Posts Tagged ‘yunfest’

Disorder Wins Best Documentary at Ann Arbor Film Fest; Tape Wins Silver Award at YunFest

Monday, March 28th, 2011

Director Huang Weikai

It was a good weekend for a couple of filmmakers whose films we are fortunate to distribute. At the Ann Arbor Film Festival, Huang Weikai won the Michael Moore Award for Best Documentary Film, which comes with a $1,000 cash prize, for his trippy experimental documentary Disorder. Halfway around the world, Li Ning won the Silver Award at YunFest, one of the oldest independent film festivals in China, for his equally envelope-pushing documentary Tape. Unfortunately the YunFest site appears to be down at the moment, so we cannot access the full list of winners of the festival. In the meantime, we extend our warmest congratulations to Huang Weikai and Li Ning!

Both films will screen as part of the San Francisco Yerba Buena Center series Fearless: Chinese Independent Documentaries, playing all throughout April.

Disorder will screen April 9 at the REDCAT in Los Angeles as part of its series on New Chinese cinema.

Both Disorder and Tape are available in the dGenerate Films Catalog.

Yunfest Curator Yang Kun Dies of Leukemia

Friday, March 5th, 2010

Yang Kun

It is with sadness that we report the passing of Yang Kun, a key curator of Yunfest (Yunnan Multi Culture Visual Festival, one of the key independent film festivals in China. Mr. Yang passed away from leukemia, which was diagnosed only recently.

We at dGenerate have benefitted from Mr. Yang’s fastidious promotion of Chinese independent films, as he and Yunfest helped bring many films to attention that are or will be part of our catalog. The following is a list of films in our catalog that were programmed at Yunfest, some of which made their debut there:

Before the Flood (Yunfest Competition ’05)
Before the Flood 2: Gong Tan (Yunfest Competition ’09)
Crime and Punishment (Yunfest Showcase ’09)
Gai Shanxi and Her Sisters (Yunfest Competition ’05)
Ghost Town
(Yunfest Competition ’09)
Meishi Street (Yunfest Participatory Visual Education ’09)

We will forever remain grateful to Yang Kun and his efforts will not be forgotten.

Shelly on Film: An Inside Tour of The Chinese Independent Film Circuit

Monday, August 10th, 2009
The Iberia Center for Contemporary Art, Home of the Chinese Independent Film Archive (Photo courtesy of Iberia Center of Contemporary Art)

The Iberia Center for Contemporary Art, Home of the Chinese Independent Film Archive (Photo courtesy of Iberia Center of Contemporary Art)

By Shelly Kraicer

Whenever I am interviewed about Chinese independent cinema, the question that comes up more often than anything else is “Can these kind of films be shown in China?”

The situation is changing, rapidly, and in substantial ways. The answer used to be “Yes, sort of”. Now, it’s “Yes, most definitely”.

Independent films, i.e. films made outside the government censorship system, can’t be shown in regular commercial movie theatres. When I arrived in Beijing back in 2003, one had to do a bit of investigative work to find screenings; at art galleries, a few bars and cafes, and occasionally on university campuses: all low- to zero-profile events. Now, though, there is, if not exactly a profusion, then something like a blossoming of screening opportunities for “unauthorized” Chinese indie films.

One such event, which I attended in early April, provides a handy opportunity to sketch out a provisional, though hopefully not too superficial overview of the Chinese independent film scene.


A Report from YunFest 2009

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

Tami Blumenfield at the University of Washington forwarded me a wonderful article highlighting a number of films that screened at YunFest earlier this spring. The article, posted on GoKunming, is by Jeff Crosby, who was involved in translating the English documentation of YunFest.

Here are some interest-piquing passages:

“Li Yifan has been busy exploring cinematic language, and his efforts have attracted much attention from the contemporary art scene. His submission, Village Archive: Longwangcun premiered in Beijing last year in a joint exhibition with artist Zhang Xiaotao. The film covers a Chinese village throughout the year in a peculiar archival format with absolutely no narrative structure whatsoever. The critics are calling it art. ”

“Wu Haohao seems to be on everyone’s lips. This young unknown filmmaker submitted four films this year, and three of them were selected. People’s Artist Jia Jinshu is an official entry in the competition segment. It follows a self-published novelist as he wanders the country. Kun 1 Action is described by the director as a “quasi-religious tribute to Liang Kun”, whoever that is. Forbid Silence is a montage of scenes from the filmmaker’s frequent trips between Taiyuan and Chongqing. What all these films have in common is that they defy categorization. People who have seen them tell me that Wu Haohao has the potential to become a driving force behind a new generation of documentary filmmakers. He’s worth keeping an eye on.”

“Disorder jumped out at me right away, not just because of the interesting title (in Chinese it reads something like “now is the future of the past”), but because of its unconventional approach. It is basically a collection of footage from strange events around the city of Guangzhou, including a runaway pig on a highway, and it is woven together with the soundtrack to create a visual “symphony”.”

The full article is here.

Anyone who attended YunFest 2009 or has seen films from their program is invited to share their own thoughts in the comments.