Asian Institute Collaborates with TIFF’s flagship SUMMER programme

“If we are, indeed, living in the Chinese Century, it is essential that we attempt to understand what that entails. There is no better way to do so than through film, which encourages cross-cultural understanding in our city and beyond.”

–Piers Handling, Director and CEO, Toronto International Film Festival

TIFF’s flagship programme for its summer season, A Century of Chinese Cinema, will feature a major film retrospective of over 80 titles, sessions with some of the biggest names in Chinese cinema, and a free exhibition featuring two internationally acclaimed visual artists. The programme also features roundtables and talks with leading scholars on Chinese cinema, co-presented by the Asian Institute at the Munk School of Global Affairs. A Century of Chinese Cinema runs from June 5 to August 11, 2013.

The films, several of which have never before been seen in North America, trace the shared cultural and historical connections between the cinemas of the Mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan, and offer a range of cinematic options for all tastes, including classics from the silent era (Laborer’s Love, Red Heroine) to the Golden Age (The Goddess, Spring In A Small Town); post-1949 content (Unfinished Comedy, The Winter); the rise of genre films (A Better Tomorrow, The 36th Chamber of Shaolin); new post-Cultural Revolution voices (Red Sorghum, Boat People); and contemporary masters (In the Mood for Love; Still Life). The Opening Night festivities on June 6 will include renowned director Chen Kaige introducing his Palme d’Or-winning masterpiece, Farewell My Concubine. Jackie Chan returns to Toronto to share – and introduce – works from his past (Drunken Master I and The Legend of Drunken Master, Police Story) and future (a preview of the upcoming Police Story 2013). A Century of Chinese Cinema will also feature a major new commission by the acclaimed visual artist Yang Fudong, presented with two new installations by leading cinematographer Christopher Doyle.

The Asian Institute co-presents the programme’s roundtables and talks, including a roundtable discussion on the Fourth and Fifth Generation of Chinese filmmakers with a key filmmaker from each era (Xie Fei and Chen Kaige, respectively), as well as Chen Biqiang, Senior Research Fellow at the China Film Archive, and scholar Bart Testa. Film scholar David Bordwell speaks on the dynamic language of martial-arts cinema and joins fellow academic James Udden in a discussion about the films of Hou Hsiao-hsien; Bart Testa looks at Ann Hui’s Boat People (1982); Hong Kong Film Archive programmer Winnie Fu and film scholar Sam Ho introduce the legendary Wong Fei-hung: The Whip That Smacks the Candle; and director Xie Fei and China Film Archive Director Fu Hongxing introduce Xie’s films The Women from the Lake of Scented Souls and Black Snow. Buried Treasures of Chinese Silent Cinema will showcase three of the earliest Chinese films in existence alongside a roundtable discussion: Laborer’s Love (Zhang Shichuan, 1922), Romance of the Western Chamber (Hou Yao, 1927), and Red Heroine (Wen Yimin, 1929).

View film schedule and buy tickets at