Posts Tagged ‘film festival’

China Underground in San Francisco

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

This weekend, Dec 3-5, the China Underground film series comes to San Francisco. Our friends at Viz Cinema have programmed seven of our finest docs, many of which have never been seen in the Bay Area prior. Friday’s opening night will feature Cui Zi’en’s Queer China, ‘Comrade’ China, along with a discussion following with UCSC Professor Lisa Rofel who is featured in the film and an opening night reception.

Special thanks to our friends at Center for Asian American Media, Frameline, Angry Asian Man, and Hyphen Magazine for co-presenting this series with us. To win a pair of tickets to a screening of your choice, join our Facebook Page and find out how!

Browse the entire schedule for China Underground, get the location of the Viz, and buy tickets here.

Collective Excitement: Individual Expressions: The 7th China Independent Film Festival

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

Opening Ceremony of the 7th China Independent Film Festival in Nanjing (photo courtesy of CIFF)

By Sara Beretta

The 7th China Independent Film Festival (CIFF), which ran from October 21-25, was a five-day affair packed with screenings and forums. Among the changes in this year’s event were a new curatorial team (Dong Bingfeng, Du Qingchun, Wei Xidi) and a new location, Nanjing University. Under the guidance of Zhang Xianmin (Beijing Film Academy Professor, curator, critic, filmmaker, actor, producer and dGenerate consultant), the curators worked with both the Committee (Cao Kai, Chen Yun, Li Li, Zhang Xiamin, Zhou Kai) and the Selection Team (Cai Meng, Liu Jiayin, Wang Liren, Wei Xidi, Wang Xiaolu) put together a stellar program of events and screenings.


China Independent Film Festival Full Lineup Announced

Friday, October 8th, 2010
By Isabella Tianzi Cai
The Seventh China Independent Film Festival will be held in Nanjing from October 21 to 25. The screenings will be held at Nanjing University as well as other university venues.

There will be a forum for film enthusiasts at the festival called “The Projection of China’s Moving Images and the Chinese Imagination in the Next Ten Years.” A 3-D workshop will be also held there with support from Panasonic.

dGenerate Directors who have films in the festival are Zhao Dayong (The High Life), Zhou Hao (Cop Shop), Cao Fei (China Tracy, Living in RMB City).

Main programs of the festival follow after the break. Further details can be found at the festival website.


Lineup for the Fifth Beijing Independent Film Festival

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

By Isabella Tianzi Cai

The 5th Beijing Film Festival is taking place from October 1 to 7 this year. It is organized by the Li Xianting Film Fund. The event will take place at Songzhuang Art Center in the outskirts of Beijing.

A full list of filmmakers and films screening in their respective categories follows after the break.

dGenerate Directors Applauded by David Bordwell

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

Observations on Film Art” is a blog run by prominent film scholars David Bordwell (author of numerous books including Poetics of Cinema, The Way Hollywood Tells It, and Ozu and the Poetics of Cinema) and Kristin Thompson. In Bordwell’s recent review of the Vancouver International Film Festival (October 1-16), humorously entitled “Wantons and Wontons,” dGenerate director Liu Jiayin’s new film Oxhide II won his high compliment.

Naming the film “the most exciting Asian film I saw at VIFF,” Bordwell considers the 132-minute film about a family making dumplings as “a demonstration of how a simple form, patiently pursued, can yield unpredictable rewards.” This sequel to Oxhide further explores the themes of family dynamics and economic hardship, and Liu displays her mastery in handling the tension between a quasi-documentary aspect and self-conscious artistry even better. As Bordwell notes: “[A]lthough everything looks spontaneous, it was all completely staged – written out in detail, rehearsed over months, reworked in test footage, and eventually played out in ‘real time.'”


Chinese Indies Awarded at Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

In this year’s Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival, running from October 8 to October 15, Chinese director Cong Feng’s Doctor Ma’s Country Clinic won the Directors Guild of Japan Award; Ji Dan’s Spiral Staircase of Harbin, and Mao Chenyu’s Ximaojia Universe won Special Mentions in the New Asian Currents unit.

First held in October 1989, the biannual YIDFF is one of the longest running documentary film festivals in the world and the most distinguished among such festivals in Asia. Chinese directors have a formidable award record in the fest. Former winners include Tie Xi Qu: West of the Tracks (2003) and Fengming: A Chinese Memoir (2007), both by Wang Bing, and Before the Flood (Dir: Li Yifan and Yanyu, 2005) for the The Robert and Frances Flaherty Prize (The Grand Prize), as well as Wellspring (Dir. Sha Qing, 2003) and Bingai (Dir. Feng Yan, 2007) for the Ogawa Shinsuke Prize.

Four films from mainland China, all independently-produced, entered this year’s New Asian Currents unit. They are:

In the arid mountains of remote and inaccessible Huangyangchuan, Gansu Province, a small country clinic becomes a dual space for healing physical pain, and also for expressing and sharing psychological sufferings. The anger, complains, and lamentations of the patients offer a dissecting view of the lives and spirits of the local farmers.

