Chinese film festival goes mainstream
Updated: 2014-09-08 11:03
By Liu Chang in Washington(China Daily USA)
Zhao Liu (second from right), director of the festival programming, addresses the audience with other hosts at the DC Chinese Film Festival's awards ceremony on Sunday evening at the US Navy Memorial Heritage Center in Washington. Liu Chang / China Daily
Sunday evening saw the closing ceremony of the DC Chinese Film Festival, which over the previous four days screened 54 outstanding films submitted from eight countries.
The awards ceremony at the US Navy Memorial Heritage Center in Washington selected Hill of Ilha Verde for the Audience Award in Narrative Feature, The First Song for the Audience Award of Narrative Short and Golden Gate Girlfor the Intercultural Spotlight Award, among others.
Louisa Wei, associate professor at the School of Creative Media of City University of Hong Kong, submitted the film Golden Gate Girl, which portrays the life of Esther Eng, a San Francisco native and open lesbian who was the only woman directing feature-length films in America between 1943 and 1949.
Her film was chosen as the festival's opener. Wei said her goal in making the film was to let public learn about this forgotten history.
"I have attended many film festivals," said Wei, who flew directly to the festival from Hong Kong a day before the opening ceremony. "I feel each festival attracts its own unique audience. I hope to gain a larger audience for my film through the platform provided by the festival."
Carma Hinton, a member of the jury and a professor of visual culture and Chinese studies at George Mason University, said the festival brought together a great body of work with a wide variety and fairly high quality.
Hinton said a wide range of standards applied to picking the best films for the awards, including a good topic, a well-edited presentation with appropriate length and engaging subjects.
"I am very impressed with the organizing of the festival," said Hinton. "This is an important way to bring people together - filmmakers, critics and audiences. There are many important issues in our world that can be addressed and discussed as people enjoy a film. The festival is a very good platform. It should be repeated."
Yibin Cai, founder and director of the festival, said this second biennial festival has already reached into the mainstream of American society through not only excellent academics and film critics as members of the jury, but an audience that included a diverse group.
"They show great interest in Chinese society's development and Chinese films and the culture underlying them," said Cai.
Peggy Chiao, an important figure in shaping Taiwan Cinema in the 1980s and 1990s and a member of the jury, said Chinese cinema has leapt forward a great deal over the past decade.
Chiao pointed out that although the Chinese market is big, the quality of a film will always be a consequential factor for world recognition.
Youjin Zhang, a finance major at George Mason University who came to ceremony, said: "A Chinese film festival here makes me feel closer to home."