Higher Learning: 4th and 5th Generation Filmmakers Panel

Approx. Duration: 2 hour 0 minutes

Series - Higher Learning

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TIFF Bell Lightbox Artistic Director Noah Cowan moderates this roundtable discussion that brings together filmmakers, film scholars and programmers to explore both the connections and divergences between the Fourth and Fifth Generations of Chinese filmmakers in the 1970s and 1980s.

Guest Biographies

    • Chen Kaige
    • Chen Kaige has long been regarded as a cinematic keeper of China's cultural heritage for his string of elegant, masterful period dramas. After graduating from Beijing Film Academy in 1982, he made his feature film debut with Yellow Earth (84), and established himself as a leading figure of Fifth Generation filmmaking. His most acclaimed film, Farewell My Concubine (93), was nominated for two Academy Awards and won the Palme d'Or as well as the FIPRESCI Prize at the Cannes Film Festival. His numerous features include Together (02) and To Each His Own (07), both of which have screened at the Toronto International Film Festival, in addition to Temptress Moon (96), Killing Me Softly (02), The Promise (05), Forever Enthralled (08), Sacrifice (10), and Chen's latest film, Caught in the Web (12), which also screened with the Festival. As part of the 60th anniversary of the Cannes Film Festival, Chen was commissioned to take part in the anthology film To Each His Own Cinema, creating his short Zhanxiou Village (07). He has served as a judge for the Cannes, Berlin and Venice film festivals and several other prestigious film festivals in Shanghai, Japan and Italy.
    • Xie Fei
    • Xie Fei, one of the most notable leaders of Fourth Generation filmmaking, first made waves with his celebrated feature A Girl from Hunan (86). He went on to direct the groundbreaking drama Black Snow (90), The Women from the Lake of Scented Souls (92), a winner of the Golden Bear at the 1993 Berlin Film Festival, and Song of Tibet (00). He has served as a professor at the Beijing Film Academy since 1965, and counts among his of students some of the best Chinese filmmakers of today, including Chen Kaige, Zhang Yimou, and Jia Zhangke. He previously served as the vice-president of Beijing Film Academy from 1980-88 and has been a jury member at the Berlin International Film Festival, the Montreal World Film Festival, and a number of other international film festivals.
    • Bart Testa
    • Film scholar Bart Testa is senior lecturer at the Cinema Studies Institute, Innis College, University of Toronto. His courses cover a wide range of topics, including Chinese Cinema, European, Asian and European auteurs, narrative theory and cinema, urbanism and film, experimental cinema, science fiction movies and other popular genres. Testa has served on the advisory council of TIFF Cinematheque and has organized several conferences and film festivals with the Asian Institute at the Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto, in an ongoing association. He is the author of two books on experimental films: Back and Forth: Early Cinema and the Avant-Garde (1993) and Spirit in the Landscape (1989). In addition, he served as co-editor of the anthology Pier Paolo Pasolini in Contemporary Perspectives (1994), and has published journal articles and anthologized essays, many of them devoted to Canadian films and experimental cinema.

    • Chen Biqiang
    • Chen Biqiang, pen name Chen Mo, is a Senior Research Fellow at the China Film Archive. He specializes in Chinese martial arts films (wuxia pian), Chinese film history and oral historiography. His publications include On Films of Zhang Yimou, History of Chinese Wuxia Pian, A Century of Snapshots from Chinese Film History, and Route to Oral Historiography.