UK-CHINA FILM COLLAB (UCFC) IS PRESENTING ‘ODYSSEY’ –
THE BIGGEST CHINESE FILM FESTIVAL OF THE YEAR IN THE UK FROM 10th MAY TO 10th JUNE 2022
‘Odyssey: a Chinese cinema season’ is launching in the UK this May. Collaborating with Picturehouse Cinemas, The Prince Charles Cinemas (in-person) and Shift 72 (online), the festival will create a hybrid experience to reach as many attendees as possible across the UK and worldwide.
Named after one of the most significant works of the Western canon, ‘Odyssey’ aims to offer an exciting and mysterious journey through the contemporary Sino-cinematic world. Odyssey strives to empower the shared appreciation of cinema, drive inclusiveness in the film industry, and facilitate cross-cultural communication. The festival will not only introduce the latest young Chinese film talents to the UK audience, but also host panels with industry experts, scholars, and filmmakers to boost creativity and exchange ideas.
The curation of Odyssey revolves around diverse themes and genres. The screenings range from short films and features to new moving images by contemporary Chinese artists. Demonstrating a pioneering and artistic spirit, short film programmes like ‘Shanghai Animation Film Studio Retro’ attempt to break the boundaries between narrative and aesthetics and reimagine cinematography and visual art dimensions. In the feature film section, topics like ‘Women Through Lens‘ and ‘Chinese Regional Cinema’ showcase the dynamics of Chinese society, culture, and aesthetics. All screenings will include a series of Q&As prepared by the curation team and special guests including filmmakers, academics, curators, and critics.
Industry-focused panels were the festival’s highlight last year, which have attracted over 500 participants. Now in its second year, rebranded, Odyssey has prepared another 10 new industry topics. From global sustainability to new business models, from co-production to distribution, from regional cinemas to female film programmers, all subjects are the leading visions and will help explore film-related collaborations between the UK and Greater China.
The opening film screening event will be hosted in person by the Picturehouse Cinemas in London and Edinburgh on 10th May with a reception. The festival programme will bring about a whole month of Chinese cinema from 10th May to 10th June 2022, with more than 60 films in 8 curated sections, 10 panel discussions, and Q&A sessions. Outstanding, innovative, and inspiring, these films promise to add some sparkle to 2022. Most of the programme will be available online for all audiences across the country, and several pop-up special cinema screenings will come up throughout the festival. The online festival platform of Odyssey will be powered by Shift 72, a leading streaming technology that has been used by renowned international festivals such as Cannes and Toronto.
FESTIVAL FILM PROGRAMME OVERVIEW
Opening Film (Offline Screening)
Hard Love (2021) UK Premiere
The opening film Hard Love centres on the wave of single girls. It discusses social hotspots like love, marriage, family, work, and childbirth, which today’s youth are most concerned about. Spanning eight cities, including Shanghai, Beijing, Xi’an, San Francisco, and Phu Quoc Island, this documentary offers a group portrait of Chinese single women within a delicately-designed 97 minutes. Modern single women are also a heated topic for young people in the UK. Based on this mutual concern, this opening film shall go beyond the national boundary and bring audiences together.
Date and Time: 10 May 2022 | Tuesday 19:30 pm BST
Location: Picturehouse Fulham, 142 Fulham Rd., London SW10 9QR
Pop-up Special Cinemas (Offline Screening)
Lan Yu (2001) 4K Restoration
A classic that has come through decades of critics, Lan Yu is one of the best gay films that China has ever produced. The film is not driven by homosexuality; it is a story about love. Its storytelling captures the arc of two souls and the vicissitudes of Beijing over a decade. This 20th anniversary 4K restoration version brings its 90s tonality to life to the fullest.
Date and Time: 12 May 2022 | Thursday 18:30 pm BST
Location: The Prince Charles Cinema, 7 Leicester Pl, London WC2H 7BY
River of Salvation (2020) UK Premiere
FIRST’s favourite, River of Salvation, unfolds a down-to-earth portrait of life in a small town in southern China. With a meticulous narrative structure and its ‘last six minutes reversal,’ the script draws enormous emotional power from the deeply buried history of millions of ordinary women and their everyday struggles.
