The Los Angeles Chinese Film Festival Announces 2nd Annual Festival

The Schedule includes a Robust Slate of Films and Panels from 21 Chinese Independent Voices Featuring A Lineup From 21 Chinese Independent Voices

Festival runs November 1st – 4th 2018

The Los Angeles Chinese Film Festival (LACFF) is proud to host its second annual festival, screening 21 nominated films from Chinese independent filmmakers and artists, at the Downtown Independent Theater, from November 1st to 4th, 2018. LACFF is the only film festival in Los Angeles to focus on independent Chinese culture and heritage films. LACFF also aims to foster cultural exchange between the Hollywood and Chinese film industries.12736187-lacff-2018-engchinese-logo

(The LACFF is organized by Chinese in Entertainment (CIE), a Los Angeles-based non-profit organization that supports Chinese talent and culture in entertainment and the arts.)

This year, the festival received a total of 255 film submissions from 11 different countries and regions. After two months of expert and jury deliberations, 21 films were nominated; including three features, three documentaries, six narrative shorts, four documentary shorts, and five experimental/animated shorts.

Of the festival line-up, nine films will be making their North American and/or Los Angeles Premiere at LACFF this year. The feature film, E.T. Made in China (Dir. Xiaosha Zhang), as well as stop-animation short, The Quintet of the Sunset (Dir. Jie Weng), will be making their World Premiere at LACFF as well.

This year’s films cover a variety of international topics, focusing primarily on the directors’ thoughts on the ever-changing Chinese and global landscapes. For example, E.T. Made in China looks at the modern Chinese rural reality in the presence of actual extraterrestrials; Speculator (Dir. Yuntao Du) features the ride-sharing app, Uber and the foreign capital flowing into the Chinese market; People’s Republic of Desire (Dir. Hao Wu) explores the financial and personal conflicts behind live internet streaming platforms; and Hanzi (Dir. Mu-Ming Tsai) explores Asian culture and identity through a typographic lens.

Full Festival Line Up

Narrative Features

  • E.T. Made in China (World Premiere); Director: Xiaosha Zhang
  • Girls Always Happy, Director: Mingming Yang
  • Transcendent (North American Premiere); Director: Linzi Zhang

Documentary Features

  • Hanzi (Los Angeles Premiere); Director: Mu-Ming Tsai
  • I’ve Got a Little Problem (Los Angeles Premiere); Director: Ximing Zhang
  • People’s Republic of Desire; Director: Hao Wu

Narrative Shorts

  • Besieged; Director: Mengchen Niu
  • Birthday Party; Director: Theo Ma
  • Cupcake; Director: Dawei Zhang
  • Jiejie; Director: Feng-I Roan
  • Miss World; Director: Georgia Fu
  • Mother Eden; Director: Erzhuo Wang

Documentary Shorts

  • Arcosanti: A State of Fugue (North American Premiere); Director: Kehui Feng
  • Life as He Likes; Director: Lizhu Yang
  • One Day In GaoYi (Los Angeles Premiere); Director: Jiaxuan Xiao & Muqiu Qin
  • Speculator (Los Angeles Premiere); Director: Yuntao Du

Animation and Experimental Shorts

  • Ayesha (Los Angeles Premiere); Director: Yanyu Dong
  • Barry; Director: Anchi Shen
  • Cry Baby (Los Angeles Premiere); Director: Xiner Jiang
  • Light (Los Angeles Premiere); Director: Tatsu Aoki
  • The Quintet of the Sunset (World Premiere); Director: Jie Weng

Opening and Closing Screenings

Opening Screening: Walking Past the Future; Director: Ruijun Li

Closing Screening: Linsanity; Director: Evan Jackson Leong

Jury members this year include Ruijun Li, the director and screenwriter of Walking Past the Future, which has been featured in the official selections of the 70th Cannes Film Festival, the 65th Berlin International Film Festival, and 69th Venice Film Festival; film scholar Gabrielle Kelly, who has taught at UCLA, USC, & NYU and is currently on the faculty at AFI; Rebecca Baron, a Los Angeles-based media artist whose works have screened widely at the New York, Toronto, and London Film Festivals; award-winning producer Richard Liang, whose documentary won the Best Chinese Documentary Award at the Taiwan International Documentary Festival in 2016; David E. James, film studies professor at USC‘s School of Cinematic Arts; Jeff Swimmer, professor of Documentary at Chapman University‘s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts; award-winning cinematographer, Helder K. Sun; and Emmy Award-winning visual artist, Lin Zheng.

