LOS ANGELES – Streaming platform Montage is proud to announce “To Qu Yuan With Love,” a virtual showcase of four short films celebrating queer Chinese voices curated by LGBTQ+ activist and filmmaker Popo Fan. The four films, all directed by queer filmmakers from the Chinese diaspora, will be available to watch on Montage at www.montageplay.com from 11AM PDT June 12 – 11AM PDT June 19, 2021. This showcase will be hosted virtually on the streaming platform and is free for the general public to attend. Popo Fan will also moderate an English-language discussion panel with the directors on June 14 at 1pm PDT / 10pm CET, free to attend via Eventbrite. The panel will discuss the queer origins of the Chinese Dragon Boat Festival (Duan Wu Jie, falling on June 5th this year), the intersections between traditional Chinese and contemporary queer cultures, and the filmmakers’ own experiences reconciling their identities as queer Chinese storytellers.
About this event
The 5th day of the 5th month of the lunar calendar is the Dragon Boat Festival (Duan Wu Jie 端午节), celebrated with sticky rice cakes (zongzi 粽子) and dragon boat races, both in China and in Asian diasporas around the world. The holiday was created in honor of Qu Yuan, a 3rd century BCE Chinese poet and close personal advisor and confidant to the King of Chu. Qu Yuan was exiled from Chu for opposing the King’s decision to form an alliance with the Qin nation. In despair, Qu Yuan committed suicide by leaping into the Miluo River. Based on the loving, intimate poems that Qu Yuan wrote, it appears likely that Qu Yuan was more than a close confidant of the King. A romantic relationship with the King would have made the painful accusations of treason and banishment from Chu doubly devastating for Qu Yuan.
Today, most LGBTQ+ terms in common Chinese and in international usage derive from western-centric theories. For those of us within the queer Chinese diaspora, how should we understand the intersections of racial and gender identity and sexual orientation in contemporary society? How do we honor our traditions while adapting to globalization? How can we continue our creativity under such difficult conditions within the industry?
This year, we will celebrate the Dragon Boat Festival with an online screening of short films centered on the queer Chinese diaspora accompanied by a panel discussion featuring an exciting lineup of creators and commentators. Through these films we will explore queer encounters in Berlin, Amsterdam, Los Angeles, and even in outer space.
— Popo Fan
Moderator & Curator
Popo Fan is a Berlin-based filmmaker, writer, and activist from China, where his queer documentary films have made a notable impact. Since 2016, he has concentrated on writing and directing scripted, sex-positive shorts. He is the founder of the Queer University Video Training Camp and has been an organizer of the Beijing Queer Film Festival for more than a decade. Popo was invited to sit on the jury of the Teddy Award of the Berlinale in 2019.
Doris Yeung was born in San Francisco in 1977 and raised in Hong Kong, SAR and California. She has written and directed films in China, Europe and the US and graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles and the Beijing Film Academy with degrees in Art History and Directing.
She was a Directing Fellow at the American Film Institute and a writer/director at Binger FilmLAB in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. She has written and directed over 15 short films and wrote and directed her first feature film, MOTHERLAND, starring renowned Chinese and Canadian actors, Francoise Yip 葉芳華 and Kenneth Tsang 曾江,
which premiered in 2009 at Los Angeles Outfest. It was named one of the 10 best Asian American Films of 2009 by Asian Pacific Arts Magazine and a “filmmaker to watch” for by the Hollywood Reporter. She is also a working film programmer, programming films for various international film festivals and has been on many film juries including the Teddy Jury at the Berlinale Film Festival . She resides and works in Amsterdam since 2002 and is the founder of CinemAsia Film Festival, Netherlands.
Wayne Yung was born in 1971 in Edmonton, Canada, to a Chinese immigrant family. He moved to Vancouver in 1994, where he became established as a writer, performer and video artist exploring issues of race and identity from a queer Chinese-Canadian perspective. Arriving in Germany in 2001, he lived in Hamburg and Cologne before settling in Berlin. In addition to his artistic practice, he has also been active as a curator, organizing screening events in North America and Europe. Since his first video release in 1994, he has travelled extensively to present his work at film festivals around the world, including several solo programs.
Olivia Liu received her M.F.A in Film and TV Directing from Chapman University where she was taught by Martha Coolidge, the former chairman of the Director Guild of America (DGA). She worked for Academy Award-winning producer, Ron Yerxa. Olivia’s films were selected by acclaimed film festivals including Shanghai International Film Festival, the Golden Reel Award, and European Independent Film Festival among others. She directed A Big River, a documentary film that is produced and released by the China Central Television (CCTV). Currently, she is directing “Unqualified” Mothers, a documentary feature film about female reproductive rights in China.
Beer! Beer!, Popo Fan, 17min, 2019
“Beer! Beer!” is an “anti-romantic comedy” set in the early morning following a wild party in Berlin. Tao, a Chinese guy, meets Sebastian, a local German man. As they seem to get more and more intimate with each other, suddenly a mattress changes everything…
The Last Lesbian, Olivia Liu, 28min, 2018
It’s 2318 and Susannah, the last lesbian on earth, has only one chance to save the world’s gays from certain extinction: time travel back to 2018 to stop an LA fashionista, Bella, from falling in love with a man at a blogging convention and setting off a chain of events that result to a diabolical plan to exile gays to outer space.
Red Light, Doris Yang, 13min, 2013
A young Dutch boy goes on a boy’s night out with his friends in Amsterdam for a night of sex, drugs and rock and roll. But an unexpected encounter with a sex worker shows him something he could have never imagined.
My German Boyfriend, Wayne Yung, 19min, 2004
A gay Chinese-Canadian encounters ethnic stereotypes as he seeks his ideal boyfriend in Berlin. A comedy about mistaken cultural identities, a diary of immigrant isolation, and a love letter to a boyfriend who might have been.
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