dGenerate Directors Featured in Dragons & Tigers
by Lu Chen
Tony Rayns and Shelly Kraicer, programmers of the Vancouver International Film Festival‘s big Dragons & Tigers: The Cinemas of East Asia section, have announced a program that will showcase a total of thirty-five features, four mid-length films and twenty-two shorts, as of publication. Dragons & Tigers is one of the preeminent showcases of East Asian films in the world, and a stepping stone for many young Asian filmmakers. This year it will feature five World Premieres, eight International Premieres, twelve North American Premieres and two Canadian Premieres from seventy countries.
Four dGenerate Films directors are featured in the program.
Gay activist and radial filmmaker Cui Zi’en’s Queer China, ‘Comrade’ China uses rare testimonies from theorists, activists and artists to outline the modern origins of Chinese homosexuality through its attempted suppression to its breakthroughs in the last decade.
Zhao Dayong’s (whose documentary Ghost Town will have its international premiere at the New York Film Festival on September 27) Rough Poetry brings together political theater and faces in closeup by putting eight characters in a cage, playing themselves, including a cop, a prostitute, and a poet.
Liu Jiayin’s Oxhide II is a sequel to her dGenerate title Oxhide and uses the occasion of making dumplings with her parents to structure this formally daring, wryly amusing look at family dynamics, economic burdens and the ethics and aesthetics of cooking from scratch.
Yang Heng’s (Betelnut) Sun Spots tells a tale of love, betrayal and revenge set in a verdant mountain paradise in central China, and captures the anguish and passion of a youthful lost generation.
For the 16th straight year, a distinguished international jury will single out an exceptional new director from the Asia-Pacific region for the Dragons & Tigers Award for Young Cinema. Chinese director Wu Haohao’s debut Kun 1: Action is among this year’s nominees. Previous winners from the independent sector include Jia Zhangke’s Xiao Wu (1997), Diao Yi’nan’s Uniform (2003) and Liu Jiayin’s Oxhide (2005).
Festival Director Alan Franey said, “The heart of Dragons and Tigers remains the discovery and introduction of new talent to the West. and it’s a very rich program on that account this year.”
A list of this year’s Dragons & Tigers features from mainland China:
1428 (Du Haibin) – North American Premiere
THE COW (Guan Hu) – North American Premiere
KUN 1: ACTION (Wu Haohao) – World Premiere
OXHIDE II (Liu Jiayin) – North American Premiere
PETITION (Zhao Liang) – North American Premiere
QUEER CHINA, ‘COMRADE’ CHINA (Cui Zi’en) – International Premiere
ROUGH POETRY (Zhao Dayong) – World Premiere
THE SEARCH (Pema Tseden)
SUN SPOTS (Yang Heng) – World Premiere