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Underground Vein Stretching Across The Sea: Showcasing Personal/Experimental Chinese Films In Japan In The Context Of Image Forum




Image Forum is a multiplex institution that consists of the Image Forum Festival, the Image Forum Institute of Moving Image (for non-degree training in experimental filmmaking), and a publishing agency; also, as an arthouse distributor, it owns its own arthouse theaters too. Yamashita Koyo, Festival Director of Image Forum, surveys the conception and iterations of this experimental/personal filmmaking institution since 1970. Despite the growing global reach of Image Forum, Chinese independent films did not enter the festival until the 2000s. Yet the rapid growth in film works and corresponding interests prompted Image Forum to initiate new programmes, networks, and competitions to address the lack of organization and synergy between East Asian filmmakers. A similar development can be seen in programmes on experimental films, which finds new life in the Asian context. Yamashita also delineates Image Forum’s other functions in art- house cinema programming and publishing and how each has intersected with various aspects of Chinese cinema.