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.



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.


I arrived in Tel Aviv for 1 week to attend the 2nd International Filmmaking Workshop KINO TLV. It was the week of the Israeli pesah holiday and the biggest partying city in the Middle East was relatively quiet, shops & bars were closed on that Friday night. I was walking along the night streets of Tel Aviv, enjoying the warm night and getting inspired for the upcoming filmmaking week… The inspiration was all around – the amazing modern architecture, bauhaus, crappy cheap houses, the long beautiful beach, Old Yaffo arabic district with the chants of moazzins, the magic Florentin and Neve Tsedek neighborhoods. And of course the people.

What caught my attention (I noticed it already last year when I was visiting the city for the first time) were the benches standing opposite each other on the pavements close to the busy roads all around Florentin and other areas. Who would ever want to sit in a proximity of  busy traffic and hang out there I thought to myself – as I was observing the streets later during the day, some people were sitting there from time to time, chatting, relaxing, taking a break with their heavy shopping bags, or just chilling out in the evenings when it was not too hot and the streets were not so busy anymore. For me those benches are also symbol of a dialog and conversation… Yet, they are standing at very absurd places, I created bit absurd situations. Here is the result…

And many thanks to Czech Centre in Tel Aviv for supporting this stay.

We prepare a documentary film about gay refugees – support our crew!

We’re an international team of filmmakers and we would use your help with funding our new project – GOING WEST!

In the recent months, the Middle East has seen a mass migration of people fleeing its conflicts and wars. Among these refugees, there’s a number of LGBT* folks leaving for Europe to not only find peace, but also the freedom to be themselves.

Back home, they are at a hight risk of violence, torture or death – and this risk follows them along their way until they reach safety.

The short documentary we’re working on will give space to specific refugees to express their concerns and hopes for their future lives. The film will focus on their personal stories and the similarities between them, trying to find their common ground. One of the side themes will also be how new technologies enabled their escape and what it is that they wouldn’t share with the world on social media, what is left unsaid. To get a bigger picture, we’ll also interview the official organizations that provide services for these people.

Here is our INDIEGOGO crowdfunding campaign. You can support our crew by liking our Facebook page or just support the project financially – any $ will help – we work for free, all the money go to the production expenses.

Thank you!