The D.C. Chinese Film Festival (DCCFF), in collaboration with the One International Women’s Film Festival (OIWFF), held a retrospective of Chinese language film directed by and/or featuring women, entitled ON BOTH SIDES OF THE CAMERA: A Women in Film Retrospective from November 7th to November 10th in Washington D.C.
The festival comprised a selection of 10 films that address issues of gender and sexuality, as well as women’s evolving role in society.
Notable selections include King Hu’s wuxia classic A Touch of Zen (1971), the first Chinese-language film to win an award at the Cannes Film Festival; Hu Sang’s pioneering historical drama Long Live the Missus! (1947); and Taiwanese icon Sylvia Chang’s romantic comedy Siao Yu (1995), which was co-written by Ang Lee (whose erotic period drama, Lust, Caution will also be screening at the festival). Also showing are some recent, critically acclaimed debuts by women filmmakers such as Lina Wang (A First Farewell, 2018) and Congcong Teng (Send Me to the Clouds, 2019). DCCFF is also proud to announce a screening of I Am Another You (2017), the second film by Nanfu Wang, the director of this year’sSundance hit, One Child Nation.
DCCFF director CAI Yibin says this year’s film program shed light on different experiences of not only being a woman, but also a mother, a daughter, a breadwinner, an immigrant and many other roles that women occupy. People have different identities and everyone might find a connection in these incredibly human stories.
In the panel discussion, The Changing Image Memory and Fantasy Through Generations of Women in Film, filmmakers and experts discussed diverse portrayals of femininity and Chinese women in cinema on November 9th. Panel participants included TENG Congcong, director of Send Me to the Clouds, Sydney Li, co-founder and programmer of OIWFF, Melissa J. Houghton, Executive Director of Women in Film & Video (WIFV), and Jenny Cho, the author of Chinese in Hollywood (2013).
“Women in films are a window that brings us countless reflections, criticisms, acceptance, and also inclusiveness. It is through them that audiences can see the meanings and value of [female] power” said Sydney Li.
The festival was held in partner venues at the Freer Sackler Gallery and Landmark Theaters in Washington, D.C. and supported by MOAPIA DC and The George Washington University.