LA Times on the hardships of Chinese independent film festivals

Following the recent difficulties faced by the Beijing Independent Film Festival, Gabrielle Jaffe of the Los Angeles Times summarizes the BIFF’s latest run-in with local officials, while linking it to the setbacks of other Chinese independent film festivals:

Taking place in the national capital, in the shadow of central government offices, BIFF has been subject to more intense scrutiny than other independent cinema gatherings in China. But it is hardly the only such event that has had to cancel or move semi-underground. Independent festivals in Chongqing, Nanjing and Yunnan have all faced full or partial closures in the last year.

dGenerate’s Karin Chien is interviewed specifically regarding the troubles of the Chinese Independent Film Festival, which normally runs every fall:

Taking place in the national capital, in the shadow of central government offices, BIFF has been subject to more intense scrutiny than other independent cinema gatherings in China. But it is hardly the only such event that has had to cancel or move semi-underground. Independent festivals in casino Chongqing, Nanjing and Yunnan have all faced full or partial closures in the last year.

“CIFF has cooperated with local authorities, left the most politically sensitive films off the official program and even shown dragon-seal movies,” or films with the official government stamp of approval, said Karin Chien, president of Chinese independent film distributor dGenerate Films. “In the past, these concessions have allowed CIFF to continue to exist. But in the recent climate, CIFF has had to concede substantial components, like public forums and screenings, of their festival too.”

Read the full report.