Posts Tagged ‘ucca’

Global Times Profiles Indie Film Venue in China and Films by Huang Weikai

Thursday, August 9th, 2012

In the Global Times, Lance Crayon profiles the Indie Film Forum launched by the Ullens Center for Contempoary Art in Beijing, one of the rare venues for screening Chinese independent films in China. Most recently the UCCA hosted director Huang Weikai as he screened and discussed his work.


The outpouring of Chinese documentaries over the past decade has inspired and impressed audiences all over the world. However, the problem for audiences on the Chinese mainland is that accessing such films isn’t always easy.


Ode to Life: The Poetry of Qiu Jiongjiong

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

By Sara Beretta

"Madame" (dir. Qiu Jiongjiong)

Qiu Jiongjiong is an artist who paints and makes films; but more importantly, art for him is a way of life, full of vitality and laughter. The preciousness of his work, aside from being technically accomplished with the brush and lens, lies primary in his own personality and attitude. Surprise, enthusiasm and wonder direct his approach to the world and its actors. Everyone plays a special and unique role on the stage of life, author and the viewer included.

In August UCCA (Ullens Center for Contemporary Art) in Beijing held a retrospective of Qiu’s documentaries, curated by master of indie film Zhang Xianmin, including the première of Qiu’s latest work My Mother’s Rhapsody. Art and life have interplayed in Qiu’s personal history since the beginning: born in 1977 in Sichuan, he grew up among actors (his grandfather was a famous Sichuan Opera performer), and started painting and wandering around the stage since he was a child. He still holds the amazed gaze of the child marveling at (re)telling his family’s history, as an ordinary epic saga in black and white poetry, reconstructing and reshaping memories. With the exceptions of Madame (2010) and A Portrait of Mr. Huang (2009), his documentaries are all about his relatives, playing their own role, making up the “Chatterbox Trilogy”. It would be insufficient to go in depth here with all Qiu’s documentaries, any of them worthy of its own entry. But a precis of his Trilogy could help in beginning to approach and to enjoy his poetry.


Chinese Students Produce Environmental Short Films

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

By Isabella Tianzi Cai

The Environment & Human Short Documentary Project is part of a national green project called “Qing Guo Qing Cheng Huan Jing Xin Guan Cha [Green Country Green City Environmental and Spiritual Observation].” The Project is organized and co-sponsored by the Society of Entrepreneurs and Ecology (SEE) Foundation, Beijing Indie Workshop (founded in 2005 by Zhang Xianmin), and the Tencent Company for Public Welfare in China this year. College students from roughly 200 Chinese colleges and universities were encouraged to participate in the project by submitting documentary proposals that investigate current environmental problems and seek innovative resolutions to them. Of the proposals, 20 were selected as finalists. These students were given free training in video filmmaking as well as a small fund to complete their documentaries. Seven documentaries were given special mention by the event organizers. Below is a list of four that received a special public screening at the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA) on November 9, 2010 in Beijing.

“The Summer of Nima” by JIANG Hua
(video available at
Nima lives with his family deep in the mountains of Shangri-la in Yunnan. For centuries, they have been doing the family timber business. On one summer day, a group of outsiders entered their life, and nothing has been the same since then.

“River Keeper” by ZHONG Yanshan
Two homeless young men make a living by scavenging along the Xi’an Moat. Their life is full of plight and struggles.

“Complete Eggs” by CHEN Liang
(video available at
In the Erguna River Valley in Inner Mongolia, villagers have a tradition of picking up fresh eggs laid by wild birds, but this is having a huge negative impact on the environment.

“Trash Demonstration Village” by ZHANG Hao
Many villagers living next to a huge hazardous landfill site in Heilongjiang are unhappy about their situation, but what can they do?

Zhou Hao Interviewed – Films screening at UCCA Beijing

Friday, October 29th, 2010

Using (dir. Zhou Hao)

Chris Hawke profiles documentary filmmaker Zhou Hao in the Global Times. In the past, Zhou’s probing work has screened on CCTV and other Chinese mainstream broadcast outlets, but his three most recent documentaries “on drug users, policemen, and a cadre accused of corruption” have been off-limits as of yet. Zhou maintains that his purpose in filmmaking is not politically motivated: “My films have no political purpose. I observe people, I don’t judge them.”

Zhou’s films Using, The Transition Period and Cop Shop screen this weekend at the UCCA Contemporary Art Center in Beijing.

Using is part of the dGenerate Films catalog.

Documentaries by Zhou Hao screening at UCCA Beijing

Monday, October 25th, 2010

Using (dir. Zhou Hao)

A former Xinhua News Agency and Southern Weekly photographer, Zhou Hao began making independent films in 2002. Among his perceptive and socially-conscious documentaries are Houjie Township (2003), about migrant workers in a Chinese export-processing zone; Senior Year (2005), about high school students preparing for the gaokao, college entrance exams; Using (2008), about a couple struggling with heroin addiction; The Transition Period (2009), about an outgoing county party secretary; and Cop Shop (2010), about a small police station next to the Guangzhou Railway Station. Zhou Hao’s films have been screened at film festivals in Amsterdam, Paris, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Yunnan, Chicago and other cities, as well as at the 2004 Shanghai Biennial and 2005 Guangzhou Triennial.

This weekend from October 29-31 the UCCA will present Zhou’s films Using, The Transition Period, and Cop Shop, with the director present to discuss his work.

Film Schedules
Friday, Oct.29
19:00 Using,104 min + director Q&A
Saturday, Oct.30
18:00 Cop Shop,67 min + director Q&A
Sunday, Oct.31
16:00-18:30 The Transition Period,114 min + Indie Film Forum Discussion
Moderator: Liu Shu (indie workshop)
Guests: Zhou Hao (director); Professor Cui Weiping (Beijing Film Academy)

Details can be found at the UCCA website.

Using is distributed in North America by dGenerate Films.

Chinese Arthouse Cinema Series at Beijing’s UCCA Art Cinematheque

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

Lan (dir. Jiang Wenli)

The ScreenOut Film Exhibition, hosted by Guangzhou-based Southern Metropolis Daily, is China’s first (and so far only) campaign to introduce art films into commercial-run cinemas. It has presented a number of indie films by many acclaimed Chinese directors, such as Jia Zhangke, Gu Changwei, Lv Le, Wang Quanan, and Wang Xiaoshui. This year, a special retrospective programme at UCCA will screen selected films from past years and a special screen of this year’s new film Lan (dir. Jiang Wenli) and Judge (dir. Liu Jie).

April 11, 2010 – April 28, 2010

15rmb for adults (with exhibition admission)
10rmb for students with valid student ID

798 Art District, No.4 Jiuxianqiao Lu, P.O. Box 8503, Chaoyang District, Beijing, P.R.China, 100015

Tel: +86 (0) 10 8459 9269/8459 9387
Fax: +86 (0) 10 8459 9717

– By Car: From Sanyuan Bridge or Siyuan Bridge enter the Airport Expressway, then leave the Airport Expressway at the entrance to Jiuxianqiao Rd.
– By Bus: Take Bus 401, 402, 405, 445, 909, 955, 973, 988, 991 to Dashanzi or Wangyefen Stop.

Full screening schedule and film descriptions after the break.