A FILMLESS FESTIVAL
没有电影的电影节
Meiyou dianyingde dianyingjie

Directed collectively, edited by Wang Wo
2015, 80 min, digital
In Chinese with English subtitles.

This film documents the 11th Beijing Independent Film Festival in 2014, from the preparations before the opening ceremony to the process of its forced cancellation, the event which spurred the Cinema on the Edge series. The footage used for the film was captured by audience members, local artists, invited directors and special guests, festival volunteers and workers, as well as journalists and members of the media.  It is a film produced by the collective.

Screens at 1pm on Sunday 1 May 2016 at UltraStar Mission Valley

SPARK
星火
Xinghuo

Directed by Hu Jie
2014, 101 min, digital
In Chinese with English subtitles.

Probably China’s most important unofficial historian-filmmaker, Hu Jie documents with his camera episodes that Chinese official history, for now, ignores. Spark was an underground magazine published in 1960 by four young intellectuals who wanted to expose the devastating famine caused by Mao’s Great Leap Forward, a horrendous period of national suffering that is still unmentioned in China’s history textbooks today. This is filmmaking as urgent historical investigation: with a shoestring budget Hu combines years of research, and a knack for getting people to talk without fear about the most taboo subjects in China’s recent past. His alternative oral history approach knits together courageous and frequently moving interviews with the magazine’s surviving editor, supporters, and readers, who were ready to sacrifice themselves to alert their countrymen to unprecedented disaster.

Screens at 5:10pm on Sunday 1 May 2016 at UltraStar Mission Valley

THE RIVER OF LIFE
生命的河流
Shengming de heliu

Directed by Yang Pingdao
2014, 101 min, digital.
In Mandarin and Cantonese with English subtitles.

Yang Pingdao is one of China’s most exciting emerging filmmakers. His astonishingly creative camera eye brings unexpected beauty to his new feature length film. Using an innovative structure, based on the distinctive texture of family memory through space and time, Yang invents something poised delicately between fiction and documentary to capture crystallized moments in his family history, to recreate in cinematic form its emotional weight and variety, woven around the life and death of his grandmother, and the birth of his child. In order to combine extended family chronicle, implicit national history, and intimate soul-bearing autobiography, Yang employs gentle formal experimentation to invent new cinematic pathways.  Opening film and prize winner of BIFF 2014.

Screens at 7:20pm on Sunday 1 May 2016  at UltraStar Mission Valley

 

Animated shorts selection

 

 

Sunday May 1 at 3pm

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PERFECT CONJUGAL BLISS 
花好月圆
Huahao yueyuan

Directed by Zhong Su
5’26″ 2014

A gorgeous 3D animation unscrolling through Chinese history, from grey urban collapse to ultra-coloured consumer dystopia.

THE HUNTER AND THE SKELETON
猎人与骷髅怪
Lieren yu koulouguai

Directed by Bai Bin
26’07″ 2012

A spectacular animated version, flash plus thangka, of an Eastern Tibetan folk tale: when a hunter meets a fearsome skeleton monster, are they friends, or enemies?

AN APPLE TREE
苹果树
Pingguoshu

Directed by Bai Bin
10’43″ 2013

A Tibetan fable, in vivid colours, of an indomitable tree, assailed yet triumphant.

DOUBLE ACT
双簧
Shuanghuang

Directed by Ding Shiwei
4’38″ 2013

Black-and-white industrial surreal: bodies float between familiar bureaucratic monuments above the earth, while sunflowers lie beneath the earth.

THE NEW BOOK OF MOUNTAINS AND SEAS PART 2
新山海经2
Xin shan hai jing 2

Directed by Qiu Anxiong
29’35″ (2007) 2012

Animating classic-styled ink and pen drawings, and filling them with quasi-nightmarish animal-machine forms, Qiu suggests a world under ecological collapse, where genetically tampered animal forms expire on earth and colonize the stars.

FAMILY REUNION
馬拉自在
Mala zizai

Directed by Chen Li-hua
18’ 2012

A-mei, a Taiwanese aboriginal woman working in a factory, is called home for the Harvest Festival, but her boss refuses. In Chen’s imaginative tale, illustrated with cut out and line drawn animation, a daughter’s powerful dreaming saves all.

Six animated shorts will be screened together in a single programme at 3pm Sunday May 1 2016 at UltraStar Mission Valley

UltraStar Mission Valley
7510 Hazard Center Drive,
San Diego, CA 92108

The beauty of independent cinema lies in its independence. The opposite of this independence is a media controlled by a propaganda mechanism under centralized command. Independence, exploration, and discovery grant you freedom.

Hu Jie (Spark)

CINEMA ON THE EDGE