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Furman University Hosts Chinese Environmental Film Festival This Week

The Chinese Environmental Film Festival and Workshop is a collaboration between filmmakers, scholars and experts who are interested in examining the environmental issues facing China. Organized by faculty and staff members at Furman University, the event is being held for the first time.

The festival, which will be held Feb. 26-28, will feature eight films, including the premiere of a documentary produced by two filmmakers from China’s Yunnan Province. The final day of the festival will include a workshop where speakers and experts will have the opportunity to provide critical commentary related to the films.

Supported by a Luce Initiative on Asian Studies and the Environment grant, the event is part of Furman’s ongoing effort to encourage innovative interdisciplinary teaching, research and programming on Asia’s environment.

Full schedule follows:


Opening Night Film Screening and Reception 7 p.m. at Burgiss Theatre (CLP)

The Other Half (Ying Liang, 2006, 111 min.) Welcome from Katherine Palmer Kaup (Furman University) Commentary by Harry Kuoshu (Furman University)

In this feature film, Xiaofen (Zeng Xiaofei) spends all day listening to everything that’s wrong with China, opening her eyes to the chaos that threatens her own life. Read more.

A reception will follow the film screening.



Waking the Green Tiger 9 a.m.-10:30 a.m. at Burgiss Theatre (CLP)(Gary Marcuse, 2011, 78 min.), with commentary by Darrin Magee (Hobart and William Smith)Facilitator: Weston Dripps (Furman University)

An environmental movement takes root when a new environmental law is passed, and for the first time in China’s history, ordinary citizens have the democratic right to speak out and take part in government decisions. Read more.


Beijing Besieged by Waste 11:30 a.m.-1:20 p.m. at Burgiss Theatre (CLP, dessert and drinks to be provided)(Wang Juliang, 2011, 72 min.) with commentary by Ralph Litzinger (Duke University) and Jenny Chio (Emory University)Facilitator: Min-Ken Liao (Furman University)

With a population of around 20 million and growing, Beijing’s residents produce unfathomable amounts of waste every day. Read more.


Coffee with Filmmakers 1:45 p.m.-2:45 p.m. at Barnes and Noble Café, Trone Student Center


Food and Sustainability in China: Documentary Shorts (Works in Progress) 3 p.m.-5 p.m. at Burgiss Theatre (CLP)(Fuji Lozada, Jeff Mittelstadt, Tom DeMarzo, Antonia Giles, Xiaoyun Liu, John-Michael Murphy, Lucy Sexton, and Liz Stevens, 2014), with commentary by Fuji Lozada (Davidson College), Antonia Giles (Davidson College), and Yancey Fouché (Furman University)Facilitator: Dennis Haney (Furman University)

In the summer of 2014 a group of Davidson College students led by Fuji Lozada and Jeff Mittelstadt went to Shanghai to explore street vendors, urban gardens, eco-farms, fish farms and other aspects of the food experience. Read more.


Peasant Family Happiness 7 p.m.-8:45 p.m. at Burgiss Theatre (CLP)(Jenny Chio, 2013, 70 min.), with commentary by Jenny Chio (Emory University) and Emily T. Yeh (University of Colorado-Boulder)Facilitator: Kate Kaup (Furman University)

Tourism in China today signifies many things. To the Chinese government, tourism is a win-win opportunity to promote rural development and modernization and to encourage urban residents to flex their disposable incomes through domestic travel. Read more.



Ethnicity and Changing Environments: Two Films 9:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m. in Furman Hall 214 (McEachern) (CLP)

Badzu Village (Tami Blumenfield, 2014, 12 min.), with commentary by Tami Blumenfield (Furman University), Onci Archei (Moso Folk Museum), and Ruheng Duoji (Moso Folk Museum)

Archei Ma returns to her Yunnan village home from her freshman year at a university in Hunan Province. Along with her younger sister, she gives filmmaker-anthropologist Tami Blumenfield a tour of her family’s expanding footprint in the village and discusses how the village has changed in the years she has been away at school. Read more.

Shielding the Mountains (Emily T. Yeh and Kunga Lama, 2010, 20 min.), with commentary by Emily T. Yeh (University of Colorado-Boulder)

Shielding the Mountains addresses poignant questions: Why have Tibetans become environmentalists? How do Tibetan conceptions of nature differ from Western ones? What is the relationship between culture and nature? The film explores these questions through a narrative. Read more.


Environmental Protection Values in Daba Rituals 10:45 a.m.-11:45 a.m. in Furman Hall 214 (McEachern) (CLP)(Onci Archei and Ruheng Duoji, 2014), with commentary by Onci Archei (Moso Folk Museum), Ruheng Duoji (Moso Folk Museum), and Tami Blumenfield (Furman University)Na ritual specialists of mountainous southwest China (Yunnan and Sichuan Provinces) chant incantations to protect families and communities who seek their services. Read more.


Chinese Environmental Film Workshop 12:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m. in Furman Hall 214

Workshop Facilitators: Tami Blumenfield (Furman University) and Jenny Chio (Emory University)

During the afternoon workshop session, invited experts and filmmakers will provide critical commentary about how environmental topics are portrayed in films screened at the festival. Speakers will analyze and compare narrative and representational strategies used to depict environmental issues. Read more.


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