This year, LACFF is also hosting industry tastemakers to speak at two panels discussing the collaboration and future of US and Chinese entertainment, in both the business and creative fields. The panelists include Rong Chen, Senior Vice President of Perfect World and CEO of Perfect World Pictures, Mike Gabrawy, Chief Creative Officer of Arclight Films; Randy Greenberg, Executive Producer of The Meg (2018); Bennett Pozil, Executive Vice President of East West Bank; Jimmy O. Yang, actor on Silicon Valley (2014-2018) and Crazy Rich Asians (2018); Jessica Gao, Emmy Award-winning writer for Rick and Morty (2013) and Silicon Valley (2014); Helen Shang, writer on Hannibal (2015) and Invoking 5 (2018); Rachel Song, Founder, CEO, and bilingual producer of XS Media (A Kid Like Jake, 2018); and Rui Yao, screenwriter of Lin Shi Yan Yuan (2017) and Angry Kid (2013).

Philadelphia Museum of Art to Present Celebrated Film Trilogy and New Performance by Artist Yael Bartana

This fall, the Philadelphia Museum of Art will premiere Bury Our Weapons, Not Our Bodies!, a new site-specific public performance by acclaimed Israeli-born artist Yael Bartana. Scheduled to take place on September 22, 2018 (through to January 1, 2019) at the Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia, this performance will be presented as part of a solo exhibition at the Museum dedicated to the artist’s provocative film trilogy, And Europe Will Be Stunned (2007-2011). Marking its Philadelphia debut, this trilogy will be an immersive installation in the Joan Spain Gallery of the Museum’s Perelman Building.

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Portrait of Yael Bartana. Photo by Birgit Kaulfuss. Image courtesy of the artist and Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2018.

Born in 1970 in Kfar Yehezkel, Israel, Yael Bartana lives and works in Berlin and Amsterdam. In her films, installations, and photographs, Bartana investigates the ideas of homeland, return, and belonging, often in ceremonies, memorials, public rituals, and actions that are intended to reaffirm and question collective identities and ideas of the nation or the state.

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Image from “Zamach (Assassination),” 2011, by Yael Bartana. From the trilogy “And Europe Will Be Stunned.” (Collection of both the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; purchased by the PMA with funds contributed by Nancy M. Berman and Alan Bloch and the Philip and Muriel Berman Foundation, and the Committee on Modern and Contemporary Art; and purchased by the WAC, T. B. Walker Acquisition Fund, 2013). Image courtesy of the artist and Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2018.

Taking the complex history of Jewish-Polish identity as its point of departure, And Europe Will Be Stunned addresses the themes of nationhood, memory, and belonging that are integral to Bartana’s work. It first debuted at the Venice Biennale in 2011, where Bartana represented Poland. Shortly thereafter, the trilogy was jointly acquired by the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. Employing a visual vocabulary reminiscent of Stalinist and Zionist propaganda of the early 20th century, And Europe Will be Stunned chronicles the radical program of a fictional political movement called the Jewish Renaissance Movement in Poland (JRMiP). Created by Bartana, together with Polish activist Sławomir Sierakowski, the JRMiP advocates for the return of over three million Jews to their forgotten Polish homeland. Informed by the histories of the Israeli settlement movement, Zionism, anti-Semitism, and the Palestinian right of return, the trilogy uses the real and the imagined to speak to global complexities about identity and self-determination in an increasingly unstable world.

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Still from “Mur i wieża (Wall and Tower),” 2009, by Yael Bartana. From the trilogy “And Europe Will Be Stunned.” (Collection of both the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; purchased by the PMA with funds contributed by Nancy M. Berman and Alan Bloch and the Philip and Muriel Berman Foundation, and the Committee on Modern and Contemporary Art; and purchased by the WAC, T. B. Walker Acquisition Fund, 2013). Image courtesy of the artist and Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2018.

Beyond the walls of the Philadelphia Museum, Bartana will realize Bury Our Weapons, Not Our Bodies! as a means of extending the themes of the artist’s trilogy into the birthplace of American democracy – Philadelphia. Bartana’s performance is a call to action, aiming to make visible the systems of violence and displacement that have been perpetuated through weapons, both literal and symbolic. As the title suggests, the performance will bury these weapons, rendering them useless, as they are incorporated into a choreographed funeral—a living monument—that will include a staged procession and a collective eulogy about war and survival. The movements of the performers are inspired by those of Israeli artist and dance composer Noa Eshkol (1924-2007), specifically evoking Eshkol’s 1953 memorial assembly performed in remembrance to the Holocaust. Bringing together funerary tradition, military ritual, and personal testimony, Bartana’s new performance will deepen the artist’s investigations into the construction of memory and the aesthetics of national identity.

