Posts Tagged ‘dgenerate films’

New Contact Information for dGenerate Films

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

Following the announcement of dGenerate’s new partnership with Icarus Films, here is dGenerate’s new office and contact information:

dGenerate Films
c/o Icarus Films
32 Court Street, 21st Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Tel 1.718.488.8900
Fax 1.718.488.8642

As always, you can keep track of the latest dGenerate news by following our Facebook page, Twitter feed and our website.

dGenerate President Karin Chien Profiled in The Beijinger

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011
By Isabella Tianzi Cai

dGenerate Films President and Founder Karin Chien

Dan Edwards of The Beijinger profiles dGenerate Films’ President Karin Chien. The purpose of the company, as Edwards quotes Karin, was “to bring Chinese perspectives on the People’s Republic to US audiences.” There is a need for this due to language and cultural barriers between China and America. Most available films and television programs about China in the US and elsewhere tend to represent “an outsider’s view of China tailored to a western audience.” They are very different from the perspectives offered by native Chinese filmmakers.

Established in 2008, dGenerate took on a niche market of Chinese film distribution even as an economic downturn that year caused ten major US distributors to shut down. In order to distribute independent Chinese films in the US, there are problems to be overcome by the company. Karin comments on the patterns exhibited by the current reception of Chinese independent films in the US. So far, “dGenerate has found that films based on strong characters appeal most to US audiences, while film festival pedigree makes the films much easier to sell.” Moreover, as Edwards quotes Karin,

Newsletter – June 2010

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

dGenerate Films Newsletter: June 2010

In celebration of the summer and the end of the school year, we are offering a sale though the end of June — 15% off any dGenerate title ordered before June 30! We hope that you will consider rounding out your DVD libraries with dGenerate titles and support the invaluable work that our filmmakers are doing to created uncensored perspectives on contemporary Chinese society. Contact us to order and mention the discount, you’ve got a week!

Now is also the time to start thinking about your Fall film series’ and bringing one of our indie Chinese films to your venue. With enough time and planning, our filmmakers are also available to come out and visit as well.

And for those of you home viewers, most of our films are available online for viewing through Amazon and Indieflix for $5 a film. Visit the respective page for each film on our catalog page and you’ll find links to view them.

As always, contact as any time, for any reason. Visit our latest film catalog here. Thanks for your support!


Ariella Tai

Manager, Operations & Sales
(646) 360-0343 /
Twitter: @dgeneratefilms



  • Currently making its way around the festival circuit and available for exhibition screenings is Venice Film Festival Best Documentary 1428. A powerful look at the reality facing survivors of the Sichuan earthquake in 2008, Du Haibin’s film recently was picked as “Best of the Los Angeles Film Festival” by LA Weekly critic Karina Longworth.
  • Film scholar and Cal Arts professor Bernice Reynaud recently reviewed 1428 in Senses of Cinema, along with Oxhide and Queer China, ‘Comrade China’, amongst other contemporary Chinese films
  • CNN also took a behind-the-scenes look at 1428


  • The latest issue of Time Out Shanghai highlights “The Seven Hottest Directors in China”: Ying Liang, Yang Heng, Zhao Liang, Liu Jiayin, Zhao Dayong, Zhao Ye, and Wei Tie. The feature interviews all seven of the directors, as well as dGenerate President Karin Chien. dGenerate proudly offers titles from five of the seven directors named in the article as “directors to watch.” You can download the full article at the dGenerate website.


  • We are excited for the recent addition of Huang Weikai’s Disorder to our catalog, as well as Liu Jiayin’s long-awaited sequel to Oxhide, Oxhide 2. Please contact if you are interested in bringing these films to your city or university!


  • The best way to keep tabs on all the up-to-the-minute happenings in the underground Chinese film world is by following us on Twitter, Facebook, and through our blog’s RSS feed. Stay in touch!

Ghost Town: a New Chapter for Chinese Cinema at the New York Film Festival

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009
Ghost Town (photo courtesy of Fanhall Films)

Ghost Town (photo courtesy of Fanhall Films)

Marking a breakthrough for the Chinese digital filmmaking community, director Zhao Dayong’s Ghost Town (Fei Cheng, 2008) was selected for the 47th New York Film Festival (September 25 – October 11), as the only Chinese entry in the lineup. This low-budget documentary shot on HD has never been shown in any major festival outside China; as of this article it has yet to even appear on IMDb and All Movie Guide. Yet it joins a prestigious NYFF lineup that features new works by renowned directors such as Alain Resnais, Pedro Almodovar, Jacques Rivette, and Lars von Trier. Its inclusion in the NYFF represents a first in the festival’s program: a nod to China’s digital generation of documentary filmmakers.

According to the website of Fanhall Films, a multi-faceted indie film support organization based in Beijing, the three-hour documentary is not about phantoms, but the Lisu and Nu minority villagers in the abandoned halls of a remote former communist county seat in the southwestern province of Yunnan, China. Consisting of three chapters, “Voices,” “Recollections,” and “Innocence,” the film observes and records the mode of existence of the nameless and the forgotten, offering extraordinary insights into such topics as religious faith, relationships, juvenile deviants, generational differences, and lost history.

Dennis Lim, a member of this year’s NYFF jury and a major voice in promoting Chinese independent cinema, shared his reasons for selecting the film with dGenerate Films’ Kevin Lee: “Ghost Town is one of the most surprising and rewarding films I’ve seen all year, one of the most important films to have emerged from the booming (but still underexplored) field of Chinese independent documentaries.” Fellow jury member Scott Foundas also considered the film an exciting discovery, exclaiming: “I didn’t think there was another Jia Zhangke or Wang Bing lurking out there, but it turns out there is!”


