With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013
With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

Monday, June 09, 2014

2014 Chinese Visual Festival Audience Awards Announced

The 2014 Chinese Visual Festival ran from 7th - 25th May at King’s College London, featuring guest directors Jia Zhangke, Pema Tseden and Chen Yin Yen, plus more than 40 independent films from the Chinese speaking world, Wang Xin’s multi-media art exhibition project The Gallery, a local filmmakers session, panel sessions and an east meets west pipa and piano music concert by Wang Ting and Chris Lee.

The 2014 festival was a huge success and represented a considerable expansion on previous years, recording more than double the attendance figures of 2013 for both film and art, and receiving overwhelmingly positive feedback from audiences and critics.

The Chinese Visual Festival Audience Awards went to three films based on the results of voting forms on which the audience indicated its ratings of the festival films.

First Prize
Today My Mother Will Get Married 
Director: Jin Ye
China, 2013

Jin Ye’s debut is a stunning and shocking piece of independent Chinese fiction, following the tragic consequences of a young boy’s attempts to stop his mother’s new marriage in a small, rundown rural town. By turns challenging, provocative and tense, the film has a universal appeal while asking tough questions about modern China and the fate of the new generation, and is exactly the kind of indie genre cinema that the country should arguably be making more of. Festival-goers responded enthusiastically, with several audience members describing it as ‘powerful’ and ‘suspenseful’ and recording personal messages to be translated and sent to the director.

Second Prize
The Silent Holy Stones
Director: Pema Tseden
Tibet/China, 2005

Pema Tseden’s debut feature tells a charming but worrying tale of the upheaval of modernisation in Tibet. Though now nearly ten years old the film has lost none of its power and relevance or stark beauty, and has continued to win praise and awards at festivals since its release, having been compared to the works of Ozu and Bresson by Abbas Kiarostami during his time as Jury chair at the Pusan International Film Festival. Following its highly popular screening at the festival, Pema Tseden took part in a fascinating and lively discussion with the audience, covering a wide range of Tibet related subjects.

Third Prize
Blossom with Tears 
Director: Huaqing Jin
China, 2012

It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that Blossom with Tears ranked as one of the most popular films of the festival, Huaqing Jin’s documentary already having won a series of awards, including the prestigious 2012 UNICEF Prize. Focusing on two young children, Yuan and Xiang, as they undergo studies and training at Wuqiao Acrobatic School in Hebei Province, it’s a moving look at the pressures and hardships faced by families struggling to get by in modern China that unflinchingly depicts the harsh lives of its main protagonists. More than just an expose of the grim lives of children, Huaqing Jin offers here an often heart-breaking look at wider social problems in China that unfortunately have no easy answer.

The Audience Awards follow the 2014 Jury Awards, which were announced on May 6th:

First Prize
Little Proletarian (director Shen Jie, China, 2013)

Second Prize
The Cold Winter (director Zheng Kuo, China, 2011) Third Prize
Downstream (director Zune Kwok, Hong Kong, 2012)

Special Mentions 
Frog (director Chiang Ming-Wei, Taiwan, 2013) and GRAND CANAL (director Johnny Ma, China/USA, 2013)

Visit the Chinese Visual Festival website for more information on all the films screened during the festival: http://chinesevisualfestival.org/

Support for Jia Zhangke comes courtesy of the BFI and Arrow, in partnership with Filming East

Support for Pema Tseden comes courtesy of King’s College London Arts & Humanities Research Committee

Support for Chen Yin Yen comes courtesy of the Taiwan Ministry of Culture

About Chinese Visual Festival
Since the overwhelming success of its first edition in 2011, Chinese Visual Festival has been established as a major event on the London cultural calendar, bringing independent contemporary Chinese cinema and art to UK audiences. Hosted by China Culture Connect and King’s College London, the festival continues to grow and innovate, finding new and exciting ways of bringing Chinese creativity to the world. Plans are now in place for more events during 2014, the 2015 annual festival and beyond.