Open City Docs Fest London 2011 will screen 7 doc films from or about Asia

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21st – 24th June – OPEN CITY DOCS FEST -Celebrating the best of documentary film in the heart of London -

“Open City Docs Fest” is a festival devoted to exploring the world we live in through the vision of documentary film. This year, the diverse programme offers more than 100 films from around the world, including 7 doc films from or about Asia. Highlights include a selection of new moving image work from China.

The festival also offers innovative workshops and filmmaker-led events which take place over four summer days and nights, across venues in and around central London and across University College London campus.

Open City Docs Fest has selected films that explore the range of modern life from the challenges of urban living, to the thrills of science, the subversion of art and the restorative beauty of music. The different film strands this year are Science Frictions, Protest Works, Sound Waves, Still Lives, Artists’ Documentary, The Image of the Engineer, City Scope, World Visions and Shorts.


Tales of The City: a programme of films and events exploring the modern urban environment.

. The Vanishing Spring Light
Xun Yu / 2011 / China, Canada / 112’

UK Premiere
Nominated for Time Out Best City Film Award

The Vanishing Spring Light documents the last two years in the life of Grandma Jiang and her family, before they are removed from West Street so the neighborhood can be turned into a tourist theme park. “Fish” Xun Yu spends more than two years living in Dujiangyan City, in southwest China filming the end of a two thousand year old community. As Grandma Jiang is consumed by illness, the family struggles to avoid collapse…


Unique stories and perspectives from around the world.

. Ex Press
Jet Leyco / 2012 / Philippines / 90’

UK Premiere
Nominated for Emerging International Filmmaker Award

Fact blurs into fiction in Jet Leyco’s hallucinatory debut feature Ex Press. Loosely based around the story of brutal railway policeman Colonel Paliparan who, several years ago, resigned under mysterious circumstances. In a bid to uncover the truth, his two sons set out to investigate the case. The young Filipino director mixes documentary with fiction to create a hypnotic, fragmented narrative of dreams and nightmares.

. Hanoi Eclipse
Barley Norton / 2010 / UK / 56’

This film follows the challenges faced by the controversial Vietnamese band Lam Linh, and shows how the band came together to create a unique form of popular music, both international in outlook and rooted in Vietnamese traditions and aesthetics. Followed by scandal at every turn for their experimental sound and their use of sexually explicit lyrics, the band has dared to flout taboos and fight for their creative freedom. Dai Lam Linh’s story of creative, political and financial struggle reveals what it is like to be a contemporary musician in a one-party state where cultural expression is tightly controlled.

. The Afghan Nightmare
Klaus Erik Okstad / 2011 / Norway / 54’

The Afghan Nightmare gives a unique insight into the Western forces’ military tasks and possibilities in Afghanistan. Norwegian Colonel Rune Solberg is trying to fulfill his task as military commander of the NATO in Faryab province, while the Taliban is increasing its activity and the handover to Afghan forces is supposed to be taking place. “The Afghan Nightmare” depicts vividly and with dark humour the manifold obstacles to Solberg’s mission, yet the story is told as close to the subjects as one can possibly get, and the film keeps you gripped from start until end.


If you don’t stand for something you’ll fall for anything. From Tunisia to Egypt to Syria and from Chile to Wall Street to Tottenham, 2011 was the year when people came together to change the world.

. High Tech, Low Life
Stephen Maing / 2012 / USA / 86’

Nominated for Emerging International Filmmaker Award

Two of China’s first citizen reporters chronicle the untold stories from inside China: A young vegetable seller decides to challenge the restrictions of free speech and begin a second life as a citizen journalist. An older blogger in Beijing is dedicated to telling the stories of the villagers who struggle for survival in China’s rural areas. Armed with digital cameras, cell phones and laptops they have both become one-man news stations as they navigate China’s evolving censorship regulations. From the perspective of vastly different generations, the film captures the efforts to reconcile an evolving sense of individualism, social responsibility and personal sacrifice.


Extraordinary characters, intimate stories and personal journeys, these are our Still Lives. In the Still Lives strand, intimate stories and personal journeys are explored. Highlights include two very different perspectives on modern China.

. China Heavyweight
Yung Chang / 2012 / Canada, China / 89’

Nominated for Grand Jury Award
In China Heavyweight, awardwinning filmmaker Yung Chang (Up the Yangtze) follows the charismatic Qi Moxiang, a former boxing star and state coach who recruits young fighting talent from the impoverished farms and villages across Sichuan province. The students’ rigorous training, teenage trials and family tribulations are intertwined with Coach Qi’s own desire to get back in the ring for one more shot at victory. Cinematically rich and intimately observed, China Heavyweight is all at once thrilling sports drama, astute social commentary and a beautifully crafted portrait of an athlete.

. Shattered
Xu Tong / 2011 / China / 100’

Tang Caifeng left home very early. This winter, she came back to her hometown in North East China, hoping to have a happy Chinese New Year reunion with her eighty year old father: Old Man Tang. Old Tang’s house is like a museum, with portraits of Lenin, Stalin, Marx, Engels, Mao and Lin Biao adorning the walls. Despite renouncing his Communist Party membership in 1958, Tang’s memories offer a strong riposte to the official version of China’s history. Shattered pulls no punches in portraying the social atomisation of Chinese society under the stratifying forces of a rabid state-run capitalism.

The festival jury will be chaired by French director Nicolas Philibert, César and European Film Awards Winner.

Open City Docs Fest is supported by UCL and has received a very significant gift from director,Christopher Nolan (Batman, Inception, UCL alumni) through his generous donation to UCL.

Full programme is available on

SOURCE: Open City Docs Fest

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