Chinese Documentary Festival 2009

Award Winners

Shorts

Champion

Brave Father

Li Junhu
China / 2007 / 53 min
In Mandarin, Shannxi language with Chinese and English Subtitles

Soon-to-be university graduate Han Shengli and his peasant father Han Peiyin see their fervent belief in the power of education challenged by the dual realities of finding a job and repaying the loans they have taken on, which means they sacrificed everything. The pair leaves their rural home for Xi'an, the son to take up his university place and the father to make money. But graduation approaches and Shengli's job prospects dim and harsh reality sets in. His father's notebook records the amounts borrowed and the hopes and plans and dreams for how to spend what Shengli will earn.

First Runner-up

My Little Naughties

Jiang Jin-lin
Taiwan / 2007 / 55 min
In Mandarin with Chinese and English Subtitles

For the past seven years, Wang, a teacher in an elementary school in Teching, Taipei, has used all her energy and all her passion to show students how to face whatever life throws at them with a positive attitude. At the same time, she courts controversy with her peers by fighting for their best interests.

Second Runner-up

Summer of Yueming

Zhang Zhong
China / 2008 / 36 min
In Mandarin with Chinese and English Subtitles

A garbage dump bears a great burden because so many people put their hopes on it. It is the homeland on which people rely, the origin of their life and their futures, and even of the hopes and futures that the next generation will make real… One of them is a student of junior grade two who digs food and hopes to get out of the mountainous dump, saving money for each semester of school. In September, he will go back to school and continue the struggle to achieve a goal which he cannot be certain of attaining: entering high school.

Spring

Huang Shiu-yi
Taiwan / 2008 / 23 min
In Mandarin, Hakka language with Chinese and English Subtitles

Jia-Ba and Mr. Chubby are two friends who lead different lives but share a common place of origin. One is a graphic design student in Tainan who was eager to go back to her hometown. The other is a nurse looking forward to taking care of a group of old people after a family member has passed away. The film follows them as they return to their roots, as if pulled by a mysterious force. Their experiences in the city and the death in the family start them on the journey back.


Features

Champion

Doctor Ma's Country Clinic

Cong Feng
China / 2008 / 215 min
In Mandarin with Chinese or English Subtitle

Huangyangchuan, Gansu province, China. It's an arid mountain area with poor roads. Ma Bingcheng is a respected local doctor with good medical skills so many patients (most of them farmers) come to see him every day. In his small clinic, when people wait for him or for prescriptions, they chat with each other about their lives, local conditions, or the people they know. The clinic seems to open up like a microcosm, the information and experiences of different people intertwine, revealing the conditions of typical Chinese farmers, and the typical fates of both young and old.

First Runner-up

Bingai

Feng Yan
China /2007 / 114 min
In Mandarin, Hubei language with Chinese and English Subtitles

When all of the phases of the massive Three Gorges Dam project are finally completed, a total of 1.13 million people along the Yangtze River will have been dislocated. The majority of them will turn out to be farmers. Bingai features one farmer who refuses to be forced to move away from her village. The film follows her seven-year struggle against the barriers thrown up by officials who pressure her to relocate, while her strong devotion to the land where she has worked for decades compels her to remain in the place she calls home.

Second Runner-up

Wheat Harvest

Xu Tong
China / 2008 / 98 min
In Mandarin with Chinese and English Subtitles

June, and wheat is yellowing. She returns to Hebei. While her father is getting a transfusion, her mother is at the market. Life moves on as usual. She swore not to like the customers, but she develops feelings for one. Although not always honest with each other, the prostitutes have fun together. She disrespects her greedy boss. She can't forget about her first pimp, who was sent to prison. But she is dutiful to her sick father, and gives money to her mother. Wheat is ripening; but it rains for days; harvest is impossible.

Special Mention

Two Seasons

Zhao Xun
China / 2008 / 142 min
In Mandarin with Chinese and English Subtitles

Almost every adult has gone through the period of life we call "middle school", and each child should grow up to study in his or her middle school. So it is that each and every family has to face a multitude of pressing education issues. This story happens in a well-respected middle school when, facing so many troubles that seem to have been going on forever, all the teachers, all the parents and even many of the children want to use their own ways to deal with the troubles and to deal with and to communicate with each other.