International

Chinese film festival shuts down amid censorship

more-in

It has been staged 14 times since 2003

One of China’s longest-running independent film festivals has decided to shut down against the backdrop of mounting government censorship, saying it was no longer possible to run a “purely independent” festival in the country.

The China International Film Festival (CIFF) made the announcement in a post Thursday on its official WeChat social media account.

“We believe that under current local organisational conditions it is impossible to organise an effective film festival that has a pure, independent spirit,” it said.

Restrictions under Xi

The statement gave no other details on the reasons, but the shutdown comes amid a dramatic tightening of censorship on Chinese media and entertainment under President Xi Jinping.

The CIFF was founded in the eastern city of Nanjing in 2003 and was staged 14 times, its announcement said.

The festival was known to have screened films on sensitive subjects such as homosexuality and controversies surrounding the massive Three Gorges Dam project in central China.

Under Mr. Xi, Beijing has ramped up censorship while pushing a nationwide drive for more media that glorifies the ruling Communist Party.

Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post quoted Zhang Xianmin, a Beijing Film Academy professor and the festival’s key organiser, as saying the shutdown takes China back to a more restricted era for film. “We just went back to 20 years ago, when there was no room and opportunity for independent films,” Mr. Zhang was quoted as saying.

Why you should pay for quality journalism - Click to know more

Related Topics International
Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jan 18, 2020 6:13:53 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/chinese-film-festival-shuts-down-amid-censorship/article30545029.ece

Next Story