On the afternoon of October 27, 2013, the award ceremony of “CAFA Agnès Varda’s Award” was unveiled at the Auditorium of CAFA Art Museum. Pan Gongkai, President of CAFA, well-known director Xie Fei, screenwriter Lu Wei, well-known designer Han Jiaying, the famous director Wu Ershan, Xu Zhong-ou, Dean of the School of Urban Design, Wang Chuan, Vice Dean of the School of Urban Design, French filmmaker Isabelle Glachant, Davide Cucino, President of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China (EUCCC) and CEO of Ansaldo STS Beijing Ltd, Li Yansong, manager of the Division of Value-added Service at iQIYI.com, Gao Jun, general manager of the Beijing Shengshi Huarui Films Investment Co., Ltd and Wang Jingchun, who had just won the Best Actor Award in the 26th Tokyo International Film Festival were invited to be present at the award ceremony.
Special Attention Prize of “CAFA Agnès Varda’s Award” of the year was awarded to the famous director Wu Ershan; “What Child” directed by Zhou Zhenyu won the Popular Prize; the winners of the Bronze Prizes were “It’s Story” directed by Fan Mengyue and “Desert” directed by Yu Jihao; Silver Prize was awarded to “What Child” by Zhou Zhenyu; Gold Prize was awarded to “Swimming Pool” directed by Wang Zicong.
Ahead of the ceremony, Ning Ying, a well-known director and Director of the Department of Film in the School of Urban Design, CAFA screened an experimental short film, which was the second creation by the students from the School of Urban Design, based on the artworks “Dispersion and Generation” by Pan Gongkai. Guest host Long Bin (a famous film critic) gave a brief review of the situation of the activity after the screening, and invited Pan Gongkai and Xie Fei to give a speech. Pan Gongkai explained the close relationship between Varda and CAFA, as well as the purpose of establishing the “Agnès Varda’s Award”, and hoped to strengthen the connection between CAFA and the film community through this, encouraging students towards exploration, experiment and innovation, and also giving his thanks for the support of the film community. Xie Fei stressed the significance of film festival held by an institution, which were conducive to a diverse exchange, to make up the deficiencies of the current impetuous, pure entertainment era.
Subsequently, it showed the trailers of the finalists at the award ceremony, and Ning Ying introduced the selecting process of the activity: 75 video artworks which were selected out of more than 100 works by the students from 9 partner institutions, participated in the competition, 41 pieces were selected to enter the semi-final from the primary committee, composed of the professional teachers of the Department of Film in CAFA, while the finalist committee, composed of Liu Xuguang, from the Beijing Film Academy, Bi Yuchen from China Film Art Research Center, French experimental filmmaker Deng Yiping, as well as professional teachers from the Department of Film finally chose 8 videos to enter the finalist participating unit, and 11 video works to enter the finalist exhibition unit, through repeated discussions.
At the awards section, initially the introduction of the winner of the Special Attention Prize was shown and asked about the “experimental” meaning by the host Long Bin, Wang Jianwei had an incisive answer: “Experiment is an open dimension, firstly it doesn’t have a consensus with the current, and remains skeptical to the existing order; secondly any history and past couldn’t impawn the work that you do today, never judging the current work through. the use of the existing knowledge; thirdly, avoidance of seeing the “experiment” placed in a paradoxical time, because “experiment” creates an everlasting time. Wang Jianwei believed that “experiment” was to constantly think and work for an artist. Wu Ershan thought there was no absolute boundary between the films of mainstream and experiment, the once experimental video had become the mainstream today, while all the attempts and explorations today would change the future of Chinese film. After that, guests Li Yansong, Gao Jun, Xu Zhong-ou, Wang Jingchun announced the Popular Prize, Bronze Prize, Silver Prize and Gold Prize in succession.
The “CAFA Agnès Varda’s Award” were composed of three parts including open lectures, screenings and award ceremony. During the three-day activities from October 25 to October 27, there were three open lectures: Visual Effect (spoken by PIXOMONDO Company), How do Experiment be Digested (spoken by A Cheng) and Experimental Spirit Goes in to the Mainstream (spoken by Wu Ershan). In the screening section, in addition to the screenings for the award winning works of the year at the lobby of CAFA Art Museum, it played the videos and films by Varda, as well as “Soap Opera”, “Painted Skin No.2” and “The Butcher, the Chef, and the Swordsman” in the Auditorium. The finalists will also be screened at the UCCA, Contemporary MOMA Broadway Cinema the que, China Film Art Research Center and Beijing Normal University and so on.
About Agnès Varda’s Award
When CAFA Art Museum presented the solo creative exhibition by French director Agnès Varda in March, 2012, the artist visited the Department of Film and Video Art in the School of Urban Design, CAFA and personally awarded the winning students the Agnès Varda’s Awards, thus empowering CAFA to organize Agnès Varda’s Award every year.
Named after Agnès Varda, the video award held by CAFA, intends to promote the experimental, artistic and inclusive qualities of video creation. Encouraging cross-border creations, experimental creations of video, and stimulating women to create videos, allowing the experimental spirit to enter the mainstream contemporary video creation. It is to award and discover the talented young artists and students in the creation of video through the Agnès Varda’s Award, and to provide them with a platform for display and supply of new forces for video art.
Journalist and Photo: Ye Yuanfeng, Translated by Chen Peihua and edited by Sue/CAFA ART INFO