Pre-Opening Event, October 5th
This year, Ca’ Foscari Short Film Festival counts on a new and prestigious partnership, the Chinese-language international cultural media Group Guang Hua Cultures et Media, which will award the best experimentation in cinematographic language at the International Contest of our kermesse. By virtue of this important partnership, starting from this year, Ca’ Foscari Short will be co-organizer of the “Chinese Cinematographic Festival in Italy” 5th edition – the most important Chinese film festival present in Europe. This festival will be held in Venice at Ca’ Dolfin in collaboration with the Cultural Office of the Chinese Popular Republic Embassy in Italy.
The “Chinese Cinematographic Festival in Italy” started in September 2016 in Milan, where the first edition was held, followed by the second one (2017) in Rome at Villa Borghese “Casa del Cinema”, preceded by a press conference in Venice. The following editions were held in Rome/Spoleto – at Cinecittà Studios and Palazzo Comunale in Spoleto (2018) – and in Rome/Ischia (2019), with the availability of local institutions.
The choice to hold the Festival on 5th October (the day before the beginning of Ca’ Foscari Short Film Festival) and to set Venice as its main location in Italy is not random. In fact, the idea is to seal the new cultural fellowship between the two aforementioned Film Festivals for 2021 edition and the others to come.
All films in the official program of the Chinese Cinematographic Festival in Italy offer a meaningful cross section of one of the most important cinematographies in the world.
Due to the pandemic outbreak, this year’s edition has been reduced, expressing itself in terms of Retrospective with the title “Maestri” (“Masters”). Nonetheless, thanks to the co-organization offered by Ca’ Foscari Short, this year’s Festival still counts on important collaborations, in particular those offered by Prof. Roberta Novielli – as Festival artistic director – and Prof. Elena Polacchi as curator and one of the most prepared experts about Chinese cinema in Italy. She has personally selected the films scheduled, taking them from an official list kindly made available by the Cultural Office of the Chinese Popular Republic Embassy in Italy.
The Retrospective “Maestri” will start in Venice and then reach other well-known Italian cities, where the showing will continue throughout October. These cities are Naples (at the Oriental University), Bologna (at the Asian Institute of the Alma Mater Studiorum), Milan (at Bicocca University) and Rome (at La Sapienza University)
Guang Hua Cultures et Media group is one of the most important reference points for the Chinese editorial and cultural world in Europe. Nouvelles D’Europe is the group’s main newspaper, founded in January 1983 in Paris and currently representing the most influential Chinese media in Europe. In 2004, in collaboration with Xinming Evening News, Guang Hua founded “Settimanale Unione Europea” (European Union Weekly Publication) and in 2011 they launched in London Nouvelles D’Europe – UK Edition. This was followed in 2012 by the Central and Oriental Europe Edition, which now covers 37 countries in Continental Europe (also Extra-EU). Furthermore, between 2013 and 2018, the Group founded Nouvelles D’Europe Germania as well as the Italian and Spanish editions.
Beyond traditional publishing, GUANG HUA CULTURES ET MEDIA group focuses on the development of new medias thanks to websites like oushinet.com, chine-info.com, uk.china-info24.com and rete TV europea (European TV net). The group also works in the cultural and educational sphere with various Cultural Centres and Chinese Language Schools in different European countries. The goal of the Group is to organize activities focused on an interlinguistic and intercultural education to improve Chinese community integration in Europe.
SHADOW (ZHANG YIMOU, 116 min)
Set during Three-Kingdoms-era in China among warriors and palace intrigues, Shadow recounts the story of Commander Zi Yu (Deng Chao) and his lookalike Jing Zhou. Zi Yu causes the cession of an important city to the kingdom of Yang by loosing the duel against the invincible Yang Cang (Hu Jun) and is then demoted by the king. The commander secretly retreats in his residence, where he tries to recover and plots to obtain the throne. In public he’s substituted by Jing Zhou, a man who has been forcefully taken from his family and trained to be the commander’s “shadow” because of their resemblace. Jing will try to regain his freedom while manoeuvring between deceits, ambushes and bloody duels typical of Chinese “wuxia” films (literally “martial heros”).
ASH IS PUREST WHITE (JIA ZHANG-KE, 136 min)
Ash Is Purest White is a Chinese drama selected to compete at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival. It follows the development of the complicated affair between Qiao (Zhao Tao) and the mob boss Bin (Liao Fan) during seventeen years. One night, while a group of motorcyclists attack Bin and threat to depose him, Qiao grabs a gun and fires some shots. The woman blames herself to save her boyfriend and spends five years in prison without receiving visits. When she’s finally out, Qiao manages to meet Bin but she’s faced by a completely different man, with whom she’ll start a troublesome relationship.