Posts Tagged ‘hkiff’

RealTime Reviews Films by dGenerate Directors at HKIFF

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

The High Life (dir. Zhao Dayong)

by Isabella Tianzi Cai

RealTime Arts, Australia’s critical guide to contemporary international arts, recently reviewed several films from the 34th Hong Kong International Film Festival – several by directors with films distributed by dGenerate.

In the Asian Digital Competition section of HKIFF, the awards went to Zhao Dayong’s The High Life and Yang Heng’s Sun Spots. RealTime’s Mike Walsh comments on the former, “Characters enter and then leave the narrative, frustrating our attempt to approach contemporary China in exclusively personal terms. It is worth comparing this to the structure of Zhao’s previous documentary Ghost Town which is divided into three parts, each focusing on a different character.” dGenerate Films distributes Ghost Town as well as Zhao’s debut feature Street Life (coming soon), and Yang Heng’s Betelnut.

In the same article, Walsh also highly commends Liu Jiayin’s mesmerizing documentary Oxhide II, the sequel to Oxhide (distributed by dGenerate). He writes,

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Banned Chinese Independent Documentaries Shine Overseas

Friday, May 21st, 2010

Director Ai Xiaoming

The Epoch Times has an informative article by Liang Zhen on Chinese independent documentaries, published on the heels of two film festivals that spotlighted these films: the Hong Kong International Film Festival and the Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema, the latter of which was programmed by Shelly Kraicer. The article describes several recent important films from the independent documentary movement in China: Petition by Zhao Liang, Karamay by Xu Xin, and works by Hu Jie and Ai Xiaoming. Ai Xiaoming gives a concluding quote attesting to the mission of many of these filmmakers:

“Today’s China is losing an important part – memory. This is how authorities maintain an autocratic ruling: They take away history and thus take away common sense, morals, and many other things,” she said. “If we persistently record history over the past 10 years, we will be able to see the changes in the decade. We can save this history for future generations.”

Read the full article: (in English) (in Chinese)

The Unforgettable Fire: Karamay

Friday, April 16th, 2010

By Isabella Tianzi Cai

Karamay (dir. Xu Xin)

Known as the “12/8/94 Incident,” a devastating fire broke out in the Karamay Friendship Theater in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang, killing 323 people, 288 of whom were schoolchildren. Chinese director Xu Xin’s Karamay, which premiered at this year’s 34th Hong Kong International Film Festival, brings back these nearly erased memories of the past.

With little knowledge of the incident at the time it happened, Xu Xin expected the fire to be just another unwanted accident when he first started the project. However, in the making of the documentary, where he interviewed over 60 people related to the victims, Xu gained a much deeper understanding of the underlying tragedy. He tries to convey this agony, shooting in black-and-white with no music or voice-over throughout the film’s somber six-hour running time.

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Video: Interview with Zhao Dayong on his new film The High Life

Friday, April 2nd, 2010

Danwei.org interviews Zhao Dayong, Chinese independent filmmaker and director of Street Life and Ghost Town (both distributed by dGenerate). Zhao’s latest feature film The High Life premiered at this year’s Hong Kong International Film Festival. In this interview Zhao introduces these films, as well as his documentary My Father’s House and experimental feature Rough Poetry. More information about Zhao and his work is available on his website Lanternfilms. Video also on Tudou.

Three dGenerate Directors Win at Hong Kong Film Festival

Thursday, April 1st, 2010

Awards ceremony at Hong Kong International Film Festival (photo courtesy Lantern Films)

The Hong Kong International Film Festival gave out its awards Tuesday night, and to our delight, four of the nine awards were given to filmmakers repped by dGenerate. Yang Heng (director of Betelnut) took home the Golden Digital Award in the Asian Digital Competition for his new film Sun Spots, while Zhao Liang (Crime and Punishment) won the Humanitarian Award for his stunning documentary Petition. But the night belonged to Zhao Dayong (Ghost Town, Street Life), whose new film The High Life nabbed two awards – the FIRPRESCI Critics’ Jury Prize and the Silver Award in the Asian Digital Competition.

Full coverage of the awards can be found at The Hollywood Reporter.

See if you can catch Zhao Dayong’s previous feature Ghost Town, which is touring the US through April at these venues. Read some reviews of this film.

Yang Heng’s previous feature Betelnut is available at dGenerate Films. Find out more about his prizewinning debut.

Zhao Liang’s eye-opening documentary Crime and Punishment is currently available for non-theatrical exhibition, and will be available on DVD in the summer.