Date and Time: 17 May 2022 | Tuesday 19:30 pm BST
Location: Pictureshouse Finsbury Park, Unit 1 Cinema LS, 17 City N Pl, London N4 3FU
Short Films (Online Screening)
Neo Horizon: The festival has curated this screening and award category called “Neo Horizon: The Audience Award”. Our audience will have the opportunity to review and select films which will be nominated for this award. The curation team of Odyssey have selected six outstanding short films from all 123 submissions for this award. These refreshing and reflective films explore a vast range of critical issues facing our society today, and transport viewers explore the unique relationship between place, city and an individual in a mysterious cinematic world.
An Exploration: This section consists of 29 award winning short films, highlights the different genres, themes, and aesthetics of 21st-century Chinese cinema, ranging from atmospheric shorts to incisive documentaries. This section begins with a slice of contemporary Chinese sci-fi before delving into musical productions, inventive animations, and comedy-dramas about cross-cultural misunderstandings. The section features a schoolgirl with a genius IQ, a drummer who finds inspiration in an ancient bathhouse, and a hard of hearing boy desperate to pursue his dancing dreams. The directors deftly tackle serious social issues, including sex trafficking and the SARS outbreak, alongside subtle character studies.
The Galaxy: Artists’ Moving Image: This is a must-watch experimental film programme spotlighting innovations in the moving image. Breaking the boundaries between film text and art creation, these films roam in their own artistic galaxy – and are all at the cutting edge of Chinese experimental cinema. The abstract concepts that drive “The Galaxy” are no less exciting, as the creators channel questions of cognition and perception through images of war, blindness, and light itself. These selected moving images represent the thrilling point at which film and visual art meet, creating a ground-breaking medium for authorial expression.
Shanghai Animation Film Studio Retro: This retrospective programme is in its second edition, supported by Shanghai Animation Film Studio. This section will be screened online from the 20th to the 26th of May. By looking back at classic Chinese animations such as Little Carp Jumps Over the Dragon Gate and The Little Stream from the 1960s, Nine-Colored Deer and The Deer’s Bell from the 1980s no in 2K restoration, this section offers UK audiences the opportunity to enjoy animated films of different eras and art styles while learning about the history of Chinese animation.
Feature Films (Online Screening)
The Emerging Waves: This section pays special attention to the new generation’s independent, arthouse, and documentary productions. From the 12th of May to the 19th of May, six innovative and inspiring films will be shown in this section in offline and online formats. Lan Yu (4K Restoration) which is one of the best gay films that China has ever produced, will be shown on the 12th of May at The Princes Charles Cinema. Another award-winning title River of Salvation will be screening on the 17th of May at Finsbury Park Picturehouse. Apart from these special offline screenings, four additional films will be shown online via Shift 72 from the 13th of May. Being Mortal reproduces the bitterness of life by depicting an Alzheimer’s patient’s family. The Fourth Wall creatively uses the parallel universe as a narrative technique to discuss how to reconcile with family, society, and ourselves. Black Tide Coast follows a poetic style, aiming to depict abstract emotions, ideas, and feelings beyond the control of the images. The Ark utilises documentary images to record the complicated relationship between individuals and society, science and religion.
Women Through Lens: This section focuses on women’s life experiences, which will be screened online from the 27th of May to the 2nd of June. This section currently consists of seven films, Wind exposes the plight of single mothers and daughters from ethnic minorities in a patriarchal society; Love Conquers All shows an ambivalent intimate relationship that can conquer as well destroy everything; Spring Tide portrays a mother-daughter relationship of two generations in which both warmth and confrontation are intertwined; One Summer through the eyes of the protagonist to reflect many social issues arising in China today, including marriage, education, urban development and the political system; and finally, Chang’E draws on the classical Chinese myth of “Chang’e running to the moon” to create an ironic and compassionate mirror metaphor between the unearthly fairy and the exhausted 55-year-old factory worker. Only You Alone takes us on a journey through the struggles of a young girl with epilepsy trying to realize her dream of dancing. We are also honoured to have Xie Fei’s Girl from Hunan with us, which is a pioneering work from the 1980s that reflects on and criticises the tragic situation of women trapped in feudal traditional marriage.
