Thursday, July 12, 2012

Street Level Visions: Chinese Independent Docos at the Melbourne International Film Festival

Zhao Liang's Petition, one of seven titles screening at this year's Melbourne International Film Festival as part of "Street Level Visions: Chinese Independent Docos," curated by Dan Edwards.

I’m very happy to announce that “Street Level Visions,” a program of independent Chinese documentaries curated by myself, will be screening next month as part of the Melbourne International Film Festival.

The program is a small retrospective of independent works produced in China over the past decade or so, many of which I’ve written about here at Screening China. As well as classics such as Zhao Liang’s Petition (2009) and Hu Jie’s Searching for Lin Zhao’s Soul, the selection includes Wang Jiuliang’s debut from last year, Beijing Besieged by Waste.

Directors Ou Ning and Wang Jiuliang will be in Melbourne as guests of the festival.

Here’s the full program – all screenings at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) on Federation Square unless otherwise indicated:

Meishi Street (2006)
Dir Ou Ning
Sat 11 Aug 6.30pm
Mon 13 Aug 6.30pm (screening at Kino)
Ou Ning will be a guest of this year's festival.

Beijing Besieged by Waste (2011)
Dir Wang Jiuliang
Fri 10 Aug 9pm
Sun 12 Aug 6.30pm
Wang Jiuliang will be a guest of this year's festival.

Crime and Punishment
Dir Zhao Liang
Fri 3 Aug 9pm (Screening at Greater Union, Russell Street)
Fri 17 Aug 9pm

Petition (2009)
Dir Zhao Liang
Sun 5 Aug 9pm

Though I Am Gone (2007)
Dir Hu Jie
Sun 12 August 9.15pm

Searching for Lin Zhao’s Soul (2004)
Dir Hu Jie
Mon 6 Aug 11am
Fri 17 Aug 6.30pm

The Transition Period (2009)
Dir Zhou Hao
Sat 11 Aug 4pm

See here for a map of all MIFF venues, which are handily scattered across a relatively small area in Melbourne’s CBD.

To see details of all the films, and to book tickets, visit the MIFF site.

There will also be a FREE PANEL featuring guest filmmakers Ou Ning and Wang Jiuliang, chaired by myself, in the festival bar in the Forum Theatre (directly opposite ACMI across Flinders Street) on Tuesday, 14 August from 5.30-6.15pm. This will be a chance to not only hear Ou and Wang talk about their work, but to also ask them questions.

An image from Hu Jie's moving documentary about an incident in the early weeks of the Cultural Revolution, Though I Am Gone, screening this year at MIFF as part of "Street Level Visions: Chinese Independent Docos."

I’d like to thank MIFF Artistic Director Michelle Carey for giving me the chance to curate this program, and for bringing these films and filmmakers to Australian audiences. Big thanks also to dGenerate Films in the U.S. for their help in pulling the program together and supplying many of the prints.

MIFF, of course, also has a wealth of other great cinema from around the world screening from August 2-19, so check out their complete program online. For those residing in Melbourne, The Age has print copies of the program included in today’s newspaper (Friday, 13 July). Notable China-related inclusions include Ann Hui’s award-winning new film A Simple Life, both parts of the epic Warriors of the Rainbow by Taiwanese director Wei Te-sheng, and Alison Klayman’s documentary on China’s most famous artist Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry.

Wei Te-sheng's Warriors of the Rainbow will screen at this year's MIFF.

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