Free UQ Chinese Film Festival attracts record numbers

12 November 2018

Contemporary Chinese Culture was on display at the UQ Chinese Film Festival held at UQ’s Schonell Theatre on 4 and 5 October 2018. Organised by the Confucius Institute at The University of Queensland (UQ CI), The Australia-China Youth Association at UQ (ACYA at UQ) and supported by UQ Life (Student Services), the two recent-release movies afforded a rare opportunity for Brisbane cinema-goers to enjoy contemporary Chinese-produced action and comedy on the big screen, at no cost.

Over 800 people attended the UQ Chinese Film Festival, which opened with a spectacular Lion Dance performance, making it the largest UQ CI event of the year. Events like this importantly provide opportunities for people to experience different mediums of Chinese popular culture.

On opening night, Detective Dee: The Four Heavenly Kings (MA15+) an all action film, was presented to the audience. Set in the Tang Dynasty, Detective Di Ren Jie faces a formidable foe while investigating a crime wave marked by strange and seemingly supernatural occurrences. This Chinese blockbuster captivated the audience in the first five minutes, and bequeathed the age-old ‘whodunit’ question.

For the next evening of the film festival, Oolong Courtyard (M) a kung fu action-comedy was shown. Apprentices at the Oolong Courtyard School are suspicious when two outsiders try to join the prestigious academy despite their strange behaviour. Fraught with plot twists and mischievous comedy bits, Oolong Courtyard had the cinema in eruptions of laughter.


The film festival, which was created in 2015, aims to present the best world-class Chinese films available, promote Chinese culture within them, and provide a common ground for the exchange of ideas in the film world.


“The amount of people who registered for the UQ Chinese Film Festival amazed us. At the registration table and Chinese paper folding activities a lot of our executives had the opportunity to meet and chat with a range of people we don’t normally see at our own social events,” ACYA at UQ President Priscilla Lock said.


“We were even upstaged at the paper folding table by a boy no older than eight! It was a great pleasure and honour to work alongside UQ’s Confucius Institute for this event, and we can’t wait to host an even bigger film festival next year,” President Lock added.

“With sophisticated action and captivating comedy, the Film Festival was proud to present this handpicked selection of diverse Chinese cinematic gems,” UQ CI Director Professor Ping Chen said.

“This is the second year we have held a Chinese Film Festival at UQ and we were excited to bring these films to students and staff as well as to the broader community, highlighting the depth of movie-making talent which now exists in China,” Professor Chen said.

The UQ Confucius Institute is looking forward to presenting the best of China's film industry at future events. The UQ CI sincerely wish to thank the enthusiastic audiences who supported the 2018 UQ Chinese Film Festival, as well as the staff of the Schonell Theatre and UQ Life (Student Services) without whom such an event would not have been possible to organise.