Chinese Regional Cinema: This section explores the diversity of Chinese regional cultures. From the 3rd of June to the 9th of June, by showing four carefully chosen films, this programme looks beyond Beijing and Shanghai to feature a diverse range of China’s regional filmmakers, breaking the supercity dominated stereotypes of Chinese cinema. Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains and Drifted in Life calmly display ordinary families’ incidents within the development of city and society in Southeast China. Wisdom Tooth reveals the story of a brother and a sister, situating an ambiguous, romantic, and heartbreaking relationship in the snowy Northeast region of China. Great Happiness takes viewers to the Northwest of China to experience both happiness and challenges three young adults need to face in the fast-developing city.
Surprise Film: A feature-length animated film The Legend of Sealed Book (4K Restoration) has been selected to be screened in our “Surprise Film” section, which will be released on the 1st of June online as a celebration and special tribute to the International Children’s Day at Odyssey.
ON UK-CHINA FILM COLLABORATIONS
Panel 1: TwinFlame: The Reception of British Cinema Among a Chinese Audience
How are UK films received by the Chinese audience? There is generally a lack of transparent data available. To fill in this gap of public knowledge, the UK-China Film Collab has been conducting a communication campaign #ukfilmsinChina across our various social media platforms. Lily Collinson and Leo Dong will speak at this panel discussing the reception of British cinema from a Chinese audience by analysing data gathered from Chinese platforms such as Douban. The panel will utilise reviews from Chinese viewers of recent British films such as ‘1917’ and ‘Kingsman: The Secret Service’ and analyse their relative success or failure in China. The speakers will look to the future of UK films in China and how the reception of such films can be improved to reinforce our connection, through our mutual appreciation of cinema.
Panel 2: Virtual Production & Potential Impact on Film Co-production
Across the global film industry, the development of film technology in the field of virtual production is revolutionising the production process from preview to release. Examples include such as The Lord of the Rings to the hit series The Mandalorian in recent years. The innovations of film technology, on one hand, bring audiences an extraordinary visual experience, but on the other hand, they also impact pre-production, shooting and post-production to varying degrees, especially in Sino-British co-productions. How the production teams of the two countries can unify technical standards during production becomes a key factor in the success of the collaboration. At the same time, in this post-epidemic era, what problems can virtual production solve? How rapidly is Virtual Production expected to get into wide-scale adoption？What problems are encountered in Sino-British virtual production? How can we overcome these problems? These are the questions that need to be urgently addressed.
The panel will discuss the emerging filmmaking workflow of virtual production, and its technical and creative aspects, in the context of a British-Chinese co-production. We have invited four industry guests, they are: Han Xiaoling (film producer), Jia Guanglei (DNEG (London) VP), Li Ningti (Base (Beijing) VP) and Zhao Jianjun (Associate Professor of Film and Television Technology Department of Beijing Film Academy). Combining multiple backgrounds, multi-angle and in-depth analysis of the application of virtual production in co-production films, this forum will provide some practical guidance and different perspectives on the application scenarios and impacts of virtual production in co-productions.
Panel 3: Women’s Practice in the Contemporary Chinese Film Industry: Female Film Programmers on the Rise
Film programming is a form of knowledge production. Whether the programmer is a part of an institution or independent, their job is never merely to choose “the best films” for their audience simply based on the film’s artistic merit. Their understandings of the world, cultural identities and political perspectives are always embodied in the film programmes they compile and therefore unwittingly influence the perceptions of their audience. Then, for a female film programmer, what role does her gender identity play in the programming practice?
With the growth of many newly established film festivals in China in recent years, more and more female programmers began to appear in the spotlight and take over positions of power. This led us to wonder what impact does the rise of female programmers have on the contemporary Chinese film industry? With such curiosities, we organised this discussion panel to focus on the rise of female film programmers in the contemporary Chinese film industry. This panel brings together four institutional and independent film programmers from different film festivals in China, to reflect on what changes their emergence has brought to this traditionally male-dominated field, as well as what challenges and dilemmas they encountered through their practice.
