Sub-curator: Wang Hongwei, Feng Yu

Not having been noticed, “Urban villages” has become a prominent field of study.

From tilting low land of public order to birthplace of multiple cultures, from urban appendix to new continent of urban renovation, the images of urban villages have gone through reversions upon reversions and are gaining more and more acceptance and recognitions today. However, neither superfluous sentiments nor abrupt and simple value judgments are valid. The stories of the urban villages can be told by focusing on detailed narratives of daily life or panoramic explorations from a holistic perspective. Yet the attention on people and human life is always there and cherished amongst the rocking hustle and bustle of demolition and reconstruction. Neither part of it is less important than the other.

In the shooting schedule of “Filming Site of Urban villages”, efforts were made to retain some images for the urban villages, which are dashing on the road of modernization and urbanization, and the phenomenon of urban villages with several short films. Several highly sensitive movie makers of diverse styles tried to reveal their reflections on and feelings for the sceneries which are drastically changing to embrace future and might be overwhelmed by the future.

Pai Gu by Gao Ming was a documentary most representative of Shenzhen city in the past three decades. Twelve years later, Gao Ming, his Pai Gu, and the city they stayed in have all gone through dramatic changes. Standing at the crossroad between past and future, how would he and his protagonists cope with the situation?

Cinéma du Réel and Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival (YIDFF) are among the most prominent international documentary movie festivals. As one of the few Chinese directors who won awards on both festivals, Li Yifan has been focusing on the topics of urban-rural relations and urban transformation. This time, his documentary on Shamate Culture is not only thought provoking but also a manifestation and extension of his years of research and reflections.

Geng Jun, the Golden Horse Awards winner, is an outlier in the movie industry. He built a magical image of “Crane Hill Country” in a land of bitter coldness with his unique icy cold humor, constructing a fantastic maternal body for his creation. His work revealed reality through absurdity, winning applauses from both the East and the West. This time, he is trying to embed the glamorous make-up style of the Northeast China into the urban villages. What a scene would that be?

Film director Wang Xiaoshuai, whose works have won many international awards, is one of the most reputed six-generation Chinese film directors. His work at Nantou Old Town this time exhibits both artistic and experimental nature, reminding people of himself in his earlier works of The Days and Frozen.