Workshop Chinese Indie Docu Film and Censorship @ FAMU


The FAMU workshop on 9 March 2018 (14-17:00) will introduce the most important independent documentary films from the past 30 years in PRC while also explaining how Chinese censorship influences the work of many artists, filmmakers and writers who are forced to work outside the official system. The situation has grown especially difficult within the past 5 years since the new CCP Chairman and President, Xi Jinping rose to power in autumn of 2012.




The workshop will be lead by Haruna Honcoop who spent the winter semester 2017-2018 at Beijing Film Academy where she conducted research on recent Chinese independent documentary film. She is a graduate in Sinology from Charles University in Prague, spent 2 years as Chinese language student at Beijing Language University (2005-2006) and Taiwan University in Taipei (2007-2008), and is currently an MA student at CAS FAMU. She has won the award for best experimental short documentary at This Human World in Vienna in 2016 for her short, “True or False”; a documentary film about Sino-Czech postwar relations and is currently working on her new documentary film about the current state of Beijing’s stadiums from the 2008 Olympics.

Chinese documentary filmmaker and ex-programmer of Beijing Independent Documentary Festival, Zhu Rikun, will be the workshop guest lecturer. He is one of the key figures of a complex network of independent documentary filmmakers in present-day China. His cinéma vérité style documentary films “Questioning” (2012), “The Dossier” (2014), “Dust” (2015), “Welcome” (2016) were screened and awarded internationally and his new documentary film “Anni” (2018) will have it’s world premiere at Jeden svět 2018 / One World 2018 Film Festival in Prague on 9 March at 18:00 at Ponrepo cinema right after the workshop.

~9 March 2018, 14:00-17:00, followed by a screening at Ponrepo Cinema (Zhu Rikun’s film Anni – 18:00)
~FAMU screening room (1st floor), Smetanovo nábřeží 2, Prague 1
~Language of instruction: English
~Free entry (capacity 70 seats)

Recommended reading:
(Books available in the library Knihovna FAMU)
– Daniel Biltereyst, Roel Vande Winkel (eds.), Silencing Cinema: Film Censorship around the World. New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2013
– Paul G. Pickowicz, Yingjin Zhang (eds.), Filming the Everyday: Independent Documentaries in Twenty-First-Century China, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2016
– Zhang Zhen (ed.): The Urban Generation: Chinese Cinema and Society at the Turn of the Twenty-first Century, Durham: Duke University Press, 2007
– Matthew D. Johnson, Luke Vulpiani, Keith B. Wagner, Kiki Tianqi Yu (eds.): China’s iGeneration: Cinema and Moving Image Culture for the Twenty-First Century, Bloomsbury Academic, 2014
– Luke Robinson: Independent Chinese documentary: From the Studio to the Street. London and Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, 2013
– Haruna Honcoop, 2016. Nechodit naráz dvěma cestami: Rozhovor s dokumentaristou a filmovým kurátorem Ču Ž’-kchunem. (One cannot walk two paths at the same time – an interview with a documentary curator and filmmaker Zhu Rikun), Cinepur, no. 106, pp. 62-66.

The workshop is an outcome of “Chinese Documentary Film in the context of Censorship” FAMU SGS project, supported by the Ministry of Education of the Czech Republic in 2017. Workshop is also supported by Mezinárodní sinologické centrum Chiang Ching-kuovy nadace při UK (International Sinological Center at Charles University) and Jeden svět / One World Festival in Prague.



followed by the introduction to the Communist-era architecture and Q&A with the director Haruna Honcoop

13/1 (SAT) 16:00 Wings gallery – Beijing, Songzhuang, Beijing, China
19/1 (FRI) 19:00 Czech Centre Tokyo ・チェコセンター東京 (discussion with art/architecture historian Helena Capkova and Petr Holy)
25/1 (THU) 19:00 Cafe Philo 慕哲咖啡 Taipei, Taiwan

more details:

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Info in English/Chinese follows:

BUILT TO LAST – RELICS OF COMMUNIST ERA ARCHITECTURE (2017, 59′) is an experimental documentary film by Czech-Japanese director Haruna Honcoop(洪春菜) exploring the fate of architecture built during the post-war communist period (1945-1989) in 11 countries in Central and Eastern Europe.

基业长青——共产建筑遗风(2017年, 59分钟)是一部由洪春菜(Haruna Honcoop)执导的实验纪录片。旨在探索11个中欧与东欧国家战后共产主义时期(1945-1989)建筑的命途。

Moving along the spiral from Moscow to Berlin, Warsaw, Prague, Bratislava, Budapest, Bucharest, Belgrade, Pristina, Tirana and Sofia, the film mixes the past and present conditions of administrative buildings, museums, monuments, working class homes, communist party headquarters, hotels, and panel housing projects.


The present-day condition of the architecture of communism is interspersed with sequences from historical documentaries and archival film materials. Each short film is accompanied by soundtrack composed by contemporary musicians from the country in question, interspersed with the political speeches of communist leaders such as Lenin, Walter Ulbricht, Janos Kádár, Nicolae Ceausescu, Josip Broz Tito and Todor Zhivkov. Shall we demolish or preserve the communist-era architecture? Forget our past?


Film produced by / 制片公司 : FAMU – Film and Tv School of Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, FreeSaM Production and Haruna Honcoop

Thank you Renai Yôngyáo Wai for the Chinese version of the poster and Jessica Zhao for the Chinese synopsis translation.

Built to Last got an Award for the Best documentary film at ARCHFILM LUND festival 2017 in Sweden


The Award Ceremony took place on 8 October 2017 at Skissernas Museum.

The Jury statement: ArchFilmLund Prize 2017 for the best documentary goes to film BUILT TO LAST for asking an important question of preserving or demolishing the Soviet architecture objects and for daring experimental way of displaying architectural objects in their historical context, through a magnificent combination of archive images, movies and enhancing historical sounds. 

More information about the festival ARCHFILM LUND is HERE.



We are in the last postproduction phase of the 3 years long project BUILT TO LAST – RELICS OF SOCIALIST ARCHITECTURE, collaborating with FAMU editor Josef Hrdlička and music dramaturgist and producer Tadeáš Haager on the final touches.

The film will be released in September 2017.

World premiere will happen on 6 October 2017 at ARCHFILM LUND Festival, Sweden.