第六届北京酷儿影展顺利闭幕 组织者表示有点不可思议

2013年6月23日晚,在安定门附近的一个小院子挤满了人,第六届北京酷儿影展在这里闭幕。迄今这个顽强的影展已经走进第十三个年头,这是影展第一次在北京城里举办而未遭到打击。

北京酷儿影展自从2001年创办以来,一直作为酷儿影像交流的重要平台,然而影展历程一直坎坷非常。第一届的最后一天被取消,第二届从北大转移到798……第五届更是面临直接官方压力叫停。这一切都跟中国政府公权力对言论自由的限制有关,在中国,独立影展一直是警察的重点关注对象,从去年八月开始,包括北京独立影展,中国独立影像年度展等活动均被叫停……

 

北京酷儿影展的组织者是由七个背景不同的组委组成,面对巨大挑战,几乎每次组委会会议都要花很多时间来讨论安全问题。最终大家决定延续上一年被打压之后的做法,在北京市区寻找不同的合作对象。目前的放映表中,既有新开业不久的文艺咖啡,也有独立电影放映的影迷沙龙,还有同志友善酒吧商家,也包括荷兰、法国使馆,和北京的美国中心,甚至还有一场放映在流动的巴士上进行。

观众是影展的重要组成部分,不少国际影展为了吸引观众常常绞尽脑汁,而北京酷儿影展的宣传却颇为低调。影展期间在他们的官方网站、博客上面都没有任何宣传,甚至组织者在现场的注意事项中提到希望观众不要在公众平台上发布任何关于影展的消息。闭幕式上轮值主席范坡坡说:“很高兴这个影展到现在,注意事项已经从三个变成了两个,我们只需要提醒大家手机关静音,以及拍照前征得允许”。尽管采取了这些谨慎措施,影展组织者也一直准备着预案。最终第一方案均未收到任何打压,这让组织者多少有点意外,甚至不可思议。

细心的观众其实会注意到六月下旬,公开宣传的酷儿主题放映活动其实特别多,其中大部分都是北京酷儿影展的相关活动。公开平台上虽然没有以影展名义,但现场的影片、讨论都跟影展主题丝丝相扣。但也有人为这种做法感到惋惜,虽然策略上为影展赢得安全空间,但宣传效果肯定大打折扣。

影展组织者也有自己的考量,除了每个场地独立宣传所带来的观众,影展提前两个月就发布了招募观众的通知,如果一旦入选将获得交通、住宿的补助,并能完整观赏所有影片。这一想法其实在2011年已经实施,今年延续下来。仅有的二十五个名额吸引了六十余位报名者,这其中很多人来自边远地区。他们经过筛选之后,一起在北京分享讨论了关于生活、社会运动、电影的观感,并且他们将把影展获得的讯息传达到自己当地。

 

六月份的活动非常多,同期举办的包括人民大学性学会议,以及同性恋亲友会的父母协力营,在北京组成了一个性少数的小小盛会。性学会议参与者中有不少都来观影、参加论坛,在闭幕上上,十几位来自各地的同志妈妈们也成为活动的亮点。

 

这次影展6月19日到6月23日五天之内,总共放映了来自九个国家的二十八部影片,内容包含各种题材和表现手法。

华语影片中的不少创作者很多都是年轻学生,来自澳门的导演徐欣羡作为参展嘉宾,她的作品《柜里孩》第一次将镜头对准澳门的同性恋话题,这次的经历让她感觉非常特别和感动:“这个机会让我更加了解酷儿世界,也看到不同文化当中的权益进步”。

由来自关西酷儿影展的福永玄弥精心策划的日本展映单元也非常抢眼,四部风格不同的作品引发不同的思考。《那又怎样》的导演Inoue Kana在放映结束之后忍不住失声痛哭,因为她的影片在日本放映的时候遭受了一些误解和批评,没想到中国观众会那么喜欢。

“你看见了吗?”单元专门关注LGBTQIA权益运动当中的边缘人群,结合放映也组织了两个相关论坛,探讨了包括双性恋、间性人、跨性别、虐恋、性工作者等不同群体。

除此之外,关于电影审查的论坛也吸引了很多观众,包括在网络发出呼吁取消审查制度的导演谢飞也到场发言。他表示在中国,电影审查的问题并不是孤立存在的,他与中国整个体制当中的矛盾息息相关。这一观点也让在座不少观众非常认同。但谈到审查制度何时得以取消,大家似乎都并不乐观。

 

闭幕式上,组委会成员,也是创办者之一的崔子恩宣布下一届轮值主席由组委涂建平和魏建刚共同担当。关于下一届将以什么样的形式进行还是一个未知数,魏建刚认为这一届影展是一次很成功的尝试,但这也不具有可复制性。当下的体制决定了经验几乎都是一次性的,我们只有不停止争取,才能赢得更多空间。

 

 

The Sixth Beijing Queer Film Festival Goes Off Without a Hitch

 

23 June 2013.  A small courtyard café near Andingmen, Beijing, is packed to the brim with a colourful bunch of people who have all come to witness the closing ceremony of the sixth Beijing Queer Film Festival.  In its 13-year-long history, this is the first time that the tenacious festival has held its events in the centre of Beijing without incurring any government interference.

