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Confucius Institute

Our partners: HOME Mcr

26 February 2016

The Confucius Institute sponsors regular screenings of modern Chinese films at HOME Mcr, the new centre for artistic creation, learning, festivals and audience engagement.

In partnership with the Chinese Film Forum UK (CFFUK) we sponsor regular screenings of modern Chinese films at HOME Mcr, the new centre for artistic creation, learning, festivals and and audience engagement.

Q&A with Rachel Hayward, Programme Manager and Dr Andy Willis, Senior Visiting Curator, HOME Mcr

What is your general impression of Chinese films? In what way do they appeal to UK viewers?

We've recently been struck by the breadth of films reaching the UK from China as witnessed by the increased releases of mainstream Chinese films into UK multiplexes. However, for our audiences at HOME these films are often a little too commercial.  We have found that we have an impressive fan base for classic titles like Spring in a Small Town and Police Story which we've recently screened.  These trends reflect the variety of Chinese films available in the UK, but we remain dedicated to bringing an even broader range of titles in particular showcasing independent and emerging filmmakers.   

Why do HOME (previously Cornerhouse) want to screen Chinese films and what is your partnership with the Confucius Institute like?

We're committed to showing films from around the world and have particular expertise and experience in programming films from East Asia. We've worked with the Confucius Institute on a number of projects over the years, including the ongoing Chinese Film Forum UK and Asia Triennial Manchester seasons.  What is positive about working with the Confucius Institute is that they recognise our strengths in programming whilst offering constructive support.  The Confucius Institute are a valued partner when it comes to communicating with students as they have wide networks that we're able to utilise as part of our partnership.  

Which Chinese film(s) or director(s) impressed you most and in what ways?

Andy has a particular interest in Hong Kong cinema, specifically crime genre films and it is this, combined with recent popularity of crime drama with audiences, that was the impetus behind our current season CRIME: Hong Kong Style.

If we had to identify one director, we would say Felix Chong, our special guest who will be presenting two UK premieres at HOME and at various venues across the UK in March. 

What role do you see arts organisations like HOME play in bringing Chinese films to the UK general public?

Due to the pressure upon commercial cinemas it is often left to independent venues such as HOME and our tour partners to bring Chinese films to UK audiences.  This is particularly the case when it comes to less mainstream titles such as those films screened at festivals such as Cannes and Berlin.  HOME has imported a number of films from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan through the partnership with the Confucius Institute and Chinese Film Forum UK.  

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