Film festival focusing on Chinese culture in Europe aims to encourage new public debate

A film festival dedicated to films about Chinese culture in Europe was supported by an expert scientist from De Montfort University of Leicester (DMU).

Dr. Heo Man Chan, a lecturer in the creative and cultural industries, announced that the hybrid festival entitled Odyssey: The Season of Chinese CinemaAnd It will open at Picturehouse Cinemas in London and Edinburgh on Tuesday 10 May, giving people a chance to learn about Chinese culture (both local and diaspora) in Europe.

Featuring a screening of over 60 films and 10 panel discussions dedicated to themes on UK-Greater China Film Collaboration, as well as exclusive Q&A, the festival will be launched with an opening film to premiere in the UK; so much love A feature-length documentary revealing five single Chinese women and their unique views of love. The festival is organized by a team of young talents under the supervision and support of Dr. Chan.

Dr Chan, who is one of the few UK academics specializing in international film diplomacy between the UK and Greater China, has supported the festival through her unique non-profit organisation, the UK-China Film Collab (UCFC). It was developed from a research project initially funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council in 2019 with the aim of inspiring and inspiring collaborations related to films and evolving discussions between the two countries.

Since its inception in 2020 during the pandemic, the organization has so far trained over 20 young talents and worked with more than 250,000 people between the UK and Greater China in both languages.

“Watching a movie is the most direct way to learn about another country or culture, in my view,” Dr. Chan explained. “That’s how I learned about European culture when I was a kid growing up in Hong Kong.

As the press and media fail to provide a more diverse space for public debate, the film gallery (online and offline) becomes more responsible than ever in bridging this gap. We do not expect our audience to accept everything the film tells them, but to make a difference in their general knowledge about a particular topic.”

Dr. Chan has opened up many new areas of research that were not previously available in interdisciplinary scholarships.

“My PhD thesis was a critique of how building knowledge about Chinese cinema (such as art, culture and business) in English-speaking academia is limited and disconnected from the rapidly changing reality,” she continued. “I am currently in the best position to create new research avenues through my practice with UCFC as well as my academic role at DMU, ​​as energy to inspire academia to pursue this topic.

“The funding standards for UK research and innovation have changed rapidly in recent years, and I believe my approach to combining both research and impact, as well as my position as an academic and social entrepreneur, is a timely response to the recent reform of the Research Council.”

Many DMU students have benefited from obtaining an internship while studying with Dr. Chan in global arts and festival management, exposing them to a unique experience and insight into the international industry.

In addition to preparing for the launch of the film festival in May, Dr. Chan’s organization is also preparing for the largest British film show in China in the near future, following its successful collaboration of the Charlie Chaplin exhibition retrospective with the Hainan International Film Festival in 2020.

“We’ve learned how the film was misused during the Cold War period of the last century,” she explained. “What we have to do is reverse that in our time.

“I encourage film programmers and industry practitioners, as well as academics, to raise the problems of any wartime mentality through diverse interaction with film.

“We need to move away from logic and binary thinking, and shift our focus to a group perspective of problem-solving. In order to do that, we also need a new approach to crafting and publishing research as academics. The more you learn about something, the less threatening or ambiguous it becomes, and therefore the less manipulation gap.

Posted on Friday 6 May 2022

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