Liverpool set to host the first ever Shanghai film week

To coincide with the Liverpool-Shanghai 20th Sister Cities Anniversary Celebration, four new and acclaimed Shanghai produced films are screening in Liverpool this month at Liverpool Hope University and Everyman Cinema.

Shanghai in partnership with Liverpool City Council, Liverpool Hope University, Liverpool Screen School, Liverpool China Partnership and the UK-China Film Collaboration Project funded by the AHRC, is hosting a unique film week in Liverpool between 14 – 17 October.

Specially curated by the Shanghai Art Film Federation, part of the Shanghai Film Distribution and Exhibition Association, audiences in Liverpool will experience four critically acclaimed Chinese-language films which represent different aspects of life in contemporary Chinese society.

Jin Hui, Secretary-General, Shanghai Film Distribution and Exhibition Association said:I very much look forward to presenting four Shanghai produced films to the audience in Liverpool this fall. Shanghai is the birthplace of Chinese cinema, apart from our historical film and cinema culture, we have also produced many high-quality films (both commercial and arthouse) in recent years. The development of Shanghai’s film industry is exciting and film enthusiasts from around the world will certainly want to pay attention.”

Deputy Mayor of Liverpool, Councillor Gary Millar, who was instrumental in bringing this event to Liverpool, said: “Liverpool is honoured to host the first Shanghai Film Week, celebrating the rich history, talent and culture steeped in Chinese film and cinema. With the much appreciated support of the Liverpool China Partnership, Liverpool Hope University, Liverpool Screen School, LJMU, we’re looking forward to a busy week of showcasing the very best in contemporary Chinese film culture.

We are a city that has always championed the arts and creativity, so it’s incredibly exciting that we will be premiering four new Shanghai produced films over the course of the week. In recent years, Liverpool has become an increasingly popular filming location in its own right, with our streets playing backdrop to some of the biggest blockbuster films and television series on our screens.

Shanghai Film Week forms part of a year-long celebration to mark the 20th anniversary of Liverpool and Shanghai officially becoming sister cities. Even before our formal partnership began, our two cities have enjoyed a long and prosperous relationship through trade, education, business and culture for more than 200 years.

To celebrate our historic ties, earlier this year we sent a 21-strong business delegation to Shanghai, which generated more than £139 million in potential financial value for the city region. This demonstrates the overwhelming value of Liverpool’s relationship with China and organisations such as Invest Liverpool and the Liverpool China Partnership are vital to help us to continue to forge these important links and build for a golden future in partnership with our overseas friends.”

The four film screenings will take place at two different venues in the city, Liverpool Hope University and Everyman Cinema.

A formal reception will launch the festival on 14th October and there will be a series of campus activities organised at Liverpool Hope University on 15th October.


Sky Ladder: The Art of Cai Guo-Qiang (2016) | Dir: Kevin Macdonald – 15th October, 11.00 – Venue: The Capstone Theatre, Creative Campus, Liverpool Hope University (free screening)
From OSCAR and BAFTA winning filmmaker Kevin Macdonald (Whitney, The Last King of Scotland), this acclaimed documentary traces the rise of contemporary artist Cai Guo-Qiang from his childhood in Mao’s China to global art world superstar, and a lifelong obsession creating his greatest work of art to date.

Campus Talk by Fang Xu, producer of Sky Ladder – 15th October, 13.15 Venue: The Capstone Theatre, Creative Campus, Liverpool Hope University
Unique opportunity to hear first-hand about the process making the critically acclaimed documentary, which traces the rise of contemporary artist Cai Guo-Qiang.

Shakuhachi: One Sound One Life (2019) | Dir. Helen Yu – 15th October, 14.30
Venue: The Capstone Theatre, Creative Campus, Liverpool Hope University (free screening)
This beautiful and stunning documentary tells the story of the shakuhachi, a famous Japanese lbamboo-flute. It was originally introduced from China into Japan in the 7th century and underwent a resurgence in the early Edo period. The film showcases the lives of the shakuhachi performers, controllers and students in China, Japan and the United States.

Film Q&A with Dr. Noel Brown, Senior Lecturer in Media and Communications15th October, 16.00 – Venue: The Capstone Theatre, Creative Campus, Liverpool Hope University

Pegasus (2019) | Dir. Han Han – 15th October, 19.30
Venue: Everyman Cinema, Victoria Street (tickets required)
This action-comedy smash hit stars one of China’s newest comedy greats, Shen Teng (Goodbye Mr. Loser). Zhang Chi daydreams about his fast-paced former life in the racing world while tending to his fried rice stall, following a suspension for illegal racing. As he plots his long-awaited return to the track, he must overcome obstacles, take on a new generation of younger drivers and prove once and for all that he has what it takes to succeed.

Old Beast (2017) | Dir. Ziyang Zhou – 16th October, 19.30
Venue: Everyman Cinema, Victoria Street (tickets required)
Winner of “Best Actor” and “Best Director” at the prestigious China Film Director’s Guild Awards, Old Beast is a powerful and gritty family tragedy. Lao Yang is a broken old man who spends his days gambling and drinking. When he misappropriates his children’s money saved for his wife’s surgery, his children retaliate by holding him in custody, which he reacts to by taking them to court. In this moving, misguided struggle, will this family finally find peace?

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