2017 Chinese Visual Festival (2nd – 11th May)

In its 7th year, Chinese Visual Festival (CVF) is still going strong with an ambitious film programme; from animation to features and documentaries, CVF will provide numerous great screenings this year – unfortunately less than in 2016, but at the same level of quality. In addition, the audience will be able to participate in the conference The Future of Chinese Independent Cinemawhere we will learn more about independent cinema, its past, present and future. The talk will be attended by Huang Wenhai, known for his great skills in making documentaries: We the Workers (2017), Reconstructing Faith (2010), We (2008), Dream Walking (2005), Floating Dust (2003) and In the Military Training Camp (2002).

Huang Wenhai’s films are gripping, emotionally powerful and very honest; his filmmaking passion has led him to risk his own life to make the latest production, We the Workers: “Huang Wenhai lived with the threat of violence – from Chinese security officials and thugs hired by Guangdong factory owners – for years before joining exodus of film-makers to Hong Kong (…).” Apart from Huang Wenhai, also Zhang Xianmin, Ma Ran, Victor Fan, Luke Robinson (Lecturer in Film Studies in the Department of Media and Film, University Of Sussex) and Chris Berry (Professor of King’s College London and is one of the world leading scholars in Chinese cinema studies) will take part in the conference.

Huang May Tse

Huang Wenhai

Chinese Visual Festival will open with Ju Anqi’s Drill Man (2016); Ju Anqi is a part of China’s new generation of experimental filmmakers, whose modern classic Poet on a Business Trip was screened at a few prestigious film festivals, including International Film Festival Rotterdam in The Netherlands and the 16th Jeonju International Film Festival in South Korea; the film will be also shown at this year’s CVF. The audience will get a chance to see also Ju Anqi’s feature debut There is a Strong Wing in Beijing, a documentary that is simple, funny and revolutionary in its own right.

The festival will close with The Road to Mandalay by Midi Z (Chao Te-Yin), Myanmar- born Taiwanese film director, who, in 2016, was awarded with the Outstanding Taiwanese Filmmaker of the Year at the 53th Golden Horse Film Festival. The Road to Mandalay premiered at the 73rd Venice Film Festival in the Venice Day section, and received the Fedeora Award for Best Film. The film itself is “a powerfully realised tragic drama exploring the lives of two illegal migrant workers.” – definitely worth watching.

Midi Z & Ju Anqi

At the 7th Chinese Visual Festival, there will be a special emphasis on LGBTQ cinema in association with Hong Kong Fresh Wave (short films). Apart from all the aforementioned films and the conference, the festival will welcome two renowned animation filmmakers: Luan Lian and Ai Shengying. We also cannot forget about the screenings of the new, “cutting edge Chinese language cinema”: Crosscurrent, My Land, 500m 800m and Children are not afraid of Death, Children are afraid of Ghosts.

I have a feeling that this year’s Chinese Visual Festival will be even better than the 2016 edition. The film selection is genuinely great! Some events will be held at BFI Southbank, others at Bertha DocHouse and King’s College London.  I am looking forward to the CVF! For more information about the tickets and the screenings, head to the festival’s website.

Drill Man & Crosscurrent

Written by Maggie Gogler

Edited by Sanja Struna

All pictures © Their Photographers/ Distributors

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