“Festival Shadows” Gives Paris Rare Glimpse Of Independent Chinese Film

First Shadows Festival Held In 2006

Nearly 30 films will show over the next eight days

Running from November 9-17 in Paris, Festival Shadows focuses on independent Chinese film in its fourth edition, giving local audiences a rare chance to see the other side of China’s cinematic ambitions. Taking place, incidentally, at the same time as Beijing’s 18th Party Congress, “Shadows” presents a far less polished depiction of modern Chinese society than that seen during the recent Chinese government-approved Paris Chinese Film Festival.

As the festival organizers told Rue89 this week:

This fourth edition raises the question of the appropriateness of the term “independent” while the modes of production and screens multiply.

If this discussion is on people’s minds in China, it is probably because these [independent] films reflect an individual and collective search for identity.

Beyond freedom of expression, independence must now be understood as a set of symbolic values ​​defined and defended by a group of people seeking their place in a society that excludes and stigmatizes them.

This quest accompanies the gradual maturation of a cinematic language, and the attempt to write a chapter in the history of film.

Films on show this year encompass a wide range of genres, from fiction and documentary to animation and experimental, providing an impressive overview of the current state of independent film in China (previously on Jing Daily). Shadows opened today with “Old Dog,” by Tibetan filmmaker Pema Tseden, followed by a discussion with French scholar Françoise Robin. Over the next eight days, the festival continues with a program of nearly 30 feature-length and short films, as well as a roundtable debate led by sinologist and author Luisa Prudentino (“Eye Shadow”) devoted to Chinese cinema.

Festival Shadows: Cinéma Indépendent Chinois (November 9-17, 2012)
Studio des Ursulines
10 Rue des Ursulines 75005, Paris
Tel: 01 56 81 15 20.
Event Website

Shadows Film Festival 2012 from Mickaël Muraz on Vimeo.


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