China Image Film Awards
Posted by jonathanfryer on Sunday, 10th October, 2010
Sunday 10.10.10 was an auspicious date for the closing ceremony of the 2nd China Image Film Festival at BAFTA, which was a gala occasion with a black-tie dinner before a screening of Han Sanping and Huang Jianxin’s modern historical epic ‘The Founding of a Republic’. In between were the awards for the week and I was honoured to be invited to present the one for Best Film, which was won by ‘The Floating Shadow’ by Jia Dongshuo. I was interviewed by Xinhua TV (in English) before going on stage, though I did give the first part of my speech in my now rather rusty Mandarin. Gratifyingly, I understood a great deal of the dialogue in ‘The Founding of a Republic’, without having to sneak too many peeks at the subtitles. I often used to go to the cinema when I was a student in Hong Kong, though as I pointed out in my speech, this was during the Cultural Revolution, when there was a very limited diet of films from mainland China. One I remember vividly was ‘The Red Detachment of Women’ (there was a ballet of the same name) by Jin Xie. There were very few politically tolerated themes in those days, the anti-Japanese War, the Civil War and stories of noble peasants being among them. Forty years on, the Chinese movie industry has really blossomed and Chinese cinema has now taken its place among world cinema. ‘The Founding of a Republic’ makes no real criticism of Chairman Mao, but it does give a surprisingly sympathetic portrait of KMT President Chiang Kai-Shek and even more so of his son and heir, Chiang Ching-Kuo. Altogether a very nice evening, at which it was nice to meet up with Merlene Toh Emerson, Chair of Chinese Liberal Democrats, again.
(Photo: JF with Merlene Toh Emerson and friend)