Non-Fiction Features Competition


China's van goghs

Saturday, Nov. 18. 3:00 pm - 4:45 pm

Haibo Yu&tianqi yu/China/82mins/North America Premiere

Until 1989, the village of Dafen in the city of Shenzhen, China was little more than a hamlet. It now has a population of 10,000, including hundreds of peasants-turned-oil painters. In the many studios, and even in the alleyways, Dafen’s painters turn out thousands of replicas of world-famous Western paintings. Nobody thinks anything of an order for 200 Van Goghs. To meet their deadlines, painters sleep on the floor between clotheslines strung with masterpieces. In 2015, the turnover in painting sales was over $65 million. Directors Haibo and Kiki Tianqi Yu followed one of the painters, Xiaoyong Zhao. He and his family have painted around 100,000 Van Goghs. After all these years, Zhao feels a deep affinity with Van Gogh. He traveled to Europe to see the original works at the Van Gogh Museum, and to visit one of his best clients, an Amsterdam art dealer. This debut film is a fascinating, at times picturesque portrait of a village where artists pursue their dreams, but also have them shattered.Their journey is emblematic of of China’s Dream for the 21st Century: to go from ‘Made in China’ to ‘Created in China’.


mrs. lei

Sunday, Nov. 19. 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

kailuo zhuo/China/112mins/North America Premiere

Lei Suyun was born in 1934, and diagnosed with alzheimer's disease in 2010.Her daughter took care of her,but she didn’t know her daughter any more. She suffered from memory loss andwanted to go home and didn’t know where she was.She repeated one thing all the time. She was sad and frightened.

Lei Suyun vaguely remembered she was a great person,and she was the director of the bureau of finance, NPC member.  People used to call her Mrs Lei.Now Lei Suyun didn’t remember things, she lamented the passing of time.Her once brilliant achievements were gone with her memory. 

However,she still knew her name. She was struggling against despair,and trying to seize the self.Year after year, LeiSuYun’s condition was getting worse. she lay in bed, looking at nothing...



of shadows

Saturday, Nov. 18. 8:20 am - 10:10 am

yi cui/china&canada/78mins/la Premiere

Filmed in China’s Loess Plateau, where shadow theatre has entertained people and deities for centuries, OF SHADOWS follows a lively and resilient group of local shadow play performers as they navigate between the rural staging of ancient plays and the urban spectacles of national cultural heritage. While providing a rare glimpse into the nomadic lives of master puppeteers, the film paints a haunting portrait of a revered folk tradition transforming against the backdrop of a country in constant transition.

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papa rainbow

Friday, Nov. 17. 10:30 pm - 12:45 am

popo fan/china/80mins

In China, most families have difficulties facing their lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender (LGBT) children. They have to contend with common social beliefs that homosexuality is shameful, abnormal, a perverted condition caused by deviant family relationships. Many parents see their kids as their property, and fathers often assert their authority to ensure that no harm comes to the family reputation.

The documentary "Papa Rainbow" features six Chinese fathers who talk openly and freely about their experiences with their LGBT children. Speaking out against discrimination and stigma, they redefine what it means to protect a household. They fully embrace their kids for who they are, and become pioneer activists fighting for an equal and diverse society.