The Beijing Queer Film Festival research: export the cultural diversity in a flexible way

“China’s economy is flying sky high, but its culture is crawling on the ground. Diversity is a necessary precondition for cultural development, and the Beijing Queer Film Festival exists to uphold China’s diversity and to plant the seeds necessary for a culturally rich tomorrow. We believe that day will come,” says Jenny Wu Man and Li Dan, codirectors of The 2014 Beijing Queer Film Festival.

 

The Beijing Queer Film Festival (BJQFF) founded in 2001, which is an independent film festival in mainland China (Bao, 2017). Until 2014, the event has been held eight editions. Actually, BJQFF significant contributes to advocating Chinese culture diversity, especially, the queer culture. It forces the Chinese government to release the banning of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) topic.

 

Focus on the movie content of BJQFF, instead of offering the solutions to support Chinese LGBT community, majority Chinese queer films focus on shaping the dark emotion in the movie – alone, lonely and helpless always fulfill the film.

 

In addition, compared with the traditional film festival, the BJQFF’s operating as an unusual way because of the government pressure: instead of the However, compared with the traditional film festival, the BJQFF’s operating as an unusual way because of the government pressure: instead of public cinema, the organiser display the film at different venus: the book club, the restaurant and even the train. For instance, 2011 BJQFF was asked to stop the activity by The Chinese Cultural Commission and police office. “The commission said the sexual minorities were not permitted for public screening as they had not passed film censorship. The police emphasized that the festival was illegal and must be cancelled” (Bao, 2017). Thus, the organizer has to change their plan: to display the film at the restaurant, café and teahouse. Learned from the last lesson, BJQFF organizer decided to display the film at public transportation during two years: ” we display the movie on a bus during the festival’s sixth edition in 2013, and on a train during the seventh edition in 2014 (Bao, 2017).” BJQFF breaks the limitation of film display at the cinema)and exports the queer film culture in a flexible way.

 

Although suffering the stringent political pressure, BJQFF still puts a lot of effort to operate the event continually. For example, it invites the international guest to join the festival such as western journalists and diplomats, which dramatically boosts the international influence of the activity. Moreover, BJQFF successfully also hold the event on the Dutch and American embassies. Thus, BJQFF becomes “the international diplomatic event”(Bao, 2017). Because of aimed to “respecting and advocating diversity” and continue to put the effort on it, BJQFF offers a channel to Chinese audiences to get close to the cultural diversity.

 

 

Reference:

Bao, H, 2017, Queer as Catachresis: The Beijing Queer Film Festival in Cultural Translation

 

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