Why are Chinese artists barely present at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival?


On May 17, film industry personnel rolled out their red carpets to attend the opening ceremony of the annual Cannes Film Festival in Cannes on the French Riviera. Only a few Chinese filmmakers and stars graced the event.

The 75th edition of the festival is underway and will end on May 28.

Best known for starring in Lust, caution, winner of the Golden Lion of Venice, Tang Wei is the only Chinese name present in the main category of films of the competition. The actress was recognized for her performance in the Korean crime drama Decision to leave, directed by Park Chan-wook.

Long before starring in Park’s project, Tang appeared in the Korean production late fall (2010), directed by her husband, Kim Tae-yong.

A short story by Bi Gan, another on-the-radar Chinese artist, was nominated for the Palme d’Or for Short Film. The young experimental filmmaker is best known for the mystery drama Kaili Blues (2015).

Two shorts — The silent whistle and do you want to look at me — Chinese student filmmakers Li Yingtong and Shuli Huang were nominated for the Queer Palm Awardan independently sponsored award for films with LGBTQ+ themes.

While Chinese social media generally go in turmoil at each Cannes Film Festival, the Chinese media barely mentioned this year’s case.

Sharp-eyed moviegoers also pointed to the lack of filmmakers and celebrities from China’s cultural sphere at this year’s awards.

Some have speculated that Chinese artists have been discouraged by the prolonged pandemic restrictions in China. The Hollywood Reporter called China’s apparent lack of potential punitive political gesture and the form of protest following the last minute addition of a Hong Kong documentary on pro-democracy protests.

According to an anonymous whistleblower, not a single film from the 2022 Cannes selection will be given the green light for distribution in China, reports The Hollywood Reporter.

On May 18, the animation A portrait of the artist as a young mandirected by Liu Jian, got out of the festival, marking a year without Chinese feature films.

Cover image via VCG


Comments are closed.