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.”
For my final recommendation I am delighted to present a feature-length documentary by Joanna Bowers. Filmed in Hong Kong, a city once synonymous with fast fashion, reFashioned confronts us with the startling environmental impact of the fashion industry.
The film introduces us to an array of innovators who are at the forefront of combating the accepted culture of disposable clothing and leading the way in sustainable change. Bowers transitions seamlessly between four central projects, ranging from grassroots initiatives to larger-scale industrial endeavours. All these projects share a common focus on advancing towards a circular economy, an environmental model of production and consumption that stands in opposition to the linear system that sees us consume and discard.
In an interview with a company that recirculates children’s products, we are informed of a cultural apprehension towards using second-hand clothes due to superstitious beliefs. There is a fear that the personal history of the previous owner may be passed on through the item. This might seem culturally specific, but we are all familiar with varying stigmas attached to ‘hand me downs’. This serves as a reminder that significant environmental sustainability calls for personal as well as systemic change.
In addition to addressing the clothing industry, a notable initiative featured in the film focuses on providing support to the senior citizens known as “cardboard grannies” who collect and sell cardboard from the streets. The primary objective is to establish better-paying and meaningful roles for them, with a specific emphasis on promoting recycling efforts.
Hong Kong provides a powerful backdrop to the overall narrative. Given the high-density population, it faces significant challenges in effectively managing its waste capacities. We are informed throughout of a reluctance to providing better, more sustainable solutions, but the participants remain hopeful. Their enterprising spirit and the groundbreaking work they are producing, keeps me hopeful too.
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