The Birth Story of dGenerate Films, Part 3

Monday, July 27th, 2009

dGenerate Films head honcho Karin Chien reminisces on the how this company came to be. Read parts 1 and 2 of this three part series.

My first trip to Beijing was a startling revelation. The city seemed to me a mix of Las Vegas and Eastern European Communist aesthetics. The smog, traffic, and sprawl of Beijing were mind-boggling (and I’m an LA native). The underground, independent film community, though, was small and, as I soon found out, very inviting. A few introductions from colleagues in the States got me meetings with key influencers, including professor/producer/actor Zhang Xianmin, critic/curator/filmmaker Zhang Yaxuan, and programmer/critic Shelly Kraicer. I knew I found the beating heart of the community when I walked into an Communist Bloc-era apartment, in the middle of a Friday night, saw leading filmmaker Wang Bing chain-smoking in the corner, and sat down for a serious discussion about the politics of world cinema.

That first trip solidified for me the importance of distributing these films to an American audience. Not only could we return revenue to filmmakers, so they could keep making films, but we had an opportunity to open a window onto contemporary China. There is no easy access in the States to contemporary media made about China, from within China, by Chinese filmmakers. The opportunity and need were, and still is, clearly present.

When I returned to the States, we quickly got to work on watching films and pulling the company together, which took a good year of hard work, including a second visit to China in Fall 2008 (see Digital Underground in the People’s Republic). But to this day, I remain eternally grateful to the filmmakers, professors, programmers and critics who welcomed me with open arms on that first trip to Beijing. Without their faith in our work, and the trust of the filmmakers, we wouldn’t be granted the access that truly sets dGenerate apart.

The Birth Story of dGenerate Films, Part 2

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

Read Part 1 here

So after a fateful NYU booking and Sundance shuttle ride, I now had the beginnings of a foundation to make the idea of distributing independent Chinese films a reality. For six months, I worked on the idea from afar, that is from my office in Chinatown. I tried email, Skype, and phone calls, but the time and cultural differences between U.S. and China were too great to surmount through digital communication alone. I had hit a roadblock.

At the same time, friends and colleagues began to express interest in collaborating on this venture. By the Fall, Philip Lam, now on our board of directors, and Brent Hall, our COO, expressed their faith in the venture, and made a commitment to building a company together. Their support was what I needed to push the idea into reality.

Having realized that nothing beats face-to-face contact, I booked a three week trip to Beijing to see the underground film community for myself. With nothing more than a handful of contacts and a Powerpoint presentation, I arrived in Beijing for my first time in January’s below-freezing temperatures.

I was ready to start meeting China’s underground directors … now I just had to find them.

Come back soon for Part 3 of “The Birth of dGenerate Films” by dGenerate President Karin Chien

The dGenerate Films Birth Story

Monday, June 8th, 2009

We’re thrilled at dGenerate Films to be launching our first slate of films. In honor of the occasion, I was recently thinking about the journey we undertook to get here.

The idea for the company was inspired by one of our films, San Yuan Li, by Ou Ning and Cao Fei. By a chance encounter, I indirectly helped Andrew Gluckman, now a good friend, book a screening of San Yuan Li at New York University in December 2007. At the time, I had no inkling of what was to happen. Nor did I know anything about the film. But when I saw San Yuan Li, I was blown away by the artistry and production methodology of the film. After the screening, Ou Ning told me many films in China were being made underground, meaning without censorship and without any chance at domestic distribution.

I knew there was an audience here for these films – given the immense interest in China, and a general lack of access to media made from within China, it seemed like an obvious one-two connection. Problem was, I was and still am an independent film producer, a consuming profession. I self-distributed films I produced, but the thought of tunneling a new route to bring underground Chinese films to the U.S. was daunting.

So I mulled over the idea, and a month later, it came out in an idle chat between myself and Brian Newman, Tribeca Film Institute’s Executive Director, as we were riding the free Sundance Film Festival shuttle bus. Brian said he was developing a new platform called Reframe designed specifically to distribute independent films to the academic market. He promised to accept all the films I brought back China. Reframe would take care of the physical manufacturing and order fulfillment. Brian’s offer suddenly made the idea much less daunting. I got back on the phone with Ou Ning, who immediately sent me forty films to watch.

The content was there, the distribution network was coming, all that was needed now was the missing link between the two.

More information on San Yuan Li can be found here.

Come back soon for Part 2 of “The Birth of dGenerate Films” by dGenerate President Karin Chien

The New Home for Independent Chinese Cinema

Sunday, March 8th, 2009

Digital Underground in the People's Republic Welcome to the brand spanking new dGenerate Films blog! For those of you unfamiliar with us, dGenerate Films is a new non-theatrical US-based film distribution company focused on contemporary independent cinema from China. Why China? Well, no country in the world is going through a greater transformation and having a greater impact on the world right now, but to most outsiders it’s largely been invisible. It’s our mission to provide first-person, unfiltered looks at the issues facing China today and expose people to the amazing cinematic stories being told by these revolutionary filmmakers.

We’ve assembled an initial slate of films that we couldn’t be prouder of, by such up-and-coming filmmakers as Ying Liang, Ou Ning, and Jian Yi. And our film topics range from budding pop stars to war-era comfort women to the industrialization of rural China.

We’re just getting things underway, having done recent screenings of our films at places like the MOMA, Brooklyn Academy of Music, China Institute, and University of Maryland, and have begun pre-sales of our institutional DVD’s. Our focus is on educational and institutional sales of DVD and downloads, and exhibition screenings at public performance venues like museums, community organizations, and film forums.

So check out our film catalog, bookmark us, add our feed, signup for our email newsletter. We’ll not only be growing our collection, but intend for our site to be the authority on contemporary independent Chinese cinema. Welcome, the dGenerate Films team looks forward to seeing you back soon!