Posts Tagged ‘filmmaking’

Oxhide director Liu Jiayin on the Wonders of Digital Filmmaking

Monday, October 3rd, 2011

Chinese directors Zhu Wen (L) and Liu Jiayin (R) pose during a photocall at the San Sebastian Film Festival. Picture: AFP

The nine-day San Sebastian [Film F]estival… features 18 films made by Chinese directors over the past decade with the digital cameras, which make it cheaper to shoot and easier to skirt government censorship.

Chinese filmmakers are using digital cameras to explore new, more daring forms of storytelling and are covering marginalized characters and themes that were previously ignored.

“There really are many people who are filming in this format, which is the independent cinema in China,” said Chinese filmmaker Liu Jiayin, whose movie “Oxhide II” is in the film festival.

The movie features her mother and father as actors and the action takes place entirely inside their dark, dreary and modest home where the couple and their daughter discuss the state of the family’s failing business.

Like most Chinese movies made using the digital technology, the director also wrote the script.

“With this format I can do everything. Five or ten years ago if I wanted to shoot a film, I couldn’t have done it. Now I can,” said 30-year-old Liu, who invested all her savings to buy the camera she used to make the film.

- From The New Age.

A Visit to the IFChina Original Studio with Filmmaker Jian Yi

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

By Dan Edwards

IFChina Studio founder and filmmaker Jian Yi, outside the studio on the campus of Jinggangshan University

Reprinted by permission from RealTime Arts Magazine.

Ji’an doesn’t look like the most auspicious place for a groundbreaking experiment in China’s budding civil society. The town doesn’t appear in any English language guidebooks, the local station platform is just a low-slung slab of concrete and, in early spring when i visited, a bone chilling mist hung over the town. Yet this minor chinese city is home to IFChina Original Studio, a bold attempt to generate community participation in the arts and oral history in the heart of one of China’s poorest regions.

hidden stories

“We wanted to start with oral history because this place is so special – the Chinese revolution under Mao Zedong started here,” explains Jian Yi, a gently spoken local filmmaker whose credits include the documentary Super, Girls (2007). Jian Yi founded IFChina Original Studio with his wife Eva in 2009 on the campus of Jinggangshan University. Their activities include theatre classes, video workshops and photography programs, all built on an oral history foundation.

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Jia Zhangke Speaks Out Against Censorship

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

Jia Zhangke speaks out at a forum held at the 2011 Shanghai International Film Festival (photo: china.org.cn)

Originally published in The Guardian, June 16 2011

He had to abandon one film lest it broke anti-pornography laws. Then he ditched a spy movie rather than fill it with Communist party “superheroes”.

The frustration of making films in a country with “cultural over-cleanliness” has led an internationally acclaimed Chinese director to lash out at its censors, a state news site has reported.

Jia Zhangke won the Golden Lion at the Venice film festival in 2006 – apparently earning the approval of China’s leader-in-waiting Xi Jinping, who is expected to become president next year.

But he began his career as an “underground” film-maker – directing movies that were praised abroad but never saw official release in China– and he complained of ongoing battles with censors as he addressed a cultural forum in Shanghai. Unusually, his remarks were reported by an official news site, china.org.cn.

“The only reason that we cannot make genre movies is the barrier that censorship sets,” Jia said.

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