Two slices of life from two unrelated families in an old working class neighborhood in Harbin, located in northeast China. A mother lives with her daughter when the father is in jail; an old man is tormented by a seemingly fatal disease, harsh economy and a spoiled son. The director calls this film a re-examination of the shadowed forest in the middle of our life. (Synopsis summarized from a report by Ma Ran for

In the dual role as a group member and an ethnographer, the filmmaker engages in an anthropological study of the Ximao clan, and reconstructs the mythology and cosmology of a simple village through the study of its poetry and political life.

  • Disorder (Xianshi shi guoqu de weilai, dir. Huang Weikai, 2009)

An urban symphony, consisting of footage from a dozen filmmakers, weaves together over twenty bizarre incidents in daily life in Guangzhou, including a lunatic dancing ecstatically in the middle of the street, pigs running wildly on a highway, a fight over counterfeit money, an escaped alligator, and many more.

Tony Rayns praises Chinese Indies at the Vancouver Film Festival

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

In Joanne Lee-Young’s article for the Vancouver Sun, longtime Asian film programmer and critic Tony Rayns spotlights some of his favorite films in this year’s Vancouver International Film Festival Dragons & Tigers Program of Asian cinema. Our own blog contributor Shelly Kraicer programmed the Chinese titles in the series, some of which are mentioned below:

Rayns: “In the last 10 years or so… nearly all of the creative energy in [mainland] Chinese cinema has come from the independent sector, from kids working outside the film industry.”

This means that when there is an event, like the devastating Sichuan earthquake last year, filmmakers like Du Haibin, “who has always been drawn to the marginal, the dispossessed and people who are socially at the bottom of the ladder,” said Rayns, rush off to film those events.


Fourth BIFF Celebrates Chinese-Language Indies

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

Co-sponsored by Fanhall Films and Li Xianting Film Fund, the 4th annual Beijing Independent Film Festival was held from September 1st to September 7th in Songzhuang Arts District in suburban Beijing. The program focused on Chinese-language independent films from around the world and consisted of six units. Films from Greater China were divided into three units: fictional features, documentary features and short films (including experimental shorts and animations).


Zhao Dayong’s Ghost Town Premieres at the NYFF, Tix on Sale Sunday!

Friday, September 11th, 2009

The dGenerate team have been working feverishly in preparation for Zhao Dayong’s amazing documentary (and dGenerate title) Ghost Town‘s international premiere at the prestigious New York Film Festival. Ghost Town, the only Chinese film in this year’s festival, screens Sunday, September 27 at 2:15 at the Lincoln Center. We strongly advise you to get tickets in advance, as the NYFF screenings always sell out quick. Tickets go on sale this Sunday, September 13.

Jury members Dennis Lim and Scott Foundas had this to say about the film:

  • “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.” – Dennis Lim, film critic, Editor of Moving Image Source, New York Film Festival selection committee member
  • “I didn’t think there was another Jia Zhangke or Wang Bing lurking out there, but it turns out there is!” – Scott Foundas, film critic, Film Editor of L.A.Weekly, New York Film Festival selection committee member

Click here for more information on Ghost Town.

Click here to buy tickets to the New York Film Festival.

dGenerate Directors Featured in Dragons & Tigers

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

by Lu Chen

Tony Rayns and Shelly Kraicer, programmers of the Vancouver International Film Festival‘s big Dragons & Tigers: The Cinemas of East Asia section, have announced a program that will showcase a total of thirty-five features, four mid-length films and twenty-two shorts, as of publication. Dragons & Tigers is one of the preeminent showcases of East Asian films in the world, and a stepping stone for many young Asian filmmakers. This year it will feature five World Premieres, eight International Premieres, twelve North American Premieres and two Canadian Premieres from seventy countries.

Four dGenerate Films directors are featured in the program.

  • Gay activist and radial filmmaker Cui Zi’en’s Queer China, ‘Comrade’ China uses rare testimonies from theorists, activists and artists to outline the modern origins of Chinese homosexuality through its attempted suppression to its breakthroughs in the last decade.
  • Zhao Dayong’s (whose documentary Ghost Town will have its international premiere at the New York Film Festival on September 27) Rough Poetry brings together political theater and faces in closeup by putting eight characters in a cage, playing themselves, including a cop, a prostitute, and a poet.
  • Liu Jiayin’s Oxhide II is a sequel to her dGenerate title Oxhide and uses the occasion of making dumplings with her parents to structure this formally daring, wryly amusing look at family dynamics, economic burdens and the ethics and aesthetics of cooking from scratch.
  • Yang Heng’s (Betelnut) Sun Spots tells a tale of love, betrayal and revenge set in a verdant mountain paradise in central China, and captures the anguish and passion of a youthful lost generation.