Panel 4: Potentials and Obstacles for British Cinema Showcase in China
Foreign countries’ film exhibitions have been practiced in cinemas in China for years, and there is a sophisticated model of organising non-Chinese films season led by arthouse cinema chains or film distribution associations. Showcases regarding French, Italian, and German films were regularly screened annually in China in the past few years. In the last several years, Chinese audiences also enjoyed large-scale Spanish film seasons, Finnish film exhibitions, Japanese film seasons, and even Brazilian film seasons in the cinemas. The organisational chain of foreign cinema showcases, together with audience groups have been well-developed by this special form of film screening, which gives foreign films that haven’t been officially screened or distributed in China another opportunity to meet today’s Chinese audience.
The showcase of British films, however, compared with its’ fellow ‘western non-Hollywood cinemas’, are rarely screened in China. We can draw the conclusion that there hasn’t been a cross-city British film exhibition in China. This panel tries to analyse the rarity of British film exhibitions in China and disclose the underlying reasons by answering the following questions. How does a foreign country’s film exhibition happen; do British films have the potential, what kind of British film exhibition would be expected by Chinese audiences; what are the obstacles when organising a foreign film exhibition, what would be the most probable barrier if we organise a British cinema showcase?
Panel 5: Chinese Regional Cinemas
This panel discussion will focus on mainland Chinese regional cinema from the past to present. We aim to expand the scope of Chinese cinema discussions by not relying on big cities, such as Shanghai and Beijing. Instead, this panel discussion will remind audiences of the diversity of Chinese cinema by tracing the history and development of different regional expressions in cinema. For example, we will touch upon multiple waves that are emerged in contemporary Chinese cinema with strong regional elements, from Northeast to Southern new waves. Furthermore, we will explore whether these waves can be seen as different directors’ identify with their hometowns. How do we interpret regional expressions? What constitutes the locality of mainland Chinese cinema, from local dialects, sceneries, memories, and unique cultures? Dr. Zhaoyu Zhu will conduct a presentation following a discussion between Zhaoyu and this panel discussion’s chair Jiakai Nie. With the audience having the ability to ask questions.
Panel 6: Global Sustainability as a Storytelling Strategy for Non-Hollywood Films
This panel will feature experts from the UK, Finland and China to discuss the importance of global sustainability as a storytelling strategy for the non-Hollywood international films. Environmental sustainability is a topic of global relevance, and one for which international action is needed in order to succeed. This panel will explore the impact that films have in making a social impact and attracting people’s sensibility towards this matter. Moreover, it will highlight the potential of this subject matter in transforming national, culturally bound, or personal stories into international and global ones, as was the case with My Octopus Teacher (2020).
The panel will present different approaches to the theme of sustainability in films, including animation, documentary, short films and comedies, and explore opportunities for the Chinese film industry to dig deeper into this topic for a better distribution of their films worldwide. The discussion will be followed by a live Q&A session where the audience will have a chance to ask their questions.
Panel 7: Future Development of Chinese Animation Industry and International Collaboration
The animation sector in China has been booming for a while, followed by the success of Ne Zha (2019), which grossed over £300 million at the box-office in its domestic market alone. Animation studios around the world are curious about this rising market and have been exploring ways to engage with it. Recent examples of international collaborations include Wish Dragon (2021) and Over the Moon (2021). Both films have gained a relatively good reputation worldwide although did not perform well at the Chinese box-office. On the contrary, Ne Zha did not travel far apart from its domestic success, why is this the case? Animation is considered the most accessible genre for a family-oriented audience. What are the potentials for Chinese animation and its international development? What kinds of stories are worth telling and what aesthetics are the best for an international audience to consume? This panel aims to explore the current and future state of Chinese animation in the international landscape.
Panel 8: An Investigation into Current Press Coverages of Chinese-language Films in the UK
The presence of Chinese cinema is increasing in the west, but how often is it even mentioned in British journalism? The Chinese box office is hot on the heels of America’s, and it will likely become the largest and most successful very soon. Journalism plays a crucial role in bridging the gap between a film and its audience, so if the ever-expanding world of Chinese films is unrepresented in journalism, how can it find an audience in the West? Martha’s research has been primarily based around collecting data to support her hypothesis that Chinese cinema is largely overlooked by British journalism. In this panel, Martha hopes to share her findings so far and start a discussion about the role of journalism in the world of cinema and international relations.
