Chinese Independent Filmmakers Look to Locarno Festival

by swisscham in General Interest

Thanks largely to financing by a university teacher, Bi Gan was able to make his first feature film, ÒKaili Blues,Ó an elliptical story about a manÕs family relationships and his journey through the lush rural hilltowns of Guizhou Province in China. He even received approval from official censors. But its art house techniques and narrative style guarantee a minuscule Chinese audience. The film, however, has found a natural outlet: the Locarno International Film Festival in Switzerland, a top-tier festival at a lake resort town that has had a long relationship with Asian cinema. ÒKaili BluesÓ had its premiere there on Tuesday. (The festival began on Aug. 5 and ends Saturday.) ÒI knew that my movie was good, but I didnÕt know there were that many people who shared the same views on this film before the Locarno film festival invited me,Ó said Mr. Bi, 26. ÒNow I think more people will be able to appreciate it.Ó Now in its 68th year, Locarno has emerged as one of the most important Western festivals to support Asian film, particularly works without big box-office prospects.

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