China Independent Film Fund Announces Grant Recipients

Announcement of the China Independent Film Funding Recipients at the Fanhall website

By Isabella Tianzi Cai

On November 30, the results of the inaugural grants for the China Independent Film Fund were announced on the Fanhall website. The grants went to two fiction films and two documentaries. Each fiction film was awarded 60,000 RMB (or 9,000 USD) and each documentary was awarded 20,000 RMB (or 3,000 USD). Additional help with translation, distribution, and film equipment is offered alongside with the monetary awards.

Below are the winners:

  • Fiction Film in Pre-production: Da Xue Cheng (College Town*) by Liu Jian
    • On an ordinary wintry day, a college freshman is sent to the school’s security office as a punishment after he has a dispute with his roommate. There, he starts an unexpected heart-to-heart conversation with a security officer.
  • Fiction Film in Post-production: Kong Shan Tie (Empty Iron Mountain*) by Gao Zipeng
    • Day by day, a village empties out its treasure, hidden deep in the iron mines of its mountains. People leave one by one, and the village is becoming a ghost town.
  • Documentary in Production: Bing Dong Qi – Wei Xing (Ice Age – Moon*) by Li Ning
    • This documentary is about the use of documentary and the search for spirituality. It is also about the cultural conflicts and reconciliations between the East and the West. Finally, it is also about sex, love, and death.
  • Documentary in Post-production: Kun4 Kao Cha Lao Lao Jia (Kun4: Investigating Grandma’s House*) by Wu Haohao
    • During a two-day excursion to Grandma’s house in Taiyuan, Shanxi, Wu Haohao filmed Grandma and her friends in idle chitchat. Many interesting topics emerged from their dialogue: Christianity, Buddhism, retirement home, love, death, extramarital relationship, faith, humanity, village life, etc. Wu used provocative questioning to get the old ladies thinking and talking.

Initiated by Beijing Film Academy professor Zhang Xianmin, the fund will be used to support Chinese independent cinema in areas of script development, production, distribution, as well as related academic research.

The criteria for application mandate that applicants have to be the directors of the films submitted, they need not be Chinese citizens but have to have lived in China or over a year, the films submitted can be in any production stage, but 50% or more of the content has to be in the Chinese language.

There were three jury members for the awards this year. They were Zhang Xianmin, independent director Huang Wenhai (his We [Wo men] received the Special Mention Prize at the 65th Venice Film Festival), and Chinese-Korean director Zhang Lu (his Grain in Ear won the ACID Award at Cannes in 2005).

*English titles are unconfirmed.

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