New Political Cinema, Asia, and Beyond: TEN YEARS multimedia dossier in FRAMES

The multimedia dossier New Political Cinema, Asia, and Beyond: TEN YEARS was published in FRAMES CINEMA JOURNAL, Issue 15, May 2019.

It contains the following articles:

Introduction by Prof Gina Marchetti (HKU) and Prof Dina Iordanova (St Andrews)

Video Interview with the producers of the TEN YEARS series: conducted, recorded, edited and subtitled by Dr. Leiya Lee (HKU). 45 min long, January 2019. Featurng:

      • Ka-leung Ng is the director of the “Local Egg” segment and Ten Years (2015), and the producer of Ten Years (2015)
      • Andrew Choi: producer of Ten Years (2015) and Ten Years International Project
      • Felix Tsang from Golden Scene is the international distributor of Ten Years and of Ten Years International Project and the producer of Ten Years International Project
      • Lorraine Ma is the producer of Ten Years International Project

Video Essay: Film critic Clarence Tsui on TEN YEARS

Video Essay: Producer Andrew Choi on TEN YEARS

Video Essay: Prof. Kwai-Cheung Lo (HKBU) on TEN YEARS

Video Essay: Dr. Vivian Lee (CUHK) on TEN YEARS

Video Essay: Distributor Felix Tsang (Golden Scene) on TEN YEARS

Video Essay: Prof. Laikwan Pang (CUHK) on TEN YEARS

Essay: Quietly Critical; TEN YEARS JAPAN by Dr. Jennifer Coates (UEA, Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures)

Essay: A Future Without China: Livelihood Issues in TEN YEARS TAIWAN by Dr Timmy Chih-Ting Chen (BUHK)

Essay: TEN YEARS: An Unexpected Watershed of Twenty-first-century Hong Kong Film Industry by Dr. Ruby Cheung (U of Southampton)

Essay: TEN YEARS THAILAND: The Future Becoming, by Anchalee Chaiworaporn (independent critic, Thailand)

TEN YEARS: Bibliography and FIlmography, by Yu Lu (HKU).


The publication is a joint collaborative project of the IGCCC at the University of St Andrews and the Centre for the Study of Globalization and Cultures at the University of Hong Kong. It was developed out of the workshop dedicated to the TEN YEARS: ASIAN POLITICAL CINEMA project, whcih was held at the University of Hong Kong on 8 January 2019.


Mrinal Sen @ St Andrews, 2019

Mrinal Sen, whose death “marks the end of Golden Age of Indian cinema’s stalwart filmmakers” (Hindustan Times), was commemorated in this workshop which took place on 20 May 2019.

The great Indian Bengali director died in Kolkata on 30 December 2018 at the age of 95, leaving a legacy of award-winning realist leftist films, which had won awards at all major international film festivals, including Cannes, Berlinale and Venice. Mrinal Sen, Satayajit Ray and Ritwik Ghatak pioneered the New Wave cinema in India. His obituary in The Guardian spoke of Sen as ‘one of Indian cinema’s most probing recorders of the country’s social fabric’.

The event featured several contributions about the work of the director and its social context, followed by a film screening and a discussion. Sanghita Sen spoke on curating Mrinal Sen’s work for various programming situations. Shruti Narayanswami discussed Sen’s early film Neel Akasher Neechey (1958), which tells the story of an immigrant Chinese worker in Calcutta: one of the rare instances where Indian and Chinese cultures intersect in the cinema of the subcontinent. The programme included video contributions from the director’s son Kunal Sen, as well as by famous actress Nandita Das, who had most recently appared in his Amar Bhuvan (2002).


We screened Sen’s classic film Calcutta 71 (1972), a black and white complex masterpiece with a narrative that alternates between stories and different points in time. An angry young man is on trial in 1971, a rainstorm wrecks a slum in 1933, a lower-middle-class family is starving during the 1943 famine, teenagers turn smugglers in 1953, and a middle-class group chatter in a posh hotel in 1971.

Workshop initiator Sanghita Sen went on to discuss the work of the director in the transnational context of Third Cinema, at a talk in Bangladesh later in 2019, as covered in The Dhaka Tribune.



Ten Years: Asian Political Cinema, University of Hong Kong, January 2019

The film TEN YEARS HONG KONG (2015) is considered the most important example of post hand-over political cinema, charting the anxieties of a whole generation of Hong Kong residents. In 2018, three further politically topical films were made in Asia, to the same model: TEN YEARS THAILAND, TEN YEARS TAIWAN, and TEN YEARS JAPAN, involving young independent filmmakers but also more established auteurs such as Hirokazu Kore-eda who co-produced the Japanese film, or Apichatpong Weerasethakul and Aditya Assarat, who contributed to the Thai one. The model for these politically thopical omnibus films is likely to be spread even furtehr afield. We felt it was important to hold a workshop and discuss the trend of political filmmaking in East Asia through the prism of the TEN YEARS project.

