Beijing Cinephiles cross their fingers: BIFF PREVIEW 2013

On 26/08/2013 by Site Default

10th Beijing Independent Film Festival Kicks Off Despite Fears of Cancellation

On Friday August 23, the 10th edition of the Beijing Independent Film Festival is set to kick off at the Li Xianting Film Foundation in Songzhuang, an arts district in the outskirts of Beijing. The schedule promises nearly 100 shorts and features across categories of fiction, documentary, and experimental filmmaking, as well as panel discussions and book launches. But the promotional poster itself illustrates the uncertain fate of the festival, and how, according to documentary juror Zhang Xianmin, “nobody knows what will happen.”

The poster (see above) features the actual hand-written sign that was hastily tacked up during last year’s event, announcing that, “as informed by related government officials, the 9th Beijing Independent Film Festival will be concluded today earlier than scheduled.” Despite the organizers receiving initial approval from the authorities, 2012’s festival was plagued by official pressure and eventually a mysterious power outage that plunged an entire residential block into darkness. Still, several screenings went ahead – some via battery-powered laptops, or in the homes of local artists. Kevin Lee, a Chinese-American filmmaker and critic who attended last year, described it as “a film festival as a moving craps game.”

Screen Shot 2013-08-26 at 21.34.57

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