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Furman to host Chinese Environmental Film Festival

chinesefilm4Seven filmmakers from China and the United States will converge at Furman University Thursday, Feb. 26 through Saturday, Feb. 28 for the university’s first Chinese Environmental Film Festival.

The festival features three days of experimental, documentary and feature films with environmental themes, together with expert commentary and question-and-answer sessions following each film. All films are free and open to the public. Showings will be held Thursday and Friday at Furman University’s Burgiss Theater at the Trone Student Center, and on Saturday at McEachern Lecture Hall, Room 214, Furman Hall.

Films, which range from short, 12-minute films to full-length features, include up close and personal interviews with Chinese families, discussing the effects of tourism, development and pollution on their way of life. The films also highlight little known aspects of Chinese culture, such as the Na ritual specialists from the Yunnan and Sichuan provinces of southwest China and their use of incantations to protect the environment.

Filmmakers participating in the event include: Onci Archei and Ruheng Duoji of Moso Folk Museum, Yunnan, China; Jenny Chio of Emory University; Fuji Lozada and Antonia Giles of Davidson College; Emily Yeh of the University of Colorado-Boulder; and Asian Studies Assistant Professor Tami Blumenfield of Furman University.

“This dynamic festival will provide a unique opportunity to bring filmmakers and scholars together to share newly completed works with both Furman students and the Greenville community,” says Blumenfield, also the festival’s organizer. “With China having some of the most serious environmental problems in the world, expanding discussion about the issues and spotlighting some solutions is extremely important.”

The festival is supported by Furman University and a Luce Initiative on Asian Studies and the Environment grant, designed to encourage innovative interdisciplinary teaching, research and programming on Asia’s environment.

For more information, contact the Asian Studies Department at (864) 294-2545. A schedule of showings follows.

Chinese Environmental Film Festival Schedule
February 26-28, Furman University


Thursday, Feb. 26:  “Narrating Environmental Challenges,” Burgiss Theater, Trone Student Center, Furman University.

  • 7 p.m. Film screening of Ying Liang’s The Other Half, a brutally frank portrait of the social and environmental problems plaguing contemporary China. An opening night reception follows.

Friday, Feb. 27:  “Resource Transitions: Food, Energy and Livelihoods,” Burgiss Theater, Trone Student Center, Furman University.

  • 9-10:30 a.m. Film screening of Gary Marcuse’s Waking the Green Tiger, the story of an extraordinary campaign to stop a huge dam project on the Upper Yangtze River, featuring archival footage never seen outside China.
  • 11:30 a.m.-1:20 p.m. Film screening of Beijing Besieged by Waste by Wang Juliang, a documentary showing hundreds of legal and illegal landfills around China’s capital city and the migrant workers who rely on garbage-picking to survive.
  • 7-8:45 p.m. Film screening of Peasant Family Happiness, the story of two rural ethnic tourism villages in contemporary China, including commentary by the filmmaker Jenny Chio of Emory University.

Saturday, Feb. 28: “Filmmaker Showcase: Native Media and Rituals,” McEachern Lecture Hall, Room 214, Furman Hall, Furman University.

  • 9:30-10:30 a.m. Film screening of Badzu Village with commentary by filmmaker Tami Blumenfield of Furman University and Onci Archei and Ruheng Duoji, both of the Moso Folk Museum in Yunnan, China, followed by Shielding the Mountains with commentary by filmmaker Emily T. Yeh of the University of Colorado-Boulder.
  • 10:45-11:45 a.m., Film screening of Environmental Protection Values in Daba Rituals, a look at the environmental consciousness of Na ritual specialists who beseech ancestors and spirits of the mountains, trees and waterways in southwest China. Commentary by filmmakers Onci Archei and Ruheng Duoji of Moso Folk Museum.
Last updated February 24, 2015
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Clinton Colmenares
News & Media Relations Director