Held at the University of Hong Kong’s Run Run Shaw Tower, the event was organised jointly with our partners, The Centre for the Study of Globalization and Cultures at the University of Hong Kong. It brought together producer Andrew Choi (Ten Years Studios HK) and distributor Felix Tsang (Golden Scene), who are behind the whole series of films. Other discussants included Prof. Gina Marchetti (University of Hong Kong), Prof Laikwan Pang (Chinese University of Hong Kong), Dr Elena Pollacchi (Ca’ Foscari University, Italy), Dr Vivian Lee, Dr Timmy Chen, and Dr KC Lo (Baptist University of Hong Kong), and film critic Clarence Tsui.

Technical assistance related to the workshop was provided by Louis Lu, Christine Viscera, and Leila Lee.

Material generated through the workshop was published as part of the Dossier TEN YEARS ASIA in FRAMES CINEMA JOURNAL Issue 15.


Wu Tianming @ St Andrews: The Dossier now published

The cluster of video and written essays dedicated to the life and work of this great Chinese cineaste WU TIANMING (1939-2014) is a direct consequence of the great opening up of Chinese cinema to Western audiences that we are witnessing. Wu Tianming was not only a cruical figure of China’s Fourth generation of fim directors, but also the person who enabled — in his capacity of director of the Xi’an film studios — the most important directors of the Fifth generation, such as Zhang Yimou, Tian Zhiangzhuang and Chen Kaige, make their entry into cinema. We commemorated his work at the IGCCC workshop on 9 April 2018, when we screened his film OLD WELL (1987).  Subsequently, many of the contributions from the workshop were published online in a dossier dedicated to the director.

The dossier can be found in FRAMES CINEMA JOURNAL, ISSUE 14 (December 2018). Here is a link to the introductory video essay by Peize Li, which presents the complexity of Wu’s career.

Video Essay: Wu Tianming and the Xi’an Film Studio in China

The WU TIANMING DOSSIER also includes

Dina Iordanova, Introduction

Chris Berry, Video Essay: Remembering Wu Tianming

Xie Fei, Video Essay: Tribute to Wu Tianming

Wu Guanping, Video Essay: The Legacy of Wu Tianming

Himin Deng, River Without Buoys: The Construction of Post Revolutionary State Ideology

September Liu, In Memorial of Wu Tianming: An Anecdote and Some Notes


Events Publications

Setsuko Hara @ St Andrews: Dossier Now Published

The 5 February 2018 workshop on Japanese actress Setsuko Hara (1920-2015) was IGCCC’s first workshop to celebrate the work of a female artist, part of our series of events that mark the oeuvre of cineastes that have passed away in recent years.

The essays, published in Frames, Issue 13, are dedicated to Japan’s most admired and universally adored actress. Her presence in the films of Yasujirō Ozu, Akira Kurosawa, Mikio Naruse and many others made Hara one of the most memorable faces in the history of cinema at large, even if she withdrew from acting in her early 40s and never appeared in film after 1962.

We screened one of Hara’s earliest films, the German-Japanese co-production THE NEW EARTH (a.k.a. The Daughter of the Samurai/Atarashiki Tsuchi/新しき土) 1937, directed in two diferent versions by Arnold Frank and Mansaku Itami – in the version directed by Frank. Even though this was not her first role, Hara is only 17 years old when she appeared in the film, in a period that was marked by substantial propagandistic and political upheavals.

In the presentations that followed, we heard from historian Konrad Lawson (St Andrews), who gave a fascinating contextualisation of the complex period in which Hara started her career. Other contributors included our colleague Philippa Lovatt (St Andrews), Bruce Chu (Communication University of China), and Alex Zahlten (Harvard University).

Frames Cinema Journal (Issue 13, May 2018) published a dossier containing some of the material — an essay, an illustrated presentation, and a video essay — that was created by our range of contributors specifically for Hara’s commemoration. Here are the links:

Dina Iordanova, Introduction: Setsuko Hara @ St Andrews and Now in Frames

Alastair Phillips’s (Warwick), Space and Transition in the Films of Setsuko Hara

Jennifer Coates (Kyoto U./University of East Anglia) Setsuko Hara vs. the Press: The Post-war Trolling of a Wartime Icon, 

Joel Neville Anderson’s (Rochester/Japan Cuts) video essay: Hara Double at the Brattle.