It is finally spring here in London! The sun is shining, the trees are blooming and London’s cinemas will soon be hosting exciting film festivals and events. One of these events is the Chinese Visual Festival, which will be back for its 6th year with an even better and richer programme. The festival will take place in the capital from May 11th to May 20th at King’s College – one of the best universities in London, founded in 1829 by King George IV and the Duke of Wellington – at Curzon Bloomsbury, and at British Film Institute (BFI) in Southbank.
This year’s festival will show over 30 films from Mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong and will include World, European and UK premieres. Chinese Visual Festival’s Director, James Mudge, has worked hard on bringing talents such as Yang Lina – a former dancer and now an independent filmmaker, whose first documentary Old Men (1999) won various awards at documentary film festivals all over the world. You will have a chance to see three of her films: Home Video, Longing for the Rain and The Love Life of Lao An, and chat with Lina as she will participate in Q&As after each screening. The audience will also be able to admire the work of Cao Fei, a Chinese multimedia artist, who “revels the culture and daily life of Chinese citizens born after the Cultural Revolution.”
Apart from Cao Fei and Yang Lina, the festival will welcome the talented Huang Shang-ho, a Taiwanese actor who is currently based in the USA; Shang-ho will present two films at CVF: Thanatos, Drunk and Tomorrow Comes Today; Also Ado Kaliting Pacidal, a Native Taiwanese television host, songwriter and singer, who will introduce her screen debut Wawa No Cidal– “Wawa No Cidal is one small but very good step toward the development of a cinema by and about communities still stuck in Taiwan’s social margins.”
Those who are interested in Tibetan culture will have an opportunity to see Jin Huaqing‘s The Tibetan Girl, which depicts the story of Drolma, a young girl from Tibet. While watching the film, you will experience – along with her bliss and anguish – “the conflicting nature of Tibetans’ beliefs and traditions in the face of modern urban civilization.” It is exciting that both the director and the singer will participate in the festival where they will also spend time with the audience after the film screening.
Huang Shang- ho
Screen shot from The Tibetan Girl
As you can all see, the Chinese Visual Festival will provide numerous great screenings, and on top of that you can also participate in the Panel: Perspectives on Representing Ethnic Minorities in Chinese Language Cinema, during which you will learn about an important issue that many filmmakers and actors from Taiwan, Hong Kong and China face on everyday basis: “Are ethnic minority audiences and critics concerned about how they are depicted in the mainstream and who does it? Are there opportunities for ethnic minority filmmakers in the industry? How can Han Chinese filmmakers work ethically with their cast and crew to produce authentic films with ethnic minority themes?” Without a doubt, this will be an engaging and intriguing discussion that should not be missed.
Written by Maggie Gogler
Featured photo © Chinese Visual Festival
Huang Shang- ho photo © Gatty Images
Cao Fei & Yang Lina photos © Artists’ Photographers