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Interview with dGenerate’s Kevin Lee – appearing at U. Illinois and RIT this week

dGenerate's Kevin Lee (right) with director Liu Jiayin at the Beijing Sanlitun Apple Store

Christen Cornell of Artspace China interviews Kevin Lee, dGenerate’s VP of Programming and Education, on dGenerate’s work in building a distribution channel for Chinese films in North America.

Kevin will be appearing at two campus events this week. On Tuesday October 5 at 3:30, Kevin will present a lecture “Chinese cinema from the Fifth Generation to the d-Generation” at the Spurlock Museum in Urbana, Illinois. At 7pm at the Spurlock he will present Du Haibin‘s documentary 1428. The events are part of the AsiaLENS Documentary and Independent Film Series sponsored by the Asian Educational Media Service of the University of Illinois.

The following weekend Kevin will attend a symposium on Sixth Generation Chinese cinema at the Rochester Institute of Technology. On Saturday October 9 at 5pm, he will moderate a panel discussion on “What’s the future for Chinese Cinema?” Details can be found here.

Here is an excerpt from the interview with Artspace China (full interview can be found at:

Kevin Lee: One event series that we’ve started in Chinese language are these talks at the Apple Store in Beijing (we’ve already had about six so far). We’ll bring a filmmaker to the Apple Store, have an hour-long conversation with them, and show some clips from their films. It’s done very informally with a very general audience and it’s been really successful. The one I attended in August with Liu Jiayin was standing room only and the people there were really into what she had to say. I guess the idea of someone making films on their own, with mostly their own resources and outside the system and with a greater degree of personal expression and creative energy – it really piques people’s curiosity. It kind of plants the seed that it’s possible for someone, just anyone really, to make a film. If you have access to the resources (and it’s not too expensive to get a video camera), if you’re resourceful enough and you have a creative vision, you can make a film with relatively little. Christen Cornell: I guess that’s what the technology now allows people to do. There are lots of moments converging in China right now and this is one of them. Almost anyone can get a digital camera and make a film. KL: Right and I think it’s a very powerful thing, a very revolutionary thing in the context of Chinese cinema, as well as in Chinese media history. Just the fact that any citizen can access a camera and if they’re inspired to make a film, either about real life going on around them, or a story – a fictional story that they think is really wonderful but for whatever reason couldn’t get made within the auspices of mainstream film production – they actually are able to do this now. This is an unprecedented moment. The sky’s the limit for these types of films. They’re limited only by the resourcefulness and the degree of creativity the artist has.

Artspace China is a new website featuring articles and discussion on contemporary Chinese culture, hosted by the University of Sydney Confucius Institute.


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