Reassessing Chinese Independent Cinema: Past, Present… and Future?
Dates: 29 -30 January 2021
Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne
If Wu Wenguang’s Bumming in Beijing (《流浪北京》, 1990) is considered to mark the birth of Chinese independent cinema, that cinema celebrated its 30th birthday in 2020. But if independence is defined in China as meaning production without government permission, China’s first film law in 2017 made that practice illegal. The intervening decades saw the emergence of a broader film culture supporting this filmmaking, from film festivals to film criticism, but also this culture’s metamorphosis under pressure from both state and market. Can we still speak of independent cinema in the PRC, and if so, what does it mean to do so?
“Reassessing Chinese Independent Cinema: Past, Present… And Future?” is the first international conference devoted to Chinese independent cinema. At this important moment, we see to consolidate and advance this emergent field of study and to take stock of the past, present and future of Chinese independent film. After thirty years, there is a significant body of literature on the subject, in a range of languages. What have we learned? What is missing? And what is still to be done?
All presentations will be pre-recorded and accessible to all registered attendees for viewing on CIFA’s website in mid-January prior to the conference. All presenters will reiterate their papers in a few minutes and have discussions with the panelists and audience at the conference.
This conference is part of a UK Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded project entitled ‘Independent Cinema in China: State, Market and Film Culture’. Further information can be found on the project website https://research.ncl.ac.uk/chinaindiecinema/.