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China Blocks Beijing Independent Film Festival

Categories: China, Arts & Culture, Censorship, Citizen Media, Film, Freedom of Speech

Beijing authorities blocked an annual independent film festival from opening on August 23, 2014. The move is seen as a sign that Beijing is tightening ideological controls. According to indie director Huang Wenhai [1], the shutdown was “the darkest day in the history of Chinese independent film.” Started in 2006 by independent art critic Li Xianting [2], the film festival is a place for indie filmmakers to share and discuss their work. Although the festivals like this had some trouble with the police over the years, it's the first time the whole festival has been blocked. The police also took away records of the Li's work for investigation. 

China Media Project [3] has more details about happenings around the shutdown.