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Still from “Mary Koszmary (Nightmares),” 2007, by Yael Bartana. From the trilogy “And Europe Will Be Stunned.” (Collection of both the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; purchased by the PMA with funds contributed by Nancy M. Berman and Alan Bloch and the Philip and Muriel Berman Foundation, and the Committee on Modern and Contemporary Art; and purchased by the WAC, T. B. Walker Acquisition Fund, 2013). Image courtesy of the artist and Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2018.

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David Wojnarowicz Retrospective At The Whitney Explores The Enduring Resonance Of An Artist Who Merged The Personal And The Political

This summer, the most complete presentation to date of the work of artist, writer, and activist David Wojnarowicz will be on view in a full-scale retrospective organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art. David Wojnarowicz: History Keeps Me Awake at Night is the first major re-evaluation since 1999 of one of the most fervent and essential voices of his generation.

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David Wojnarowicz with Tom Warren, Self-Portrait of David Wojnarowicz, 1983–84. Acrylic and collaged paper on gelatin silver print, 60 × 40 in. (152.4 × 101.6 cm). Collection of Brooke Garber Neidich and Daniel Neidich, Photograph by Ron Amstutz. (The exhibition is organized by David Breslin, DeMartini Family Curator and Director of the Collection, and David Kiehl, Curator Emeritus, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.)

Opening at the Whitney on July 13 and running through September 30, David Wojnarowicz: History Keeps Me Awake at Night features more than a hundred works by the artist and is organized by two Whitney curators, David Breslin, DeMartini Family Curator and Director of the Collection, and David Kiehl, Curator Emeritus. The exhibition, which will be installed in the Museum’s fifth floor Neil Bluhm Family Galleries through September 30, draws upon the scholarly resources of the Fales Library and Special Collections (NYU), the repository of Wojnarowicz’s archive, and is also built on the foundation of the Whitney’s extensive holdings of Wojnarowicz’s work, including thirty works from the Museum’s collection. It will travel to the Museo Reina Sofía, Madrid, in May 2019, and to Mudam Luxembourg – Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, Luxembourg City, in November 2019.

Scott Rothkopf, Deputy Director for Programs and Nancy and Steve Crown Family Chief Curator, remarked, “Since his death more than twenty-five years ago, David Wojnarowicz has become an almost mythic figure, haunting, inspiring, and calling to arms subsequent generations through his inseparable artistic and political examples. This retrospective will enable so many to confront for the first time, or anew, the groundbreaking multidisciplinary body of work on which his legacy actually stands.”

Beginning in the late 1970s, David Wojnarowicz (1954–1992) created a body of work that spanned photography, painting, music, film, sculpture, writing, performance, and activism. Joining a lineage of iconoclasts, Wojnarowicz (pronounced Voyna-ROW-vich) saw the outsider as his true subject. His mature period began with a series of photographs and collages that honored—and placed himself among—consummate countercultural figures like Arthur Rimbaud, William Burroughs, and Jean Genet. Even as he became well-known in the East Village art scene for his mythological paintings, Wojnarowicz remained committed to writing personal essays. Queer and HIV-positive, Wojnarowicz became an impassioned advocate for people with AIDS at a time when an inconceivable number of friends, lovers, and strangers—disproportionately gay men—were dying from the disease and from government inaction.

After hitchhiking across the U.S. and living for several months in San Francisco, and then in Paris, David Wojnarowicz settled in New York in 1978 and soon after began to exhibit his work in East Village galleries. Largely self-taught, Wojnarowicz came to prominence in New York in the 1980s, a period marked by great creative energy and profound cultural changes. Intersecting movements—graffiti, new and no wave music, conceptual photography, performance, neo-expressionist painting—made New York a laboratory for innovation. Unlike many artists, Wojnarowicz refused a signature style, adopting a wide variety of techniques with an attitude of radical possibility. Distrustful of inherited structures, a feeling amplified by the resurgence of conservative politics, Wojnarowicz varied his repertoire to better infiltrate the culture.

