After a well-deserved two-month rest, justified by the need to futz around and watch the good city of Beijing thrash about in comical throws of paranoia — the Meridian Club is back! And this time, the curtain will rise over speakers even more worth your popcorn than the people’s favorite Men in Black.

Join us at the Bookworm in Sanlitun on Tuesday, November 27, for our next event:

“China Through the Fourth Wall:
Perspectives From Three Documentarians”

The Meridian Club presents a panel presentation from three China-based documentarians. Fan Lixin‘s debut documentary Last Train Home garnered international accolades for its humane portrait of how a family of Sichuan migrant workers journeys home for the Spring Festival. Kathy Huang‘s film Tales of the Waria follows a community of transgender women as they search for romance and intimacy in Indonesia, which just received its national broadcast on PBS in the U.S this past spring. Matthieu Laclau has shot and edited Chinese documentaries for the past five years, with a penchant for universal topics that cross language and cultural barriers.

Drawing upon their respective backgrounds in China, the U.S., and France, each filmmaker will share thoughts on their personal creative processes (i.e. how they find stories, build an audience, develop a pitch, find funding); the insider/outsider perspectives they use (what do non-Chinese filmmakers see that Chinese don’t, and vice versa, and how that influences their storytelling style); and the impact they wish to achieve through their work.

The presentations will be bilingual in English and Chinese, and will be followed by a Q&A. Tickets are 30 RMB (one drink included). Friends of the Meridian Club will be offered a 50% discount on their tickets. However, only 40 such tickets will be available, on a first-come, first-served basis. Please confirm with us by email if you want your name on the list!

Agenda

7:30 pm – 8:20 pm: Guest speaker presentations (15 minutes per speaker, bilingual)

8:25 pm – 9:00 pm: Q&A + discussion (bilingual)

9:00 pm onwards: Casual drinking & networking!

Directions: see the Bookworm’s website.

THE SPEAKERS

FAN LIXIN

Fan Lixin worked as a producer and journalist at CCTV before he moved to Montreal, Canada and became an independent filmmaker. Born and raised as China was re-integrating into the world, Lixin engaged in social political filmmaking to document and interpret the vast changes taking place. His debut feature documentary, Last Train Home, was shown as opening film at the Montreal International Documentary Festival. The film deals with the world’s largest human migration in the era of globalization. The film was also in competition, as a feature length documentary, at the International Documentary Film Festival of Amsterdam in 2009.

Lixin also worked as associate producer on the acclaimed feature documentary Up the Yangtze, a film about the world’s largest hydroelectric project, the Three Gorges Dam. The film was elected “Best Canadian Documentary Film” at TIFF in 2007, and was a finalist at IDFA and Sundance 2007. In 2003, Lixin edited the Peabody and Grierson award-wining documentary To Live Is Better Than To Die. The film, recognized as one of the most shocking documentaries on the topic of China’s AIDS epidemic, was shown at the Sundance Film Festival and broadcasted by the BBC, as well as on CBC and PBS.

KATHY HUANG

Born and raised in the US to parents from Taiwan, Kathy was inspired to become a filmmaker after teaching at-risk youth in a rural South Texan high school. She produced her first documentary, Scribble’s Creations, in 2004. Shot with the help of her former students, the film follows a teenager coming of age along the US-Mexico border. Since then, Kathy has continued to work with different communities to document social and humanitarian issues. Her subjects have included a charismatic drag king in San Francisco, a young veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress, and a Chinese-American beauty pageant contestant.

In 2011, Kathy completed her first feature-length documentary, Tales of the Waria. The film follows a community of transgender women in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim country, as they search for love and happiness. Four years in the making, the film premiered to sold-out audiences in San Francisco and Los Angeles, garnered several Audience Choice Awards, and, in June 2012, received a national broadcast on PBS.

Kathy holds a B.A. in History from Harvard University and a M.A. in Documentary Film Production from Stanford University. Prior to coming to Beijing, she worked in New York as a freelance cinematographer and field producer. Currently, she is studying Chinese at IUP Tsinghua University as a Blakemore Fellow.

For more information: www.kathyhuangfilms.com

MATTHIEU LACLAU

Matthieu Laclau has been working as a director of photography and an editor in Beijing for the past five years. Born and raised in France, Matthieu first came to Beijing as a film student to make a documentary on Jia Zhangke (Xiao Jia Going Home, dir. Damien Ounouri) in 2007. Since then, he has worked mainly on Chinese documentaries.

His most recent work includes editing and/or shooting the following: feature films Wet Dreams (dir. Yang Lina 2012) and The First Aggregate (dir. Emyr Pugh and Bulag 2012), the latter selected to compete at the Mumbai International Film Festival 2012 (India) and at the Torino Film Festival 2012 (Italy); Fidaï (dir. Damien Ounouri 2012), selected for the Toronto International Film Festival 2012, Viennale (Austria), Leibzig (Germany), Nantes 3 Continents (France), and IDFA (Netherlands); Fallen City (dir. by Zhao Qi), selected for IDFA 2012; Hello, Mr Tree (dir. by Han Jie, 2011) which won the Grand Prize of Jury and Best Director Award at the Shanghai International Film Festival 2011; and documentary No Anesthetic (dir. Qiao Li, 2010).

For more information: www.matthieu-laclau.fr

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