北京独立影像展被停办 China Shuts Down Beijing Independent Film FestivalPosted: August 23, 2014
Started as a film forum in 2006, the festival over the years has grown to be one of the most important events for China’s independent films, but also has attracted the attention of authorities eager to regulate free speech.
BEIJING (AP) — Chinese authorities blocked an annual independent film festival from opening on Saturday, said organizers of an event that has become a rare and influential venue for the showing of films that could be critical of the government.
“It’s very clear that the Xi Jinping regime is determined to control the ideological realm, which has not been emphasized so much for a long time.”
— Chris Berry, professor of film studies at King’s College London
The Beijing Independent Film Festival’s artistic director, Wang Hongwei, and executive director, Fan Rong, said authorities had forced the cancellation of the event, which was scheduled to run through Aug. 31. Wang and Fan are with the Li Xianting Film Fund, the festival’s organizer.
— Emma Chibulu (@chibulu) August 22, 2014
Li Xianting, founder of the film fund and a movie critic, posted memos on social media over the past week saying that state security personnel had been pressuring him to cancel the festival and that he had come under police surveillance. Both Wang and Fan verified the authenticity of Li’s posts.
The festival, which began in 2006, has seen obstruction in past years, but this is the first time it’s been dealt a complete shutdown, a sign that Beijing is tightening ideological controls under President Xi Jinping, said Chris Berry, professor of film studies at King’s College London in England.
“It’s very clear that the Xi Jinping regime is determined to control the ideological realm, which has not been emphasized so much for a long time,” he said.
But Berry said that China is not new to shutting down independent film festivals, and that the ill treatment of the Beijing festival does not mark the end of the country’s independent filmmaking, as filmmakers have found more venues in an increasingly diverse environment….(more)
AP videojournalists Isolda Morillo and Helene Franchineau contributed to this report.
- China shuts down Beijing independent film festival (washingtontimes.com)
- China Shuts Down Beijing Independent Film Festival (abcnews.go.com)
- China shuts down Beijing independent film festival (cnsnews.com)