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Chinese Film Focus at BAFTA, Piccadilly London

By Matthew Arnoldi - Posted on 29 September 2009

On Saturday 3rd October, as part of BAFTA's special global Spotlight on China curated by Filming East Festival, BAFTA will be presenting a day devoted to Chinese cinema.

The day will offer a selection of fantastic Chinese films as well as some of China’s emerging film talent, but the day will also give audiences an opportunity to get involved in a free film maker’s Q&A.

Here's the crucial info :

Saturday 03 October

12:30 The Longest Night in Shanghai (Yoru no shanghai), Director Zhang Yibai, 2007, 110mins

Princess Anne Theatre - Ticket price | £7.50 - Free for BAFTA members

This rare Sino-Japanese coproduction directed by young Chinese talent Zhang Yibai (Masahiro Motoki) sees hip Japanese makeup artist Mizushima Naoki in Shanghai for music video awards when he meets a working class tomboy taxi driver Lin Xi (Vicky Zhao). After some language confusion, Naoki gets into the taxi, mistaking Lin Xi's insistent friendliness as an invitation for a free tour of Shanghai. Little does he know, Lin Xi is planning on taking this well-heeled foreigner on a very roundabout tour of Shanghai, with the meter running. As Naoki's worried colleagues set off in search for him, Lin Xi and Naoki slowly develop a bond that transcends their language gap.
'a well-paced, fluidly-lensed romantic dramedy with a peachy part for Mainland thesp Vicki Zhao” Derek Elley, Variety

14:30 New Chinese Talent 1

Run Run Shaw Theatre, 195 Piccadilly - Ticket price | £5.00 - Free for BAFTA members

Filming East Festival bring together a selection of strong short films from emerging Chinese filmmakers.

14:45 WHEAT (Main Tian), Dir. He Ping, 2009

Princess Anne Theatre - Ticket price | £7.50 - Free for BAFTA members

Fresh from Toronto International Film Festival, He Ping's wartime film focuses on the civilian cost of war and stars major talent Fan Bingbing in the lead role. In the era of Warring States in China, the Warlord of Zhou brings all the men in town to battle with the might Qin army, leaving his young wife Li (Fan Bingbing) and the women behind. No one ever returns until one day two deserters from the enemy camp, Xia and Zhe, came to town. In order to stay alive, they pretended to be from the friendly army and lie about the war, claiming the Zhao army was victorious. The women in town welcome them with open arms, except Li who keeps her watchful eyes on these so-called heroes. When a group of ruthless bandits come to raid the town, Li and the two pretenders must find the true meaning of heroism.
'an intimate epic…the film glows with a timeless beauty through which we come to understand the serenity the characters seek, and the pointlessness of the violence they left behind.” Toronto International Film Festival Guide 2009.

17:00 Filmmakers' Questiontime: Filming in China and Chinese/UK co-productions

Princess Anne Theatre - Ticket price | This is a free event

Thinking of working with a Chinese partner, or of filming in China? Then watch this space.

China is an increasingly important player in the global film industry: for UK based sales companies, China is one of the world's biggest untapped markets; for producers, it's a source of potential new partnerships and co-production funding. Yet of course, even a co-production isn't a guarantee of release in the partner territory - a film must also meet the standards of the Chinese film authorities before it can be considered for a release. In this discussion event, filmmakers and rights holders will offer their experiences of navigating this new terrain and answer audience questions.
A full list of speakers will be announced shortly.

19:00 If You Are The One (Fei Cheng Wu Rao)

195 Piccadilly - Ticket price | £7.50 - Free for BAFTA members

Feng Xiaoxiao (The Banquet and Assembly) directs this hit comedy about 40-something Qin Fen, an eligible bachelor who is funny, an inventor and newly rich; he has it all except for the one thing he wants in life: a wife. After advertising for a mate, Qin goes on an infinite procession of blind dates from humorous to disastrous, until by chance he meets a beautiful young air stewardess Smiley who Qin immediately thinks is way out of his league.

'Chinese writer-director Feng Xiaogang returns to the kind of film that made his name -- ironic observational comedies mirroring contempo China” 'Beautifully observed relationship movie…audience pleaser” Derek Elley, Variety

19:15 New Chinese Talent 2

Run Run Shaw Theatre, 195 Piccadilly - Ticket price | £5.00 - Free for BAFTA members

A second chance to catch Filming East Festival's selection of short films from young Chinese filmmakers to watch.

21:30 The Matrimony (Xin zhong you gui), Dir. TENG Hua-Tao, 2007, 91 mins

Princess Anne Theatre - Ticket price | £7.50 - Free for BAFTA members

Part supernatural thriller, part romance set in 30s Shanghai, The Matrimony is an exercise in high style with sumptuous photography from Wong Kar-Wai and Hou Hsiao-hsien veteran Mark Lee. Cinematographer Junchu lives a loveless lonely existence with his estranged wife in an isolated house in the woods tormented by the memory of his dead fiancé (played by rising young Chinese star Fan Bingbing) while his wife has increasingly strange encounters with this fiancé's ghost.

'a supernatural romance that demonstrates the exciting diversity of contemporary Chinese cinema” Tribeca Film Festival Guide