Panel 9: New Business Ideas and Models for UK-China Film Collaborations
This panel will introduce the latest AHRC funded project led by Dr Xiaosong Yang. The “UK-China Research and Innovation Collaboration in Cloud-based Virtual Film Production (UCCVP)” project aims to explore and investigate the status of cloud-based virtual film production in both the UK and China, identifying the key challenges of cross-country remote coordination and developing future strategic plans for UK-China collaborations in the film industry. The project will deliver a thorough market research report to inform and guide research institutes in the UK for future investment in working with China, and build a collaborative network in research and innovation, including beneficiaries in both academic and industrial communities from the two countries.
Panel 10: New Distribution Strategies for Chinese Films in the UK
The appearance of China as a modern nation has shaped the concurrent emergence of new cinematic styles. However, with all of that excitement, the visibility of Chinese films is still limited in the UK since the UK audience may only recall older generations of Chinese filmmakers like Zhang Yimou (Raise the Red Lantern) and Chen Kaige (Farewell My Concubine). Chinese language films rarely appear anywhere other than at film festivals, art-house cinemas, or digitally on demand. Therefore, the fluidity of foreign film distribution has complicated our understanding of international film culture, distribution, and exhibition of modern Chinese films across the UK. Innovative distribution methods might be the key to success, as it determines who gets to watch films, under what circumstances, and where.
Through this panel, we aim to have an open debate with industry specialists from film distributors to academics in the UK specialising in Chinese cinema and international distribution. Distribution strategies, translation, and UK-China film collaborations like co-productions could be referenced, along with discussions about the importance and impact of Chinese film releases on the UK audience.
* The detailed guest speakers list, schedule and registration links will be released soon.
COMMITTEE MEMBERS 2022
Head of Film Festival: Jiakai Nie (Franklin)
Jiakai has been appointed as the Head of Odyssey: a Chinese cinema season this year. He also serves as the Research Specialist for Chinese Regional Cinema at UK-China Film Collab. Jiakai is currently a postgraduate student in Film Studies at the University College London. His recent work has been published by Senses of Cinema, a prestigious online film journal.
Lead Film Curator: Yixiang Lin (Sherlly)
Sherlly is an independent curator, an international film distributor, founder of Unicorn Screening, selected to UCFC’s Future Talent Programme 2021-2022 and responsible for the film curation of Odyssey this year. She is currently studying MSc in Film, Exhibition and Curation at the University of Edinburgh, with a focus on female representation and cross-cultural encounters.
Lead of Operations: Zhilin Wang (Lynn)
Zhilin serves as the Lead of Operations at Odyssey. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Creative Enterprise Film at the University of Reading. Prior to joining UCFC, she worked at multiple TV studios, and was responsible for planning and executing programmes. Her preferred genre of film is realism.
Lead of Public Relations: Liao Zhang
Liao is a PhD researcher in Film Studies at the University of Nottingham, specialising in Chinese girlhood cinema and (post)feminist theory. In addition to her role as the Lead of Public Relations at Odyssey, she also serves as the Lead Women’s Film Programme Curator at UK-China Film Collab, Training Officer at the MeCCSA PGN and Editor for Stanford Social Innovation Review, China.
Lead of Marketing: Shanshan Wu
Shanshan holds a B.A. and M.A. in both Film Studies and Filmmaking from the University of Sydney. She has worked for independent film agencies as a writer, director, and producer for commercials, promos, and short films. Her personal works include experimental film and video installations, which have been shown in group exhibitions, including “Decinema”, “Time Lost” and “Empty”.
Lead Designer: Yun Luo (Wayne)
Yun Luo is the Lead Designer for Odyssey this year. He is currently studying Global Arts Management BA at De Montfort University. He studied design for many years in China and has expertise in both graphic and environmental design. Yun has also worked for a leading design institution in China and has many award-winning works to his credit.
45+ co-workers are helping behind the scenes and they will be introduced later throughout the festival across different channels.
UK-China Film Collab
Azad Ayub Limited
39th Oscar-Qualified Tehran International Short Film Festival to be Held in Iran
The 39th edition of Tehran International Short Film Festival will be held as a preliminary event for the Academy Awards, as well as an Oscar-qualified festival, screening 60 short films by filmmakers from 35 countries all around the world, and the film receiving the Grand Prix in the international category will be eligible for Oscar consideration.
