The Twelfth Annual Global Film Festival began on Thursday, January 31, and WMCI had the honor of presenting the very first screening event of the festival!
At 3:00 pm, guests came to Kimball Theatre and were greeted with a delicious array of Chinese food. Then, they were treated to some lovely performances from WMCI's student interns. This included Taiji Fan and martial arts demos from our martial arts instructor Xiusen Pan, as well as performances of traditional Chinese music on the flute and the hulusi by Student Intern Jie Hou. Our very own Mian Cheng served as the emcee for the performances, providing helpful background information while also keeping audience spirits high. The performances were wonderfully executed, perfectly displaying the beauty and precision in these age-old Chinese arts.
Following the performances, WMCI Chinese Director Deliang Wang delivered an opening speech, in which he not only introduced WMCI, but also provided the audience with some special insight into the importance of Chinese representation at the film festival as a whole. Along with China's incredible economic rise has come major growth in China's film industry and box office consumption--in fact, many Hollywood films look to China now as a vital demographic for box office sales! The partnership between WMCI and the Global Film Festival in screening Chinese films is important because it shows the ever-increasing quality and importance of Chinese film making in the modern world of film.
Then, the main event was the screening of the film The Island. The film's plot follows a man named Ma Jin, who goes on a team building trip with his co-workers, only to end up stranded on an island with them after a series of catastrophic events. To add insult to injury, Ma Jin discovers that he has a winning lottery ticket that he may never get to claim! Completely unsure of whether anyone who can help is even out there, the group tries to build their new "society" up from the ground. Through the group's struggles and triumphs, the film explores the real meaning of money, social norms, and the intricacies of human relationships, and bounces rather satisfyingly between the highs, lows, and even some hilarious points of the group's adventure.
Most importantly, the film explored what it means to have a new beginning, which is particularly pertinent with the Chinese New Year right around the corner. The film was a perfect fit, both for the beginning of the Global Film Festival, and for a great start to the Year of the Pig. Audience members applauded at the end of the film, and some even stuck around for a while afterward to discuss several of the thought-provoking points woven into its plot and characters with WMCI staff. WMCI was honored to partner with the Global Film Festival again, and we hope everyone enjoyed the film!