Wednesday 14 May 2014
16:00-18:00
Culture Lab: Space 4/5

Master-class with female documentary filmmaker Feng Yan
Thursday 15 May 2014
10:00-12:00
Northern Stage Stage 3

Feng Yan, who holds a doctorate degree in economics from the university of Kyoto, is the most important female documentarian in China. Her documentary Bing’Ai (2007) was laureated with the Ogawa Shinesuke Award for promising directors at the tenth Yamagata International Film Festival in 2007. During her first visit to Three Gorges Dam, Feng, as an environmental economist, was impacted by the project out of her sensitivity and curiosity to the environmental change upon local people. Meanwhile, as a woman, she, in particular, attracted by the stories of local women who eventually become her subjects in Bing’Ai. Our event will screen this masterpiece and offer a master?class with Feng Yan.

Apart from a selection of CIFF awarded film screenings, we also offer the audience an exhibition, a workshop and two talks on Chinese independent cinema and film festival circuit.

Exhibition
13-15 May 2014
Northern Stage Stage 3

Exhibition Launch: A talk on the CIFF and Chinese independent cinema by Zhang Xianmin
Tuesday 13 May 2014
14:00-15:00

The archival exhibition, A Decade of the China Independent Film Festival, offers a detailed and evocative overview of the history of the China Independent Film Festival (CIFF), which takes place every autumn in the city of Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, China. Along with the retrospective screenings of CIFF awarded films and a workshop focusing on the formation of film festivals, this exhibition recounts the story of the emergence and development of the CIFF through a selection of archive materials including text, image, and video. At the same time, the exhibition is a window into the historical development of Chinese independent cinema more broadly over the past decade. President of the CIFF committee Zhang Xianmin will give a talk on the CIFF and Chinese independent cinema at the exhibition launch.

Workshop: Film Festival in Focus
Wednesday 14 May
13:00-15:50
Northern Stage Stage 3

The workshop, Film Festivals in Focus, aims to establish dialogue for the first time between film festival curators, filmmakers and researchers from both the UK and China. The workshop will bring together Cao Kai, Artistic Director of the China Independent Film Festival (CIFF), Zhang Xianmin, President of CIFF committee, and Chris Fujiwara, Artistic Director of the Edinburgh International Film Festival, to discuss the formation of their respective film festivals. Following their conversation, they will be joined by Prof. Chris Berry (King’s College London), Dr. Julian Stringer (University of Nottingham) and Dr. Luke Robinson (University of Sussex) for a round-table discussion and the audience will have the chance to pose questions to these esteemed practitioners and scholars.

Animation (family – friendly)
Tuesday 13 May 2014
Screening: 16:00-17:40

A Talk on Chinese animation by Cao Kai: 17:40- 18:30
Culture Lab: Space 4/5

The festival will present a collection of Chinese animated short films on May 13. Following the films, CIFF artistic director, Cao Kai, will give a talk on Chinese contemporary animated films, focusing on the animated films screened earlier in the day.