Independent Filmmaking in China Nowadays

Display Schedule

Code Completion Credits Range Language Instruction Semester
303MIFCH Z 1 7S English winter

Subject guarantor


Name of lecturer(s)

Haruna Honcoop, Alice RŮŽIČKOVÁ

Learning outcomes of the course unit

The workshop will introduce the most important Chinese independent documentary and fiction films from the past decade.

Mode of study


Prerequisites and co-requisites


Course contents

The workshop will introduce the most important Chinese independent documentary and fiction films from the past decade while also explaining how Chinese censorship influences the work of many filmmakers and other artists who are forced to work outside the official system and we will focus how these films could be produced in these difficult conditions and reach its audience outside of China.

The situation has grown especially difficult within the past 7 years since the new CCP Chairman and President, Xi Jinping rose to power in autumn of 2012. The purpose of this workshop is to scrutinize the effects of the conditions established in the state run Film Industry Law, effective from March 1st, 2017, on the independent film production in China.

Because of the ongoing huge protests in Hong Kong this year, we will explain the context of recent conflict, following Umbrella revolution (2014) 5 years later and how it might influence Hong Kong film industry and strengthen the position of Mainland China film industry which is based in Beijing.

The workshop will be lead by a FAMU PhD student and documentary director Haruna Honcoop who spent 1 semester (2017-2018) at Beijing Film Academy where she conducted research on recent Chinese independent documentary film. She is a graduate in Sinology from Charles University in Prague, spent 2 years as Chinese language student at Beijing Language University and Taiwan University in Taipei and is currently producing her feature-length documentary film “Olympic Halftime” shot in China, Japan and France (2021).

The workshop will be visited by a Chinese producer Wai Ho who will give his insights into the filmmaking scene in China nowadays:

Wai Ho is an independent producer based in Berlin. From 2013 to 2017, he has worked as a programmer or program advisor for several independent or official domestic film festivals in China. In 2017, he founded Ding Production in Berlin and Beijing, producing challenging auteur films driven by strong stories told with a distinctive style. Recent titles are “Sleepwalking Through the Walk Simulators” (CHEN Xi, animation, 2018), Chicken of Mound (CHEN Xi, animation, 2020).

Various excerpts of documentary and fiction films will be screened during the workshop, subtitled in English.

Selected films:

YELLOWING (2016, Hong Kong) dir. Chan Tze-woon

MAN'S WORLD (2016) dir. Han Tao (documentary)

GOOD EDUCATION (2017) Gu Yu (documentary short 30 min)

DEAD SOULS (2018) dir. Wang Bing (documentary)

ACTION, ALMOST UNABLE TO THINK (2018) dir. Haonan Mao (experimental)

Language of the workshop: English.

The workshop is an outcome of “Distribution and production strategies of Chinese Documentary Filmmakers” SGS project, supported by the Ministry of Education of the Czech Republic in 2019.

Recommended or required reading

Recommended reading:

Assessment methods and criteria

100% attendance + aktivity at the seminar



Further information

This course is an elective for all AMU students

Schedule for winter semester 2019/2020:

Date Day Time Tutor Location Notes No. of paralel
06.12.2019 10:00–17:00 Haruna Honcoop Projection Room
Lažanský palác
lecture parallel1

Schedule for summer semester 2019/2020:

The schedule has not yet been prepared

The subject is a part of the following study plans