Post Olympics Chinese Cinema Symposium

full name / name of organization: 
Bader International Study Centre, Queens University
contact email: 

Current Trends in Present day Chinese Language Film.

Bader International Study Centre,
Queens University,
Herstmonceux Castle,
Hailsham, East Sussex, UK
When: December 10, 11 2013

This two day symposium explores the state of Post-Olympics Chinese language cinema in the context of the relaxing of censorship and distribution policy in contemporary China.

The 2008 Beijing Olympics, immediately followed by the Shanghai World Expo, signified a period of change in China's cultural attitudes. The two cities were presented as the crowning jewels in China's foray into global economic and cultural participation.

Contemporary China, since that watershed period, is continuing to ease restrictions on communication laws and technologies. While Facebook has yet to be permitted in China, there are localized social networking and micro-blogging systems that allow for commentary on the Chinese political structure. There is similarly a relaxing of censorship in contemporary filmmaking practice, providing filmmakers room to critique perceived inequities in the political economy.

Stephen Chow Sing-Chi, for instance, who had previously been affiliated with the Hong Kong Cantonese film industry, shot CJ7 (Cháng Jiāng Qī Hào, 2008) in Zhejiang province. While ostensibly a light entertainment film, CJ7 incorporates criticism of the construction industry's laxity in health and safety practices and details social issues regarding contemporary Chinese working class poverty. This is iconography and subject matter that would have been unthinkable in the mainland industry just a few years previous.

Since the Beijing Olympics and the Shanghai World Expo, it is evident that there have been radical changes in the Chinese film industry. The integration of the Hong Kong Cantonese industry personnel into the Chinese Mandarin film industry has been successful, and many Hong Kong stars are currently working alongside the mainland financiers. In 2011, Tsui Hark and Jet Li re-visited the Dragon Gate Inn, but this time with many stars of the mainland industry bantering in the Mandarin language of a repatriated Li. Similarly, Taiwan has relaxed trade embargoes with China and has allowed mainland Chinese stars to film in Taiwan in joint venture co-productions.

This two day symposium explores the changing nature of Chinese cinema today. We invite submission of abstracts (150-250 words) for papers on any topic regarding contemporary Chinese language cinema, particularly in light of 21st century political reform and easing of restrictions on critical filmmaking.

Deadline for Submission of Abstracts is September 5, 2013
Deadline for Conference Registration is November 1, 2013

Possible topics include but are not limited to:

The Demise of the Sixth Generation
Digital Technologies and Spectacular Epics
Cantonese Language Cinema and Local Identities
WuXia Then and Now
Embracing Humour
From Social Tendency to a Tendency for the Social
Remakes and Adaptations
Rural Identities
The Northern Identity
Contested Identities
Martial Arts Epics
Nostalgia and the Imagined Past
Blockbuster Aesthetics
Genre Bending

Please e-mail submissions with author details and a short biography to Robert Hyland at For further information, comments or queries please contact