The 39th edition of Tehran International Short Film Festival, presided over by Mehdi Azarpendar, is held by the Iranian Youth Cinema Society, heralding the motto of “Variety in Genre” and will focus on the subject of genre, to be held in two categories of national and international competition. With in-person attendance, the festival is set to screen more than 60 short films in categories of fiction, documentary, animation, and experimental, in several competition sections; domestic and international, with filmmakers from 35 countries such as the US, France, Chile, Argentina, Japan, Germany, Austria, China, England, Italy, Poland, Lebanon, Canada, Kyrgyzstan, India, Spain, Finland, Switzerland, Denmark, Australia, Thailand, Croatia, Hungary, the Philippines, Lithuania, Romania, Pakistan, Indonesia, Morocco, Armenia, Luxemburg, Iraq, Turkey, and Iran. The jury members come from the following countries: Portugal, Turkey, Lithuania, Romania, and Iran. The international cinema instructors’ summit is held from October 19-24, 2022, in Mellat cinematic complex of Tehran.
Tehran International Film Festival is one of the most significant and prestigious short film festivals in the world, and it is an Oscar-qualified event, with good standing among global short filmmakers. This year, 5042 films from 131 countries have been submitted to this festival.
This cinematic event is among the 63 Oscar-qualified events in the world, one of the 9 international festivals in Asia, and one of the two Oscar-qualified events in the Middle East.
In the press conference held on Sunday 16 October 2022, in Bagh-e Ziba, Mehdi Azarpendar, the president of the 39th round of Tehran International Short Film Festival, stated, “Today’s festival is the most international cinematic event in Iran, and requires lots of prior planning. Last year, it was held from October 19-24, and since it was included in the Oscar-qualified festivals’ calendar, we felt that this international event should have a fixed date.”
He also added, “The total number of submitted films in the international category of the 39th Tehran Film Festival is 5042 films, 2925 of which belong to the genre of fiction, 689 animations, 804 documentaries, and 594 experimental films from 131 countries attending the international section of the 39th edition. In addition, France with 572 films, Spain with 401, India with 231, and the US with 221 works are the countries with the highest submitted works to this event. The next on the list is Brazil with 213 films, Germany with 191, Italy with 188, Russia with 162, Turkey with 149, Canada with 101, and Mexico with 86 films submitted.”
The festival president continued his remarks on the competition section of “National Competitions”, saying, “This section of the festival comprises 99 films including 47 fictions, 14 documentaries, 13 experimental movies, and 25 animations by Iranian filmmakers all across the country.”
Aiming for human and communal values, the category of “International Competitions” in this festival includes films in different sections of fiction, documentary, animation, and experimentals made outside Iran. The works submitted to this category must have been produced before 2021, with no prior screenings in other festivals of Iran.
The objectives of this festival comprise the following: identifying and introducing new talents in cinema, enhancing the position of short films as an independent and intellectual movement in Iranian cinema, updating the cinematic knowledge of filmmakers regarding the field of short films, strengthening the cycle of short film distribution via the provision of domestic and global marketing prerequisites, and the expansion and attraction of short film audiences.
The “20-39” specialized summits are attended by notable international and domestic instructors and students and enthusiasts of the craft, focusing on issues like creativity in work, lighting and cinematography, empiricism in work, interviewing the acting coach, screenplay, genre in short films, genre, form, style, similarities and differences, preparation and production, evaluation of short film genre samples, sound, visual effects, and production design.
Holding the “Literature and Cinema” fair is another agenda of this cinematic event, consisting of specialized cinematic books and the latest releases from the Iranian Youth Cinema Society. These publications include translations and compilations in fields as varied as production management in cinema, recommended stories for short film adaptation, debut filmmakers’ documentation, realism in fiction, genre-related articles, photography, music, experimental cinema, etc.
Unveiling the Cinema Graduates Center of the Iranian Youth Cinema Society and holding the first summit for them are other programs of the 39th round.
Tehran International Film Festival is held annually by the Iranian Youth Cinema Society which is the biggest filmmaking society in Iran, having 58 educational and filmmaking offices all across the country, besides being one of the largest filmmaking schools in the world when it comes to the number of works produced. Holding seven-month filmmaking courses, single-subject short-term courses, and Tehran International Short Film Festival as the most important short film event in the Middle East are among the activities of this society.
