“American Film Showcase” in Shanghai

December 19, 2012

The “American Film Showcase,” a program collaborated between the U.S. Department of State and USC (University of Southern California), came to Shanghai University recently and brought my longtime friend and award-winning documentary filmmaker Mark J. Harris, best known for his Oscars winning films Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport (2000) and The Long Way Home (1997), to the university campus. It was exhilarating to see Mark in a different setting. Mark was accompanied by Jim Bigham, director of For Once in My Life (2010), a documentary that was shown at the 2012 Guangzhou Documentary Film Festival and has already won several prestigious prizes.

Photo with award-winning documentary filmmakers Jim Bigham (left) and Mark Harris (center), taken on December 11, 2012.

Photo with award-winning documentary filmmakers Jim Bigham (left) and Mark Harris (center), taken on December 11, 2012.

I chaired the morning session, during which Mark and Jim spoke on a variety of issues concerning documentary filmmaking and answered questions from an enthusiastic crowd, mostly Shanghai University’s MFA students. Mark also showed a student documentary on autism collaborated between a USC and a CUC (Communication University of China) film student.


“New Media and Cultural Transformation” Conference Program

December 4, 2012

Organized by Shanghai University’s School of Film-TV & NYU Shanghai, the “New Media and Cultural Transformation: Film, Television, Game, and Digital Communication” conference was held from Dec. 8 to 9, 2012 at Shanghai University’s International Conference Hall. Its aim was to open the doors to an interdisciplinary examination of new media and its implications for the arts and communication in the 21st century. With a broad focus on cinema, television, gaming, and communication, the conference attracted more than 80 submissions and, after selection, it invited more than 50 scholars and graduate students to present their recent research on a variety of topics related to the conference theme. The keynote speakers were:

Steven Shaviro (Wayne State University, USA):
“Post-Continuity: Digital Aesthetics and Mainstream Hollywood Film”

Huang Mingfen (Xiamen University)
“Redundancy Media and Redundancy Society”

Marita Sturken (New York University, USA)
“Documenting the Self from Kodak to Facebook”

Tain-Dow LEE (Shih Chien University, Taiwan)
“Screens and Windows: Digital Media and Nomadized Affect”

For the detailed conference program, please download it HERE. For an independent appraisal of the conference, please visit VCinema Podcast and Blog, an enthusiast site which covers Asian film.