A Chinese gay doc film premieres in Amsterdam this week

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CinemAsia Film Festival in Amsterdam starts tomorrow with a “Queer & Asian” section screening seven films from Indonesia, China, Singapore, The Philippines and Japan.

Among them, a documentary about drag queens in southwest China has its European premiere this week in Amsterdam

In an interview to “Gay Star News”, the Chinese doc director Fan Popo is presenting the European premiere of his film, “Be a Woman”, about drag queens in Nanning in southwest China.

What was the most challenging aspect about making Be a Woman?
The biggest challenge was the funding issue. As queer films are banned in China, I can’t get income from film screenings in China. Finally I did the filming with my own money and got grant from an USA foundation to do the editing.
The second challenge was to get my interviewees to trust me. I went to Nanning tree times in 2008, 2009 and 2010. Now they are all very good friends of mine. We are like a family. I’m going there again at the end of April.

What’s life like for drag queens in China?
There are different styles in different cities. In the city of Nanning, where my documentary was filmed, they learnt a lot from Thailand (since it’s only a one hour flight from Bangkok). You feel the Southeast Asia influence in their performance. The performers do enjoy their work and life, though they don’t have very high income.

What other queer Asian films at the festival are you looking forward to seeing?
I really look forward to see Speechless by Simon Chung, a Hong Kong gay director’s newest work. It was story of great suspense. And actually I helped with the translation of the script, but I still haven’t seen it yet.

What film are you working on next?
My next documentary in production was about mothers who support their gay and lesbian children, it was in cooperation with PFLAG China, and Queer Comrades webcast, it will be released in June.

Video trailer of “Be a Woman”

SOURCE: gaystarnews.com (3/4/12)

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