 

The Beijing Queer Film Festival held its first edition in 2001.  Since then, it has weathered many a storm to become a major platform for exchange & reflection about queer film in China.  The first edition was shut down on the last festival day, the second edition was forced to move from PekingUniversity to the Contemporary Art District 798, and the authorities directly forced the organizers to cancel the fifth edition before it even started.  These actions of the authorities speak volumes about their attitude towards freedom of speech.

In China, independent film festivals have always been closely watched by the police, yet since August last year the situation has become particularly worrying: a large number of festivals, including the Beijing Independent Film Festival and the China Independent Film Festival, were successively called to a halt.

 

The Beijing Queer Film Festival organization committee, composed of 7 members with various backgrounds, faced a lot of obstacles.  Almost half of their meetings were spent talking about security issues, as the government interference with the festival’s fifth edition was still fresh on their minds.

When the fifth edition was forcibly cancelled, they found a way of letting it run its course by adopting a guerrilla-style of organizing, addressing numerous small places in Beijing for separate screenings and avoiding any visible publicity.

They decided to continue using this tactic for the sixth festival edition, holding their events at different cafés, LGBT-friendly bars, film-fan salons and even on a moving bus.  Separate screening events were also held at the French and the Dutch Embassy, and at the BeijingAmericanCenter.

 

Avoiding publicity, an anomaly in the film festival world, formed part of the guerrilla tactics.  The Beijing Queer Film Festival didn’t publish anything about its sixth edition on its official website and blogs, and the audience was explicitly asked not to spread any news or reports before or during the festival.  At the closing ceremony, festival chairman on duty Fan Popo said: “I’m glad to say that now you can finally recount all of your festival experiences on your Weibo accounts.”

All festival events, which took place from 19 to 23 June, were advertised as separate queer film events, without mention of the involvement of the film festival.  But to the attentive eye, it was clear to see that the sudden surge of independent queer film events could only mean that the Beijing Queer Film Festival was in town.  Through word-of-mouth, the festival gathered a full house at nearly all of its screenings, and only the occasional attendee was surprised to notice that the Beijing Queer Film Festival was behind the different queer film activities.

Besides from these precautionary measures, the organizers prepared for the interference of the authorities, making sure they had a plan B and even a plan C and D to continue the festival events after official intervention.  Yet, to the amazement and even disbelief of the organizers, the precautionary measures proved enough and the festival ran its course unharmed.

 

The festival continued its scholarship program, started in 2011.  Among more than 60 applicants, 25 people coming from less-developed parts of China obtained funding to attend the festival.  They gladly embraced the opportunity to watch and discuss queer-themed films, an unknown luxury in their respective hometowns.

 

During the 5 days of the festival, 28 films were screened from 9 different countries.  The festival presented a state-of-the-art of Chinese queer film, showcasing recent films from the Mainland, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.  It was interesting to see that a lot of them were produced by young people and/or students.  Tracy Choi (Macau) was one of the young directors participating in the festival and presented her film “I’m Here”, one of the first documentaries to address the LGBT community in Macau: “This opportunity gave me more understanding about the queer world, and also taught me a lot about the progress of the rights movement in different countries.”

 

This year’s festival had a special focus on Japan.  Genya Fukunaga (Kansai Queer Film Festival) curated a program of 4 very different queer Japanese films.  Inoue Kana, director of “I don’t care”, burst out in tears after the screening of her intersex-themed film.  Her film had met with a lot of critique and misunderstanding in Japan, and she was thoroughly moved by the fact that the Chinese audience received her film so well.

 

The program “Did you see me?” focused on communities whose voice is seldom heard within the current LGBT movement.  It screened several related films, and held 2 panel sessions which focused on bisexuality, asexuality, intersex, transgender, sex work, sadomasochism and other topics seldom discussed within China’s queer movement.

 

The festival also held a much anticipated debate on censorship in China, which saw the participation of famous director Xie Fei.  He expressed that in China, the issue of film censorship is closely linked to the current contradictions existing within the government structure.  To the question whether and when the current censorship system would be abolished or changed, neither he nor any of the panel guests had an answer, and none of them were very optimistic about the future.

 

At the closing ceremony, organization committee member and festival co-founder Cui Zi’En announced the co-chairmen of the festival’s seventh edition, Wei Xiaogang and Stijn Deklerck.  Wei Xiaogang expressed that, while this year’s festival was a great success, it’s questionable whether its format could be used again for the seventh edition which will take place in 2015.  “A lot can change within two years.  The only thing that’s certain is that we need to continue to fight to obtain greater freedom of expression.

Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.