Markus Nornes, who documented the Chinese independent film festival scene for Film Quarterly in 2009, returns with a report on the changes this sector has experienced in the intervening decade. Borrowing a metaphor from Beijing Film Academy professor Zhang Xianmin, he offers an “update from the ruins,” as government censorship and an absence of institutional support has taken a toll on what had been a thriving festival scene. Nornes reviews the challenges faced by the Beijing International Film Festival, and its innovative responses to them, and finds hope for the future at the Shanghai International Film Festival, the Pingyao Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon International Film Festival, and the West Lake International Documentary Film Festival.
Filmless Festivals and Dragon Seals: Independent Cinema in China
Markus Nornes is Professor of Asian Cinema in both the Department of Film, Television, and Media Studies and the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures. Most of his work is on Japanese cinema, particularly the documentary tradition. He has published widely on the Japanese pink film, Korean Hallyu, Taiwanese cinema, Chinese film festivals, and film translation. His latest book is a coedited reader of Japanese film theory (Yumani, 2018), and his upcoming monograph is on calligraphy in East Asian cinema.
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Markus Nornes; Filmless Festivals and Dragon Seals: Independent Cinema in China. Film Quarterly 1 March 2019; 72 (3): 78–86. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/fq.2019.72.3.78
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