Great Iranian filmmakers have been introduced to the world via Tehran International Short Film Festival, including figures such as Asghar Farhadi, Bahman Ghobadi, Mehrdad Oskouei, Shahram Mokri, Reza Mirkarimi, Majid Barzegar, Saeed Roustayi, Mohsen Amiryoussefi, Ida Panahandeh, Arsalan Amiri, Arian Vazirdaftari, as well as other well-known Iranian filmmakers.
For more information: www.tisff.ir/en/
Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF) 44th edition
Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF) has taken very successful steps in the previous editions in cementing its position as one of the important platforms in the film industry in the Arab region. Hence I would like to offer my appreciation to the esteemed former festival presidents and their staff members.
The urgent question that I posed and liked to discuss with the CIFF team at the beginning of defining the features of the 44th edition was: Where do we go from here? How can the festival take new steps, in particular, in light of an artistic scene dominated by the specter of a world war that has changed the global economic landscape and directly affected us locally?
Hence the basic concept of our course, which the official poster of the festival sheds light on: cinema as a bridge between cultures. Indeed, war and politics divide, nevertheless art heals the wounds created by conflict and eventually becomes a language with an alphabet known and belonging to everyone.
It was also not possible for the local interest in the environment to go unnoticed, especially since environmental issues have become an urgent question discussed in several international festivals such as the Cannes Film Festival. We made an effort to pay special attention to the environment in our work as a film festival crew with tangible effort that makes a difference. The first step was to tackle the festival’s usage of paper. Therefore we decided to reduce the number of annual publications and focus on quality, not quantity, which is what this edition is all about. We invite our dear festival guests to work with us to maintain and promote environmentally friendly behavior, with regard to reducing the use of plastic and paper products as much as possible.
Finally, and in a step that we hope will be the beginning of a long-term project and role for the festival, we have decided to honor and preserve the rich history of Egyptian cinema by restoring two important films by prestigious late directors: Tawfiq Saleh’s Yawmiyyat Na’ib Fl Aryaf (Diary of a Country Prosecutor, 1969) and Ali Abdel Khaleq’s Ughnia ala al-Mamar (Passageway Song, 1972). The restored versions of the films will be screened as part of the festival’s programme.
We have tried to achieve many ambitions this edition, hoping that the challenges of this difficult year will not stop us. We thank all the partners and sponsors of the festival for their support, and we hope that the edition will be as much as everyone expects from us.
44TH EDITION OF THE FESTIVAL DES 3 CONTINENTS-KEY EVENTS
The Festival des 3 Continents is back in 2022 for its 44th edition from November 18 to 27, with screenings in Nantes and in cinemas across the Loire-Atlantique region (Ancenis, Bouguenais, Clisson, Héric, La Turballe, Rezé, Sainte-Marie-sur-Mer, Saint-Herblain, and Saint-Nazaire).
The event will take place over 10 days, bookended by two weekends.
A wide range of dramas and documentaries from Africa, Latin America, and Asia will be presented in a programme of some 90 feature films, many of which are rare and will premiere at the festival.
In addition to the Official Selection of recent films, the Festival will host an homage to renowned Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda (Shoplifters, 2018 Palme d’Or at Cannes), whose documentary works are little known. Other events include a voyage through Indian cinema of the 70s and 80s and, for the first time in the world, a complete retrospective of the works of Mike De Leon, a key figure in Filipino cinema. Festivalgoers will also have an opportunity to dive headfirst into the prolific and marginal work of Argentinian filmmaker Raúl Perrone and to enjoy the programme A Family Resemblance.
. Official Selection
The Official Selection, featuring an International Competition and Special Screenings, includes recent feature films (drama and documentary), most of which have never before been screened in France.
