Chinese Documentary Festival 2014

Award Winners

Shorts

Champion

Whisper of Minqin

Wang Wenming
China / 2013 / 54 min
Mandarin and Gansu dialect with Chi & Eng Subtitles

The director revisits Minqin county in Gansu where he filmed The Sandstorm Intrusion about the sand storm and the plight of the residents who were forced to relocate years ago. He went looking for the little girl he had interviewed. During the search, he finds the sand storms are getting worse and worse.

First Runner-up

Black

Ke Chin-yuan
Taiwan / 2013 / 57 min
In Mandarin with Chi & Eng Subtitles

Taiwan has 830,000 hectares of farm land, accounting for more than one-fifth of the country's usable land. This would have made Taiwan self-sufficient in agricultural products. However, in recent years, the dangers of pollution have become more acute due to increased industrial development. The lack of waste disposal planning and the pollution by industrial wastewater has become a severe irrigation hazard. Local farmers have been hard hit and the damage is irrevocable.

Second Runner-up

The Book of Gelagu

Hu Jie
China / 2013 / 38 min
In Mandarin with Chi Subtitles

In his book Gelagu yi shi, author Zhang Xianchi compared Yunan's reform-through-labour camps to those depicted in Russia's famous novel The Gulag Archipelago. The director accompanied the author on his visit back to the mountains as he recalls the life at the camps.


Features

Champion

School on the Road

Kuo Shiao-yun
Taiwan / 2013 / 92 min
In Mandarin and Taiwanese with Chi & Eng Subtitles

A group of high school students with learning and behavioural problems took part in the mobile school project organised by the theatre group "U-Theatre". The group spent 36 days travelling on foot across 13 counties and towns in Western Taiwan, training themselves through drum playing and physical practice, and performed for local villagers along the way. The students not only garnered cheers and applause, but also regained confidence.

First Runner-up

Sock'n Roll

Ho Chao-ti
Taiwan / 2013 / 78 min
In Mandarin and Taiwanese with Chi & Eng Subtitles

Shetou Township in Changhua, Taiwan was once a key production centre of the country's sock manufacturing industry, accounting for 80% of the total output. Production went into a decline following fierce competition from cheaper products manufactured in China. Lee Tung-lin, nicknamed Brother Black Dog, owns a small factory in the area. In an attempt to save his ailing business, he decides to create his own brand.

Second Runner-up

If There is a Reason to Study

Adler Yan
Taiwan / 2014 / 93 min
In Mandarin with Chi & Eng Subtitles

Humanity Junior High School is a non-traditional school in Taiwan. To encourage free development, there is no ranking based on grades. On the other hand, however, students must face the same standardised tests as students from traditional schools in order to progress to senior high. The director, aged only 14 at the time of filming, used his camera to record what his classmates said as they faced the challenge, and to explore the motivations behind studying.


Hong Kong Documentary Award

Champion

32 and 4

Chan Hau Chun
Hong Kong / 2014 / 32 min
In Cantonese and Chaozhou dialect with Chi & Eng Subtitles

The director spent her childhood living apart from her family and knew very little about its history. This changed when she graduated from college and decided to face her parents with her camera in a search for answers to questions about her past.

First Runner-up

Wheel Life

Yip Wai Ping
Hong Kong / 2014 / 32 min
In Cantonese with Chi & Eng Subtitles

When he was a young man, Kwok Keung came to Hong Kong as an illegal immigrant from mainland China. Disaster struck when his entire body was paralysed following a traffic accident. Despite his immobility, he insisted on paying a visit to his hometown because to him, "Life is like a circle, you go to places but ultimately you go back to where it all began."

Special Mention

Via Dolorosa

Jo Cheng
Hong Kong / 2014 / 31 min
In Cantonese and Vietnamese with Chi & Eng Subtitles

Two years ago, the director made a film about an elderly scavenger in Sham Shui Po. Last year, by chance, the director was back to the area once again to film the homeless living under the flyover. This time, as she stayed with her interview target, a middle aged man, through his last days, she reflected on the complicated yet delicate relationship between director and subject.

Special Mention

Qarangghu Tagh: The Villages Afar

Saipulla Mutallip
Hong Kong / 2014 / 90 min
In Uyghur with Chi & Eng Subtitles

In Uyghur with Chi & Eng Subtitles

The mountain of Qarangghu Tagh is an impoverished mountain area near Khotan in southern Xinjiang. It is so remote from the rest of civilisation that even today it can only be accessed by motorcycle or mule. The director, having paid multiple visits to this secluded village, unraveled a massacre that took place in 1934.