His essay for the catalog accompanying the exhibition Witnesses: Against Our Vanishing (curated by Nan Goldin at Artists Space in 1989–90) came under fire for its vitriolic attack on politicians and leaders who were preventing AIDS treatment and awareness. The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) threatened to defund the exhibition, and Wojnarowicz fought against this and for the first amendment rights of artists. Continue reading

Awards Rules Approved For 91st Oscars®

Campaign Regulations Updated For New Awards Seasonunnamed

The times, they are a changing. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and SciencesBoard of Governors has approved Oscars® rules and campaign regulations for the 91st Academy Awards®.

New Oscar rules include:

  • Submission deadlines for awards eligibility have been changed. There is now one submission deadline – Monday, October 1, 2018 – for the Animated Feature Film, Documentary Feature, Documentary Short Subject, Foreign Language Film, Animated Short Film and Live Action Short Film categories. The submission deadline for Best Picture and all other categories is Thursday, November 15, by 5 p.m. PT.
  • In the Music categories, all members of the Music Branch will view films eligible for Original Score and film clips of eligible Original Songs and vote in a preliminary round to produce a shortlist of 15 titles in each category using the preferential voting system. Five nominees for Original Score and five nominees for Original Song will then be chosen by branch members in a second round of balloting also using preferential voting.
  • In the Documentary Feature category, films that have won a qualifying award at a competitive film festival will be eligible for Academy Awards consideration regardless of any prior public exhibition or distribution by nontheatrical means. The Documentary Feature Qualifying Festival List will be available later this spring. Furthermore, the critic review eligibility requirement has been expanded to include additional New York- and Los Angeles-based publications.
  • To align with credits eligibility in the Best Picture category, rules in both the Animated Feature Film and Documentary Feature categories have been updated to allow for more than one producer to be designated as a nominee.
  • In a procedural change, members of the Visual Effects Branch Nominating Committee will now be able to stream bake-off reels from the shortlisted films or attend satellite bake-off screenings and vote online. Previously, committee members were only able to vote in person at the Academy’s Visual Effects Bake-off in Los Angeles.
  • Other amendments to the rules include standard date changes and other “housekeeping” adjustments.

Rules are reviewed annually by individual branch and category committees. The Awards and Events Committee then reviews all proposed changes before presenting its recommendations to the Board of Governors for approval.

Updated campaign regulations, which specify how companies and individuals may promote to Academy members any movies and achievements eligible for the 91st Academy Awards, are also presented to the Board of Governors for approval.

  • For the first time, studios, distributors, and filmmakers will be required to use an Academy-approved mailing house to send sanctioned awards materials for eligible films to Academy members. Each approved mailing house will be provided with an official list of Academy members who have opted-in along with their contact information to facilitate both physical and digital mailings.
  • Additionally, the number of post-nominations screenings with a filmmaker Q&A is now limited to a maximum of four regardless of category or country in which the event takes place. This rule eliminates the two additional screenings currently allowed for Documentary and Foreign Language Film nominees.

For the complete 91st Academy Awards rules, visit oscars.org/rules.

The 91st Oscars will be held on Sunday, February 24, 2019, at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® in Hollywood, and will be televised live on the ABC Television Network at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT. The Oscars also will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.

The Academy Foundation Announces 2018-19 FilmCraft and FilmWatch Grant Recipients

Additional Support Awarded to Film Archives Impacted by Natural Disasters: Cinemateca de Cuba, Permanencia Voluntaria and Archivo de Imagenes en Movimiento

The Academy Foundation of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced today recipients of its 2018 FilmCraft and FilmWatch grants. In addition to the 51 FilmCraft and FilmWatch grants awarded, the grants committee set aside $15,000 to help with the recovery efforts at three international archives devastated by hurricanes and earthquakes in 2017. Those archives are Cinemateca de Cuba in Cuba, Permanencia Voluntaria in Mexico and Archivo de Imagenes en Movimiento in Puerto Rico. This funding is in addition to support and expertise that is already being provided by the Academy Film Archive.

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Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences logo

The Academy’s FilmCraft and FilmWatch grants were established to identify and empower future filmmakers from nontraditional backgrounds, cultivate new and diverse talent, promote motion pictures as an art form, and provide a platform for underrepresented artists. Grants range from $5,000-$15,000, and a total of $500,000 was awarded for the 2018-2019 grants year.

The Academy’s Grants program provides financial support to qualifying film festivals, educational institutions, and film scholars and supports the Academy’s overall mission to recognize and uphold excellence in the motion picture arts and sciences, inspire imagination and connect the world through the medium of motion pictures. The Academy Grants program has awarded a total of $12,194,000 to non-profit institutions and film festivals.