. Hirokazu Kore-eda: A Country at Heart
French audiences first discovered the work of Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda in the mid-90s. Maborosi (Maboroshi no Hikari,1995) and After Life (Wanafuru Raifu,1998) were screened in their year of release at the Festival des 3 Continents, the latter earning a Montgolfière d’Or award and establishing the filmmaker’s renown. Shortly thereafter, Distance (2001) and Nobody Knows (Dare mo shiranai, 2004) were selected for the Cannes Film Festival. With the release of each new film, French audiences developed an increasingly strong loyalty to the filmmaker, whose works paint a subtle portrait of Japanese society. This connection grew even stronger with the release of Shoplifters (Manbiki kazoku, 2018), which won the Palme d’Or at Cannes that year. As we await the release of Broker (December 7, 2022), we will have the pleasure seeing his little-known documentary work. In presence of the filmmaker (to be confirmed).
. Indian Autumn
Autumn, the most clement season in India, is the perfect time to take a tour of Indian cinema from the 1970s and 80s through films that are unknown, forgotten, or overlooked. Fifteen films pay tribute to the aesthetic diversity of a filmmaking industry that is too often reduced to Bollywood. Filmed in a range of languages including Hindi, Malayalam, Urdu, Bengali, Tamil, and Gujarati, the films in this programme speak of the immensity of a country whose cinema industry is rich and multifaceted. Indeed, some films feature singing and dancing and falling in love, but what truly excites us is the profound desire of moviemaking that they emanate.
. Mike De Leon: A Life in (Moving) Pictures
Those who attended the recent theatrical releases of the works of Lino Brocka, the biggest name in Filipino cinema, may recall having seen Mike De Leon’s name in the credits of Manila in the Claws of Light (Maynila sa mga kuko ng liwanag, 1975). A little-known and thus noteworthy fact is that Mike De Leon was both producer and director of photography for the film; this detail might seem insignificant were it not for the fact that now, with the release of his latest film, this world-premiere retrospective reveals a lifetime dedicated to cinema, like his family before him. Psychological thrillers, film noir, love stories, realistic films and fantasies: Mike De Leon’s films avoid being pigeonholed and, as if emerging from the darkness (of his native country), bring to light works imbued with remarkable stylistic power.
. Raúl Perrone: The Straight Shooter from Ituzaingó
For the past 30 years, and with nearly 60 films to his credit, Raúl Perrone has been a giant in Argentine cinema, albeit surprisingly on its fringe. Independent even of his country’s independent film scene, Perrone is bound exclusively through his life and his work to his birthplace of Ituzaingó (in Corrientes, an hour from Buenos Aires), which he only ever leaves for brief periods. He seeks neither fame nor recognition: he simply makes films. These can be compared to unpredictable subjective drawings as precise in their depiction of the reality of the people around him as they are open to the influence of unpredictable imaginary forces; and to conversing freely with other arts such as cinema itself, painting, and literature…
. A Family Resemblance
Cinema, like literature before it, is in its element when it comes to family. Laboratories exploring personal passions by giving free rein to the excesses of imagination, other people’s families are always a bit like our own: perhaps far removed from our actual experiences, yet they couldn’t be more… familiar. From a clash between two very different families in Parasite, to the burden of tradition in Sofia; a story of adoption in Gran Torino; and a retake on personal memories in La Ciénaga, while clear differences exist between the films in this programme, they are all part of the same extended family and any resemblance between them is no coincidence. This programme is aimed at all audiences. In addition, the Festival has compiled an educational guide for secondary-school teachers; this programme is also our invitation to their students to the Festival des 3 Continents.
. First Steps Towards the 3 Continents
First Steps Towards the 3 Continents offers a selection of films for children aged 3 and up and their families. This year features premiere screenings of films with age-specific programmes for pre-school and primary-school children.
The full programme of the 44th edition of the Festival des 3 Continents will be revealed at a press conference on November 3, 2022.
. 2022 Festival Poster
“A group of children and a pensive old man in a coastal landscape belonging to a modest village in Kerala in the late 1970s: imbued with a gentle meditative feel, this image taken from the restored version of the magnificent film Thampu by Govindan Aravindan will be the emblem of our 44th festival. Cinema as a link or a meeting point between generations, film as a potential locus for people to gather and share perspectives: as said by the late Jean-Luc Godard, ‘Cinema is not timeless; rather, it is time itself.’ And a film temporality, no matter where it is from, becomes our own.”
—Jérôme Baron, Artistic Director (Festival des 3 Continents).
The 2022 festival poster was created by LESBEAUXJOURS graphic design studio.
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