The 1st Netpac Film Week and International Symposium, Nov 2019

Aditya Saturday March 7, 2020

The 1st Netpac Film Week was held Nov 5-8, 2019 at the Beijing Film Academy (BFA). Organised by veteran filmmaker Prof Xie Fei and film researcher, Wang Yao, the event was a first step to introduce the work of NETPAC in promoting the cinemas of Asia. 

Attended by Advisory Board Member, Wong Tuck Cheong, Co-Vice President, Bina Paul and Joint President, Philip Cheah, the event was a surprisingly emotional meeting as Prof Xie had gathered six Chinese filmmakers who had won the NETPAC award at the beginning of their careers.

Brandon Qiu Sheng (left) Director of Suburban Birds introduces his film
Brandon Qiu Sheng (left) Director of Suburban Birds introduces his film


They included Brandon Qiu Sheng, whose debut feature, Suburban Birds (2019) took two NETPAC awards last year as well as China’s most famous independent director, Jia Zhang Ke, who won the NETPAC award for his debut, Xiao Wu (Pickpocket, 1997). In NETPAC’s 25-year history, this was the first occasion that the impact of the award could be witnessed. 

Extreme left,  Brandon Qiu Sheng and extreme right, Jia Zhangke
Extreme left, Brandon Qiu Sheng and extreme right, Jia Zhangke


Other than a film programme of about 12 titles, there was two days of seminars. Among the talks given was one by Advisory Board Member Wong who spoke about the parallel between China’s Belt and Road Initiative and the network of festivals hosting the NETPAC award. Both paths seemed similar in direction and spread. 

One of the consequences of this meeting is a follow up by Prof Xie who has proposed a BFA-NETPAC sidebar of NETPAC award winners at festivals. The details of this initiative is currently being sorted out.

-- Philip Cheah

International Women's Day

We are pleased to bring to you, for the second year, our International Women’s Day screening!

Free online screening | 8th March

IWD theme this year is #ChooseToChallenge. A challenged world is an alert world. From challenge comes change, so let's all choose to challenge - Ubolsyn herself completely embraces the theme!

This year we invite you to a special free online screening of ULBOLSYN from director Adilkhan Yerzhanov. Our sincere thanks to the producers, Guillaume de Seille and Olga Khlasheva, for their generosity and their efforts in facilitating the screening.

Ulbolsyn Source Poffdotee

The film tells the story of a girl named Ulbolsyn (Kazakh for ‘let there be a son’) whose little sister Azhar is kidnapped by the regional mayor’s brother Urgen for marital purposes and taken away to his village. Ulbolsyn wants her sister to be free and to enter her into a foreign university so that she can pursue a future career. As soon as she learns about the incident, Ulbolsyn decides to fight for her sister and face down the patriarchal world of the people living in the Karatas village.

The film is the recipient of the NETPAC Award in Tallinn Black Nights and TRT award in CineLink Sarajevo WIP 2020

Watch MOVIE English | French