This year the Grants are proud to support 51 organizations whose innovative programs reach broad audiences, underserved high school and college students, support mid-career and emerging filmmakers, and engage and enrich their local communities. The Grants also reached out to support several film archives devastated by recent climate events. It is the Grants’ privilege and responsibility to fund organizations, rising and established, that reflect both The Academy’s values and its leadership role in the arts,” said Buffy Shutt, chair of the Academy’s grants committee.

The grant recipient institutions and programs are as follows:

FilmCraft Grants

American Film Institute (Los Angeles, CA) – Directing Workshop for Women

  • A tuition-free, year-long program that provides hands-on training and mentorship to increase the number of women working professionally in screen directing.


Austin Film Festival (Austin, TX) – The Diversity Focus Program

  • A series of panels and screenings featuring underrepresented storytellers with a goal of challenging the narrative that minority voices are shrinking.


Berklee College of Music (Boston, MA) – Film Scoring Artist In Residence

  • Program aims to advance the careers of practicing film composers, prepare students as film scoring professionals, diversify the pipeline of professional talent to the film industry, and increase public awareness of the significance of the film scoring craft.


California State University, Los Angeles (Los Angeles, CA) – Urban Stories Film Incubator

  • A year-long experience where students will be guided through pre-production, production, and post-production to create short films or documentaries that tell their diverse community stories while developing their long-term filmmaking skills.


Camden International Film Festival (Camden, ME) – Points North Institute 2018 Artist Programs

Program provides hundreds of independent documentary filmmakers from diverse backgrounds with unique opportunities for education, professional development, and artistic expansion.

Chicken & Egg Pictures (New York, NY) – 2018 Accelerator Lab for First and Second-Time Filmmakers

  • Program supports diverse women documentary filmmakers in completing their first or second film while laying the groundwork for sustainable long-term careers.


Columbia University School of the Arts (New York, NY) – Diversity Casting Initiative

  • A new co-curricular program designed to encourage MFA film students to incorporate a range of races, ethnicities, and gender identity in their films to better reflect the diversity encountered in daily life.

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Campari Announces Campari Red Diaries (2018) – The Legend of Red Hand

Zoe Saldana Announced as the Star of the Short Movie Directed by Stefano Sollima

Following the international success of the 2017 edition, Campari, the iconic Italian aperitif, announces the return of Campari Red Diaries 2018 with an all-star short movie steeped in intrigue, leading viewers in the journey of a pursuit of the perfect cocktail. Evolving Campari’s ethos that ‘every cocktail tells a story‘, this year’s film is a celebration of bartenders’ talent around the world and most importantly, the Red Hands, masters of the world’s best cocktails.

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Lead protagonist Mia Parc, played by Zoe Saldana, enjoying the perfect Campari cocktail. Credit: Matteo Bottin (PRNewsfoto/Campari)

Launched in 2017, Campari Red Diaries is the evolution of the Campari Calendar. A 360o holistic campaign, with a short movie at the heart, Campari Red Diaries brings to life Campari’s ethos that “every cocktail tells a story”. Campari Red Diaries is launched digitally, with the short movie hosted on Campari’s official YouTube page.

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Davide, played by Adriano Giannini in The Legend of Red Hand short movie for Campari Red Diaries. Credit: Matteo Bottin (PRNewsfoto/Campari)

The short movie acts as the centerpiece of this year’s campaign, starring globally renowned actress Zoe Saldana – star of blockbuster film franchises Avatar and Guardians of the Galaxy – Italian actor Adriano Giannini and directed by the famous Italian director Stefano Sollima, known for his work on Gomorrah and upcoming movie, Soldado.

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Leading Italian director, Stefano Sollima is behind this year’s Campari Red Diaries short movie, The Legend of Red Hand. Credit: Matteo Bottin

Saldana comments: “The Campari Red Diaries campaign has a great legacy, so I was delighted to play the role of Mia Parc in The Legend of Red Hand. Mia’s character was a fascinating one to play, to portray her sheer determination to reach perfection and bringing this to life in Milan as the birthplace of Campari, the iconic Italian aperitif was very special.”

Entitled ‘The Legend of Red Hand‘, the story is a thrilling mystery that tells the journey of Mia Parc, played by an intrigued Saldana, in the pursuit of the perfect cocktail starting in Milan, the birthplace of Campari.

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Zoe Saldana announced as the star of The Legend of Red Hand short movie for Campari Red Diaries, aside Adriano Giannini and directed by Stefano Sollima. Credit: Matteo Bottin (PRNewsfoto/Campari)

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