Chinese Visual Festival is partnering with the BFI for a series of screenings at BFI Southbank, London for Chinese New Year on Saturday 28th February. They will be running two sessions of the very best in independent Chinese-language documentary cinema.

Opening film ‘Blossom with Tears 築巢人’, which was awarded the prestigious documentary prize by UNICEF, follows the gruelling regime of young children in acrobatic training. An exceptionally moving story, the documentary unflinchingly draws attention to the severe realities that children in some parts of China are subjected to.

A Rolling Stone

‘A Rolling Stone’

They will then turn the spotlight on Taiwan, firstly with the entertaining short documentary ‘Crazy Calligraphy 築巢人’, following an eccentric artist called Kesan, who has devoted his life to reviving the dying art of Chinese calligraphy.

The first session closes with the stunning documentary ‘A Rolling Stone 築巢人’ from director Ko-Shang Shen, described by The Wall Street Journal as “A Rain Man for Taiwan” and as “a uniquely bracing film”.  An absorbing, atmospheric and occasionally dark study of parental love and obsession, the deeply humanistic film follows a father struggling to take care of and confront his autistic 30 year old son. Book tickets here.

Our second session of the day features Zheng Kuo’s award winning documentary ‘The Cold Winter 暖冬’, which highlights the struggle of artists near Beijing’s famous Art Zone as they try to protect their land in the face of threats and violence. The film includes high profile art rebel Ai Weiwei and some fascinatingly ambitious and creative protests, and offers rare access to the artists themselves.

Zheng Kuo takes a fair and objective view, and through often unflattering portraits of the artists and their actions, he explores not only the ills of bureaucracy, but the role of democracy in the so-called ‘harmonious society’ of China. Book tickets here.

The Cold Winter Zheng Kuo

‘The Cold Winter’

There will also be some exciting announcements about their 2015 festival during the day, which will open on 8th May 2015 in London.