University of South Carolina

Chinese women filmmakers focus of USC conference

By Peggy Binette,,

Films by and about Chinese women will be the focus of the third Conference on Chinese Cinema Oct. 18 – 21 at the University of South Carolina.

Hosted by the Confucius Institute in the College of Arts and Sciences, the conference will include a series of panel discussions Friday, Oct. 19 featuring scholars and filmmakers and nightly film screenings. All the events are free and open to the public.

Tan Ye, director of the Confucius Institute (CI), said the timing was right for the international conference to focus on women.

“Many new women filmmakers have appeared in the new millennium, with most of them showing more concern for female conditions in current China than historical themes,” Ye said. “Proportionally speaking, there are more women filmmakers in China than in any other country. The general issues for the female gender are universal, but Chinese women are facing new challenges in the fast economic boom.”

Four of those filmmakers will participate in the conference and address those challenges. Among them is Peng Xiaolian, a veteran director who screened her film, “Women’s Stories,” nearly 20 years ago at USC. She returns to USC along with three of China’s most notable female directors.

Panel discussions that will address various topics on films by and about Chinese women will take place 9 a.m. – 4:45 p.m. Friday in Lumpkin auditorium, on the eighth floor of the Darla Moore School of Business.

Film screenings will take place in McMaster College, room 214. Each film, with the exception of the one on Oct. 21, will be introduced by the film’s director and include a 10-minute question and answer session after the screening.

The schedule is as follows:

“Missing Home,” by Zhang Weimin, 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 18;

“Journal of Lady Miao Miao,” by Li Shujuan, 9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 18;

“Storm Under the Sun,” by Peng Xiaolian, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19;

“Once Upon a Time in Tibet,” by Dai Wei, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20; and

“Woman-Demon-Human,” by Dai Wei, 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 21.

The conference is co-sponsored with the Moving Images Research Collections, part of University Libraries, and the Film and Media Studies Program and Women’s and Gender Studies Program in the College of Arts and Sciences as well as the China Film Archive, Beijing Film Academy and Beijing Normal University.

The Nickelodeon, South Carolina’s only non-profit art-house cinema, also is a collaborator. The cinema screened a pair of Chinese films leading up to the conference.

USC is the first research university in South Carolina to establish a Confucius Institute (CI) in collaboration with the Beijing Language and Culture University (BLCU) and the Office of Chinese Language Council International, a division of the Chinese Ministry of Education. The CI was launched in November 2008.

The films screened at the conference are part of USC’s Chinese Film Collection, a major undertaking of USC’s Confucius Institute. Previous conferences included “Chinese cinema in the U.S. since 1979” (2010) and “Documenting China” (2011).

For more information about the conference, contact Ye or Ran Wei in the Confucius Institute 803-777-4758 or via email at


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Posted: 10/17/12 @ 12:00 AM | Updated: 10/17/12 @ 9:49 AM | Permalink