Beijing College Student Film Festival and The Film “Youth”

Beijing College Student Film Festival (BCSFF) is established by Beijing Normal University and Beijing Municipal Bureau of Radio. It was first held in 1993, through the long period of constant development, it has become one of the most authentic and popular film festivals in China. BCSFF provides a public platform for the young generation in China to focus on the development of the film industry and develop more innovative insights and perspectives for the society. In this year, the 25th BCSFF has successfully held and engaged more than 1,000 participants and professionals from Universities, the media and film industry viewed 34 domestic films, including Youth, Operation Red Sea, Monster Hunt 2 and Legend of the Demon Cat.youth3

After viewing some of the films which have won different film awards in BCSFF, the film “Youth” is the best film which has changed my value of youth and life. The film uses first-person narrative method tells a story about the lives of members of a Military Cultural Troupe in the 1970s. Xiaoping is the new girl in the troupe who determined to start her new life after a tough childhood. But her colleges and roommates despised and even isolated her because she is from the countryside. Under this context, Xiaoping’s could just rely on her sole defender Liu Feng, who was a warm and kind young man and very popular in the troupe. Liu Feng possessed with such superhuman goodness that he chivalrously lances the puss from one dancer’s blisters. The latter half of the film takes in political upheaval, idealism lost and China’s bloody war with Vietnam, the director Fong uses the warm tone and cool tone to compare the precious youth, easy life and the crucial war.

The film has used the direct way to present the beauty of the youth. Every individual has a diverse life, but we both have the youth. It is significant for us to realise the youth is precious and exist in a short time. Although the process has many difficulties and traps, if we can stick to following our hearts and pursue the dreams, we can eventually overcome every tough difficulty and obtain the success. In these years, a number of film companies and film producers have gained vast investment to make commercial films to gain economic revenues and reputation but ignore the responsibility to the audience and society. The success of “Youth” is not the desirable pictures and professional approaches, the film is a unique bond which brings the audiences especially the people who have the similar experience to recall their time of youth. We need this kind of film to encourage the young people in China to pursue their dreams bravely, also, for the elder, the film is an excellent present for them to commemorate their precious youth.

Some perceptions about MIFF

 

After watching the film “Under the cover of cloud” and doing research to explore the history and purposes of Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF), I have some perceptions about MIFF.

One the one hand, MIFF provides a public and liberal platform to engage the public to understand the history and culture of Australia. For example, the films “The Mermaids, or Aiden in Wonderland” introduces the Indigenous people in Australia to reflect their unique life. “Under the cover of cloud” describes a normal family in Tasmania, the film represents the power of families who can help you overcome the difficulties in our life. The Australian films in MIFF break the barrier of cultural clash and narrow the gap between the audiences form different countries. Additionally, MIFF offers more opportunities for the young independent film producers. Under the severe competitive context of the film industry, an increasing number of filmmakers just pursuit more economic benefits, rather than the quality of a film. MIFF provides an ideal stage for the young generation filmmakers to show their talent and reflect the real world to the audiences. Moreover, because MIFF has widely spread the values and culture of Australia, it is an effective way for the Victoria government to stimulate the tourism. Especially, for Melbourne, the graffiti and café culture can attract tourists to increase the local financial revenues.

On the other hand, although MIFF brings both economic and cultural benefits of Australia, it still has some problems which should not be ignored. Initially, some Asian and European films are sort of hard to understand. 100 people have 100 Hamlet in their hearts, every film has different core meanings. For example, when I was watching “Under the cover of cloud”, some dialogues and meanings were hard to understand. If the sponsor can provide more background introduction to the audiences, particularly the audience who come from different culture, it may help them better understand this movie. In addition, as a student who is doing the investigation of film festivals, taking part in programs of MIFF can help me learn more professional and practicality capacities to organize a film festival in Monash campus. If MIFF can co-operate with more student communities, it is possibly a “win-win” strategy which can not only help more students to understand the film festival but also can help MIFF collect more innovative proposals from the young generation. Furthermore, the Premiere Fund Photographic Exhibit of MIFF is an unsuccessful event. When I arrived at the MIFF Lounge, the staffs in there even had no idea of whether the exhibition is starting or not. Also, the photographs just the online pictures which we can download on MIFF’s official website, the information of films were limited.

Overall, the MIFF is a successful event to engage citizens to focus on the film culture. However, it is still a tough task to maintain the operation and absorb more innovative proposals in the future.

