Together with Trinity CineAsia and Filming East, the UK-China Film Collab is proud to announce the biggest online Chinese Cinema Season in the UK for Lunar New Year 2021, starting from February 12.

Launching for 3 months from 12 February (Chinese New Year), it will be the biggest online screening event that specialises in Chinese language films in the UK and Europe. The season will showcase Chinese language films never seen before in the UK and highlight overlooked gems to cinema-lovers in the UK and Ireland.

Over 50 films will be on offer over the course of the season, giving the opportunity for audiences to access to the best of Chinese cinema, and enriching the diversity of films available on VOD. The season will be divided into themed sections and mini retrospectives, with the aims of recontextualising titles, enriching UK lockdown life and presenting Chinese culture in a fresh way with new perspectives. Ultimately, the season is a love letter to Chinese Cinema.

From February 12, there will be 20 films available and new titles will be added each week, each staying on the platform for one to two weeks at a time. The festival will open with 4 sections: Shanghai Animation Film Studio Retro (10 films), Approaching Reality, Debut Spotlight and Domestic Hits.

Alongside the films on show, there will be Q&As, and free panel discussions with industry professionals, filmmakers, actors, and academics. The UK-China Film Collab will be organising and hosting 9 themed panels as part of the festival. Registration is now open for the first 4 panels:

  • “International Reception of Chinese Language Films by Post-Millenials” (12 February) – explores how young international audiences engage with Chinese cinema based on recent research findings. Register here.


  • “British East/Southeast Asian Women in Film and TV” (19 February) – explores what more can these ethnic groups do to challenge, as well as contribute to, the British film and TV industry. Register here.


  • “Tradition and Innovation in Chinese Animation” (26 February) – in parallel to the “Shanghai Animation Film Studio Retro” programme, this panel provides a platform for attendees to engage with artists from the Studio. Register here.


  • “The Colour of the Sky After Rain: An Evening with Lady Tessa Keswick” (26 February) – a rare appearance by Lady Tessa Keswick about her new book and her almost 40 years of engagement with China and its culture. Register here.


The following panels will be open for registration later this month:


  • “Film Data and Policy Between the UK & China” (5 March) – addresses how the UK can learn from China’s fast-growing third-party ticketing system, and how China can learn about data protection from the UK.


  • “The Future of Co-production Film Between the UK & China” (12 March) – explores whether a successful co-production film can be made between the two countries. If so, what will it look like? Attendees will have a chance to travel virtually to the second largest film studio in China, Xiangshan Global Studios.


  • “VR Immersive Experience R&D between the UK and China” (19 March) – will introduce the latest million-pound awarded project dedicated to the R&D in VR through a Sino-British collaboration.


  •  “Opportunities for Documentary Filmmakers to Enter the Chinese Market” (26 March) – more and more British documentary talents are curious about working with Chinese counterparts. What are the opportunities and challenges? Hear from professionals who have been working with China, as well as the Head Programmer for Documentary at the Shanghai International Film Festival.


  • “The Future of Hong Kong’s Film Industry” (6 April) – the first time this topic will be discussed in the UK, this unique panel explores where Hong Kong cinema is headed. What will be the next film from the region that can reach a mass audience?


We look forward to engaging with you during the festival period on social media.

The festival opens on February 12: