The biggest Chinese film festival of the year to launch in the UK in a hybrid format！
Odyssey: a Chinese cinema season – 60+ Films in 8 curated sections, 10 discussion panels, exclusive Q&As and 4 awards. A not-to-be-missed festival in the UK to celebrate international cinema!
A new adventure has begun! We are pleased to announce a new hybrid film festival
Odyssey: a Chinese cinema season – launching in the UK this May, one that will bring about the next chapter of Chinese-language films.
Odyssey represents an exciting and mysterious journey through contemporary Chinese film. From 10th May to 10th June 2022, with more than 60 films in 8 curated sections, 10 panel discussions and many inspiring Q&A sessions, we will bring you a whole month of outstanding and innovative Chinese cinema that promises to illuminate your mind. We will add some sparkle to your 2022 and why not voyage in the Sino-cinematic world with us through Odyssey!
Odyssey aims to empower a shared appreciation of film, to create an inclusive cinematic experience, and to encourage cross-cultural understanding. The festival will not only introduce the latest young Chinese film talent to the UK audience, but also provide discussion forums for professionals to exchange creativity and business ideas.
Continuing from the success of last year, Odyssey will take place in a hybrid format in 2022. The opening film screening event will be hosted in person by our venue partner, the Picturehouse Cinemas, in London and Edinburgh on 10th May with a reception. Most of the programme will be available online for all audiences across the country, and we will also organise several pop-up special cinema screenings throughout. The online festival platform of Odyssey will be powered by Shift 72, a leading streaming technology that has been used by renowned international festivals such as Cannes and Toronto.
The curated festival programme of Odyssey revolves around diverse themes and genres. It is designed to showcase the dynamics of Chinese society, culture, and aesthetics to the UK audience. This year’s festival focuses on compelling features, the latest short films, and new moving images by contemporary Chinese artists.
The curation team has selected nearly 40 short films, all of which demonstrate a pioneering and artistic spirit. Split into three thematic sections, the films attempt to break the boundaries between narrative and aesthetics, and to reimagine the dimensions of cinematography and visual art.
“An Exploration” – A section highlighting the different genres, themes, and aesthetics of contemporary Chinese cinema, ranging from atmospheric shorts to incisive documentaries. “The Galaxy: Artists’ Moving Image” – A must-watch section spotlighting innovations in the moving image. Breaking the boundaries between film text and art creation, these films roam in their own artistic galaxy – and are all at the cutting edge of Chinese experimental cinema. “Shanghai Animation Film Studio Retro” – An exploration of Chinese art and culture via Sino-animation. This retrospective programme is in its second edition, supported by Shanghai Animation Film Studio. Founded in 1957, Shanghai Animation Film Studio is the longest-running and most reputable animation brand in China.
“Women Through the Lens” – A realistic and vivid portrayal of Chinese women across the limit of time and space, this section sees cinema through the lens of female narrative, highlighting the variety of women’s representation of Chinese-speaking regions. “Chinese Regional Cinema” – How do different regions in China express themselves in cinema? This programme looks beyond Beijing and Shanghai to feature a diverse range of China’s regional filmmakers, breaking the city-centric stereotypes of Chinese cinema as a whole. “The Emerging Waves” – Bringing the new generation’s independent, arthouse, and documentary productions made in China to a wider audience, this section aims to refresh the international perspective on China’s most recent wave of independent filmmaking. “Surprise Film” – A one-off cinematic adventure within our massive line-up, the Surprise Film is a fantastic chance to encounter one of our thrilling titles through a unique unboxing film-watching experience!
The above screening sections will also include a series of Q&As recorded by filmmakers as part of our audience engagement. All questions were prepared thoughtfully by our curation team. Special guests including filmmakers, academics, curators, critics, and more will be invited. (More upcoming film programmes to be expected).
Industry-focused panels were the highlight of our festival last year, which attracted over 500 participants. This year we have prepared another 10 new topics – all designed to explore film-related collaborations between the UK and Greater China:
Panel 1: TwinFlame: the receptions of British cinema among a Chinese audience
Panel 2: A new exploration of UK-China Co-production
Panel 3: Women’s cinema and practice in contemporary China
Panel 4: The possibilities, opportunities and challenges for British cinema showcase in China
Panel 5: Chinese regional cinemas
Panel 6: Global sustainability as an internationalisation strategy for Chinese cinema
Panel 7: Future development of the Chinese animation industry and international collaborations
Panel 8: An investigation into current press coverages of Chinese-language films in the UK
Panel 9: New business ideas and models for UK-China film collaborations
Panel 10: New distribution strategies for Chinese films in the UK
More details of our festival’s selected films, special events, panel guests and award categories will be gradually announced in the next two months.
WHO ARE WE?
Odyssey: a Chinese cinema season is presented by UK-China Film Collab (UCFC) and organised by a group of accomplished and ambitious young film talents from the organisation. UCFC is a rising NGO with founding missions to formulate collaborations and cutting-edge debates between the UK and Greater China. Odyssey is part of the organisation’s talent development objectives.
Here is the organising committee of Odyssey in 2022:
Head of Film Festival: Jiakai Nie (Franklin): Jiakai has been appointed as the Head of Odyssey: a Chinese cinema season this year. He also serves as the Research Specialist for Chinese Regional Cinema at UK-China Film Collab. Jiakai is currently a postgraduate student in Film Studies at the University College London. His recent work has been published by Senses of Cinema, a prestigious online film journal.
Lead Film Curator: Yixiang Lin (Sherlly)：Sherlly is an independent curator, an international film distributor, founder of Unicorn Screening, selected to UCFC’s Future Talent Programme 2021-2022 and responsible for the film curation of Odyssey this year. She is currently studying MSc in Film, Exhibition and Curation at the University of Edinburgh, with a focus on female representation and cross-cultural encounters.
Lead of Operations: Zhilin Wang (Lynn): Zhilin serves as the Lead of Operations at Odyssey. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Creative Enterprise Film at the University of Reading. Prior to joining UCFC, she worked at multiple TV studios, and was responsible for planning and executing programmes. Her preferred genre of film is realism.
Lead of Public Relations: Liao Zhang: Liao is a PhD researcher in Film Studies at the University of Nottingham, specialising in Chinese girlhood cinema and (post)feminist theory. In addition to her role as the Lead of Public Relations at Odyssey, she also serves as the Lead Women’s Film Programme Curator at UK-China Film Collab, Training Officer at the MeCCSA PGN and Editor for Stanford Social Innovation Review, China.
Lead of Marketing: Shanshan Wu: Shanshan holds a B.A. and M.A. in both Film Studies and Filmmaking from the University of Sydney. She has worked for independent film agencies as a writer, director, and producer for commercials, promos, and short films. Her personal works include experimental film and video installations, which have been shown in group exhibitions, including “Decinema”, “Time Lost”, “Empty”.
Lead Designer: Yun Luo (Wayne): Yun Luo is the Lead Designer for Odyssey this year. He is currently studying Global Arts Management BA at De Montfort University. He studied design for many years in China and has expertise in both graphic and environmental design. Yun has also worked for a leading design institution in China and has many award-winning works to his credit.
We also have 35 young volunteers helping behind the scenes and they will be introduced later throughout the festival.
ODYSSEY’S HEADLINE SPONSOR
Who is our Headline Sponsor this year? – Your most reliable renting company in London!
Azad Ayub Limited is a multi-national award-winning property management and development company, founded by investor, entrepreneur and philanthropist Azad Ayub who has a background in international civil engineering. The company owns and manages properties in North London and has been providing high-quality houses to its clients for over 30 years. Recently the company’s portfolio has expanded to Spain, Pakistan and the USA.
Apart from his property business, Azad has been generously giving back to society as a reputable philanthropist. He is a keen supporter of some of the most prestigious charities in the UK, including Able Child Africa, Lord Mayor’s Appeal Charity, Television for the Environment (Trustee), Royal Institute (Patron) and many more.
We would like to thank Mr Azad Ayub for his generous support toward our Odyssey journey.
Keep yourself updated with our upcoming exciting programme announcements by following our social media accounts!
Festival Date: 10th May – 10th June 2022
Format: Offline in London, Edinburgh, and Online via Shift 72
Festival Website: odysseychinesecinema.uk
Festival Instagram & Twitter: @odysseyccs
For Press Enquiry Please Contact
Lead of Public Relations