Breaking the silence: Angles Wear White

There are a number of preeminent Chinese films such as Big Fish & Begonia Wrath of Silence, and Angles Wear White have been screened at Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) this year. Some of them have reflected the current controversial and sensitive topics in Chinese society. Angles Wear White which dares to exposure the social issue of sexual abuse of juveniles to the public in China. This film narrates a story of a 12 years old schoolgirl Wen are assaulted by a middle-aged man in a motel. Mia is a 15-year-old teenager who was working on reception that night, is the only witness. For fear of losing her job, she chooses to keep silence.

The film uses the realistic way to show represent the whole story, no background music, no excessive technique to exaggerate atmosphere, the audience just can obtain information from dialogues, performances and inner soliloquy of actors. Particularly, the director pays more attention to every individual’s attitudes and reflections after they knew about this incident, rather than describes the details of Wen’s painful experience to gain tears of the audiences. Facing the tempt of money, the weak parents choose to keep silence, they do not want to fight to protect their daughter, they just want to preserve their faces. The doctor whose responsibility is proving the truth, but choose to tell a lie to the public. No one cares about how misery Wen has felt, the residents of this small town life and work as usual. The indifference is the most horrible feeling of the public.

However, this terrible context has not happened in the real society, Angles Wear White obtains numerous attentions not only in China but also throughout the world. The film nominated at the 74th Venice Film Festival and winning Best Director at the Golden Horse Film Festival. In recent years, most Chinese films just pursuit economic benefits, but ignored the real meaning to produce a film. It is crucial to reflect issues of this society to engage every individual to work together and build a better world. Numerous Chinese audiences looking forward to watching a film which can expose the darkest side of the society, for example, the Korean film The Crucible which promoted the Korean government establish and implement the related law to protect the teenagers get away from personal infringement. Angels Wear White gives Chinese audiences hope to believe Chinses filmmakers can produce the preeminent films which can effectively reflect the current social context in China.

MIFF—- A Unique Platform for talented independent filmmakers in Australia

As one of the most important events in Australia, Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) is the icon that engages the public to focus on national and international culture via a wide range of films. Premiere Fund Photographic Exhibit is my first stop of MIFF, this small-scale exhibition has shown different stories behind the scenes to the audiences. After browsing these photographs, I found some films such as Acute Misfortune, Strange Colours and Under the Cover of Cloud are made by the independent Australian filmmakers. In this regard, MIFF provides a unique platform for Australian independent filmmakers to illustrate their values, inspiration, and attitudes of life and society.

This year, MIFF prepared various films from different countries, such as the Korean film Burning; Japanese Film Shoplifters and Chinese film Angles wear white. But some low-budget films, documentaries and short films made by Australian independent filmmakers attracted many audiences. These films have reflected a real state of Australia, such as the film—- Under the Cover of Cloud represented an ordinary family in Tasmania to explore our deep river of feeling and being.

ABC reported that the average budget of an Australian film was $8.7 million approximately(ABC Arts,2018). However, for these talented and passionate filmmakers, MIFF motivates them to overcome every difficulty to make the high-quality films to represent their views of this world. First-time feature filmmaker Jason Raftopoulos said the process of make a film is honestly like climbing up a mountain with a pair of thongs (ABC Arts, 2018), it is so difficult, but if an audience can get into a great festival to watch your film, it is absolute gravy. It is a significant channel for filmmakers to show their perspective from different angles via film, it is also important to gain resonance from the public. MIFF is the authentic and professional platform to establish a close relationship between filmmakers and the public.

Additionally, Ted Wilson who is one of the new generation independent filmmakers said his film “Under the Cover of Cloud” which has premiered at MIFF has cost $80,000, it means he has to finance the film from his own pocket (ABC Arts, 2018). However, Wilson still sticks to make his film, he said, getting into MIFF is so important, if the film did not get into a well-known festival, it would have disappeared. He also claimed that MIFF is the root of an independent filmmaker who needs to obtain a kind of recognition to attract more audiences to watch “your film” (ABC Arts, 2018). Indeed, as one of the oldest film festival in the world (About Us MIFF,2018), MIFF plays a key role in building a sense of connectedness and identity between filmmakers and the audiences.

References

ABC News. (2018). DIY filmmakers flourish at Melbourne International Film Festival. [online] Available at: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-08-04/independent-filmmakers-at-melbourne-international-film-festival/10066660 [Accessed 20 Aug. 2018].

MIFF 2018. (2018). MIFF 2018 | About Us. [online] Available at: http://miff.com.au/about [Accessed 20 Aug. 2018].