Cinema is where people connect.
After the successful launch of the Opening Screening at the Cinema in Battersea Power Station London on the 26th of May, Odyssey 2023 will charge on and showcase over 70 films online and offline across the country in June.
Linda Conroy joins us from Maynooth University in Ireland and she will share her thoughts on Odyssey 2023’s programme with 5 guest post articles.
“Hi, my name is Linda. I am a Chinese and Philosophy student at Maynooth University in Ireland. Each year the university runs an innovative Summer Programme for Undergraduate Research (SPUR) whereby students can work closely with faculty members. I am delighted to have been selected and will be jointly mentored by Dr Meishan Zhang of the Chinese Studies Department and Dr Hiu Man Chan of UK-China Film Collab. I will be assisting with her project: The Influence of Films on Students’ Chinese Language Learning Experience.
We are excited to collaborate with Odyssey 2023 on the project. This partnership provides us with a special chance to explore student engagement with film. As part of our pilot study, I will act as the case study student, selecting five films from each strand throughout the festival’s vibrant programme to review here on the blog.
As well as philosophy and languages, I also have an interest in the visual arts, holding a degree in Photography from Belfast School of Art.”
Film: Forest of Stele Dreams
A film about the lifelong passion of a devoted craftsman. This is an inspiring documentary about 91-year-old Xing Shiying 幸世英, affectionately known in the community as Teacher Xing 幸老师. An ambitious retirement project sees him construct an impressive forest of steles. Steles are inscribed stone monuments; they have been erected by various cultures throughout the ancient world, and typically were created to commemorate people of prestige. Xi’an Museum holds China’s largest collection, housing more than 3,000 steles along with other stone relics.
Although Xing Shiying’s project may appear modest in comparison, its simple communal operation only enhances our appreciation. Set in the Qingyun mountain region of Chongqing, we are introduced to an array of stele inscriptions that convey a rich history of poetry, calligraphy, painting, famous idioms and narrations of historical events. What is special about Teacher Xing’s project is its devotion to preserving the lives of ordinary people, including his prize-winning students, the memory of centenarians, and the art and poetry of his community.
A central focus of the film is Xing’s love of calligraphy. Citing the renowned poet and calligrapher Guo Moruo 郭沫若 (1892-1978) he says that “Time is short, it is impossible to be a calligrapher”.
Speaking from experience, anyone taking Chinese studies will be familiar with the captivating yet challenging experience of learning the Chinese script!
ABOUT ODYSSEY 2023
Cinema is where people connect.
60+ films, masterclasses, discussion panels and exclusive Q&As.
Odyssey is the biggest annual film festival in the UK, bridging curious audience with Greater China and overseas Chinese communities. The theme for 2023 is ‘Global Sustainability’.
Presented by UK-China Film Collab (UCFC)
Festival Date: 26 May – 30 June 2023
Format: Offline in Person and Online via Shift 72
Festival Website: odysseychinesecinema.uk
Instagram & Twitter Handle: @odysseyccs
Hashtags: #globalsustainability #odyssey2023 #ukchinafilm #peace