Cinema China festival programme launched

Highlights include Maggie Cheung masterclass and Zhang Yimou premiere

by Amber Wilkinson

The programme of Cinema China - the largest ever festival of Chinese film in the UK - was unveiled at Edinburgh Filmhouse today.

The festival, which features 26 feature films and a short film showcase will launch in Edinburgh on March 9 before travelling to 20 cities across the UK.

The festival aims to present audiences with an overview of the entire history of Chinese film adopting a "Three Chinas" approach by showing classic action movies, melodramas, musicals and art films from the People's Republic, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

At the launch co-directors Dr Dorota Ostrowska and Mark Cousins gave a brief outline of the programme's scope.

Sporting a natty kilt for the occasion Mark heralded the selection as a "festival of masterpieces and tributes", and added: "If we have one aim, it is that audiences will get to know the scale and beauty of Chinese language film and, through it, an insight into China and its people."

Highlights include a masterclass with leading Chinese actress - a showcase of whose films, including (pictured left) and , will be shown.

The festival also features the premiere of Hero director 's Riding Alone For Thousands Of Miles - which offers an exploration of the Chinese-Japanese relationship through poignant family drama.

Spanning 80 years of cinema, many of the prints to be screened are extremely rare, including Goddess - which will be screened with a world premiere of a new live score specially composed by Hongkongese-Scottish artist Kimho Ip - breakthrough Fifth Generation film Yellow Earth and the original 1948 version of Spring In A Small Town.

The festival was conceived by the University of Edinburgh and also features an extensive educational package, including a series of lectures looking at aspects of Chinese society, history, culture, movie-stardom and filmmaking.

For children and teachers, Cinema China and St George’s School for Girls, in Edinburgh, have also devised an interactive online learning resource based on The King Of Masks (pictured right).

A spokesman said: "These events will seek to provide a contextual framework for the films and will broaden the audience’s understanding and enjoyment of the festival as a whole."

We'll be bringing you a more in depth look at the festival and more reviews soon.

For further details ofo the programme visit the

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