Following the successful screenings of 29 independent Chinese films in New York City in Summer 2015, Cinema on the Edge is thrilled to announce an international touring series.

We’re calling the tour China Now: Independent Visions to celebrate the daring spirit and creative innovation of independent filmmakers and festival organizers in mainland China.

We will be presenting many of these films for the first time in key global art and cinema centres. We’ll be parnering with some the most enterprising and innovative art museums, cinemas, and institutions around the world to host this tour, which will extend through Summer 2016.


The Toronto Star reports  on China Now: Independent Visions in Toronto:

The Crisis of the Real: Chinese independent cinema today. The most fascinating program in TIFF Bell Lightbox’s winter slate, The Crisis of the Real comprises eight recent docs representing the fresh perspectives and often anti-authoritarian stance of a new generation of Chinese artists and filmmakers. It’s no surprise that art-world provocateur Ai Weiwei is part of this movement. Curated by Toronto-bred, Beijing-based critic and programmer Shelly Kraicer, the series begins March 10 with Ping’an yueqing, an investigation by Ai and his team into a clash between rural villagers and government officials. Other selections include Cut Out the Eyes (March 13), a portrait of a blind musician and comedian whose lusty performances are much loved in Inner Mongolia, and People’s Park (March 15), an extraordinary film consisting of an unbroken 75-minute shot that leads viewers through a busy park on a weekend afternoon in Chengdu. The Crisis of the Real runs to April 1.

The series is organized and curated by Cinema on the Edge, a new collaboration formed by three of Chinese independent cinema’s most committed supporters: producer and distributor Karin Chien, critic and curator Shelly Kraicer, and filmmaker and anthropologist J.P. Sniadecki.

A complete listing of the films in our series, with brief descriptions, can be found in the Films section.

Upcoming venues & screenings:

Toronto: TIFF Cinematheque (10 March – 1 April 2016), Typology Projects (30 March & 3 April)
Montreal: Cinémathèque québécoise, Concordia University, McGill University (11 March -April 6 2016)
Paris: Studio des Ursulines + Inalco (Institut national des langues et civilisations orientales): April 29-30 2016
San Diego: San Diego Asian Film Festival Spring Showcase (1 May 2016)

More cities to be announced soon.


Previous destinations:  

San Francisco, USA: San Francisco Cinematheque, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Ninth Street Independent Film Center

London, UK: Royal Academy of Arts

Tromsø, Norway: Tromsø International Film Festival



Sometimes I shoot films just so I can hear my inner voice. But in China doing this may not be “permitted”. Therefore, many artists will censor themselves. It’s a question of making a choice. I absolutely need Chinese audiences to see my films, because I shoot stories that this land itself gives rise to. I believe that winning the recognition of a Chinese film festival is even more important. In practical terms, however, foreign film festivals can be even more decisive for the success of a Chinese independent director. This is a contradiction.

-Yang Pingdao (The River of Life)