Video: Jian Yi Speaks to Soros Foundation / Open Society Institute
Jian Yi (Photo by Christopher Capozziello for the Open Society Institute)
Next week, we’ll post the second of our video interviews produced from the “Meet the Filmmakers” series held in Feburary 2010 at the Apple Store in Sanlitun, Beijing. The video will feature Jian Yi, one of the most accomplished and ambitious independent filmmakers working in China today. Jian Yi directed the critically acclaimed films Super, Girls! and Bamboo Shoots, and co-directed the groundbreaking China Village Documentary Project, in which ordinary villagers from across China used video cameras to record the changing rural dynamics in their home villages. He is also the founder of the Participatory Documentary Center at Jinggangshan University and Original Studio, one of the nations first innovative community art centers. His documentaries and feature films, which reveal the social and cultural tensions of contemporary China, have won international awards and are shown worldwide.
Jian is also the founder of IFCHINA, a pioneering NGO that helps ordinary citizens in small and medium-sized Chinese cities document their own lives through videography, theater, and photography. Provincial communities are losing collective memory as residents migrate to the coastal metropolises in search of work. Jian Yi believes that video technology can preserve that memory, while stimulating a sense of civic engagement and strengthening shared values. He is currently working to seed a project in Ji’an City, the cradle of the communist revolution and the major pilgrimage site for Maoists across China.
Jian Yi’s work led him to receive a prestigious fellowship with the Open Society Institute, funded by the Soros Foundation. The OSI posted this brief video with Jian Yi, speaking in English about his work. It’s a nice preview to the more lengthy interview that we will be posting next week.