top of page

Panel Discussion

Borderless World: Imagination as the Only Destination 
— A Talk Across Art, Anthropology, and Cinema

Feb 23, 2024

Round table Post 1.jpg

The roundtable, themed Borderless World: Imagination as The Only Destination — A Talk Across Art, Anthropology, and Cinema features a distinguished lineup of speakers —Wim Wenders, Dr. Biao Xiang, Ke-Xi Wu, and Désiré Feuerle — all of whom have been remarkable in their globe-trotting and border-crossing careers. This discussion is an opportunity to explore their personal experiences of crossing, transgressing, and even dissolving various borders within their respective fields. Through their insights, this event aims to provide the audience with multiple perspectives to contemplate our increasingly borderless world and the charm and challenges that accompany it.

In today's era characterized by globalization and digital connectivity, traditional borders are undergoing a constant redefinition, with new ones continuously emerging. Within this dynamic landscape, our speakers, each a trailblazer in their respective domains, will share their unique perspectives and experiences. Wim Wenders, a master of cinematic artistry, transcends geographical boundaries in his work, inviting us to explore the universal human experiences that unite us. Anthropologist Dr. Biao Xiang's insightful research unveils the intricate dynamics of migration and how societies grapple with these movements. Ke-Xi Wu, the actress-writer, brings to life the stories of those caught in the currents of migration and diaspora, offering a glimpse into the human face of these journeys. Meanwhile, Désiré Feuerle's transformative approach to art challenges conventional divisions between the ancient and contemporary, reminding us of the enduring power of creativity across time and space.


The term "Border" remains open-ended in our discourse, and our goal is to provide the audience with an interdisciplinary lens through which they can ponder the multifaceted nature of border crossing. This roundtable discussion extends invitations to Berlinale visitors who wish to engage in the exploration of the evolving concept of borders in our interconnected world.

Authenticity Unframed
Navigating the Real and Reel in Chinese Indie Cinema  

Oct 21, 2023

Featuring S. Louisa Wei, Liyo Gong, Cao Liuying, Zheng Zhen
with an opening speech by Jean-Michel Frodon, moderated by Wang Zifei.

Hybrid: In-person & Online 

This panel will navigate the idea of authenticity by discussing how history, creativity, and viewership shape representations of reality in Chinese Indie Cinema.

How have the creators and viewers of Chinese Indie Cinema changed over the past three decades?

In the context of media globalisation, who constitutes the target audience for such films and what is their relationship with the world depicted on screen?

How are the shifting realities of Greater China reflected in the films?

In the pursuit of a camera that “doesn’t lie,” what kinds of efforts and compromises do filmmakers make?

How do they establish a portal for audiences to experience the everyday of people that are faraway?

As viewers, how should we interpret and deconstruct the reality projected on the screen? 


Public participation is welcome!

S. Louisa Wei is a filmmaker and Professor of Creative Media at City University of Hong Kong. She has published extensively on early Sinophone and women’s cinema and has directed several documentaries, including Havana Divas, which will be screened at ICCW 2023.

Liyo Gong, born in Belgium, is a film editor, musician, and actress interested in blending visual arts and narrative cinema. She has collaborated with filmmakers like Wang Bing and Lawrence Lek, and she recently starred in Bas Devos' award-winning film "Here." She is also a DJ in the "Heartbroken" collective, performing worldwide and creating soundtracks for international venues and events.


Cao Liuying is a film critic, programmer, producer, festival strategy consultant, and publicist. She co-founded the Chinese film production company Midnight Blur Films and serves as the artistic co-director of the Red Lotus Asian Film Festival in Vienna.


Jean-Michel Frodon is a journalist, critic and historian of cinema. He is the author and editor of various volumes on French cinema, Chinese cinema, film theory, film history, cinema technology, and politics.

Zhang Zhen is a professor at New York University, where she teaches Cinema Studies and directs the Asian Film and Media Initiative. She has an extensive publication record on Chinese independent cinema and has served as the primary organiser of the biannual Reel China Documentary Festival at New York University since 2001.

Indie Chinese Cinema Week Roundtable Discussion:
Female Gaze and Subaltern Speak in Contemporary Chinese

Nov 11, 2022

round table.jpg

In the post-COVID era, while China’s isolation from the world poses many epistemological challenges, independent cinema offers a rare glimpse of its reality today. As the prelude to the Indie Chinese Cinema Week, this roundtable invites an emerging Chinese female filmmaker and four engaging scholars from anthropology, sociology, cultural studies of China to have a dialogue revolving around the concepts of “female gaze” and “subaltern speak”. 


CiLAN'S invited five speakers: Professor Xiang Biao, Dr Zhou Yun Yun, Dr Heike and filmmaker Danting, as well as Professor Yu Qiong, who was unable to attend but supported us remotely, presented a thought-provoking roundtable discussion to the 80 on-site audience and nearly 200 online viewers. Each of the four guests recommended the films in the festival that they found most moving and interesting.

The questions we would like to address include: How do female filmmakers break through a male-dominant industry? When transforming from the gazed object to the gazing subject, what do female filmmakers see through their camera lens and what are our expectations of their work? What is the ‘female gaze’ in relation to China’s rising feminist movements?

bottom of page