Asian Film Festival to explore China’s independent cinema

Author: Shannon Chapla


The University of Notre Dame will welcome filmmakers and scholars to campus Thursday to Saturday (April 19 to 21) for its annual Asian Film Festival and conference, this year titled On the Edge: New Independent Cinema fromChina.

The festival will showcase five award-winning independent films fromChinaand engage the filmmakers in candid discussions about the global politics ofChinas burgeoning independent film industry.

Anne Thurston, a senior research professor atJohnsHopkinsUniversitysSchoolofAdvanced International StudiesinWashington,D.C., and author of numerous books on Chinese contemporary politics, will deliver a keynote address titledRising China? The OtherChina? Thoughts fromChinas Grassroots.Her talk, which will detail the countrys social realities that she feels are commonly misunderstood byWashingtonpolicymakers, will take place at4 p.m.April 19 in the Browning Cinema of theDeBartoloCenterfor the Performing Arts.

The films, to be screened in the Browning Cinema, are:

  • Walking on the Wild Sideby Han Jie, 5 p.m. April 19, a drama centered on a youth gang in a coal-mining area of China’s Shanxi province (winner of the Tiger Award at the Rotterdam International Film Festival)
  • Unknown Pleasuresby Jia Zhangke,8:30 p.m.April 19, two unemployed slackers try to make sense of their aimless and uncertain futures in a sheltered town inChina
  • The Silent Holy Stonesby Wanma Caidan,7 p.m.April 20, traces theintermingling of native Tibetan culture with the influence of the outside world (winner of China’s national film award for best directorial debut)
  • The Orphan of Anyangby Wang Chao,10 p.m.April 20, three different lives, three different fates, each with their different backgrounds and experiences, struggle to survive at the bottom level of Chinese society (winner of the FIPRESCI Prize at the Chicago International Film Festival)
  • Blind Shaftby Li Yang, 2 p.m. April 21, two itinerant miners risk their lives under dangerous working conditions and develop questionable morals in order to survive (winner of the Silver Bear Award at the Berlin International Film Festival)

A complete schedule of events is available on the Web at .

The conference is sponsored by Notre Dames College of Arts and Letters, Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts, Office of Research, Helen Kellogg Institute for International Studies, Office of the Provost, Office of Undergraduate Studies, University Relations, Center for Asian Studies, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, DeBartolo Center for the Performing Arts, Department of Film, Television and Theatre (FTT), FTT Talks, International Student Services and Activities, Office of Information Technologies, John A. Kaneb Center for Teaching and Learning, Center for Creative Computing, Chinese Friendship Association, Campus Ministry, Division of Student Affairs, and Notre Dame Alumni Association.

* Contact: * _Jonathan Noble, East Asian Languages and Cultures, 574-631-7465,

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