Festivities ensue in the run-up to National Day

Mr. GE Yiyou; Mr. ZHANG Weijun; Mr. GUO Lei

What better way to inaugurate the “Shanghai Film Week” than escaping from the rain and watching a classic Chinese movie?

As one of the organizers, the China Cultural Center in Brussels hosted an opening ceremony on September 26 to launch the “Shanghai Film Week” with the project’s co-organizers, the Shanghai Film Museum and the Shanghai International Culture Association.

A rainy Thursday in Belgium couldn’t stop around 100 guests to gather in Brussels to see first-hand what this special endeavor entails. The Center was honored to welcome Mr. GUO Lei, Vice-Director of the Shanghai Film Museum; and Mr. ZHANG Weijun, son of the creator of the San Mao comics, Mr. ZHANG Leping.

Part of what makes it special, is that the “Shanghai Film Week” celebrates two different 70-year anniversaries. On October 1, China’s National Day, the People’s Republic of China turns 70, and this year is also the 70th anniversary of the Shanghai Film Studio, established in 1949 as well. Twofold congratulations were in order.

Another significant aspect of the “Shanghai Film Week” is its incorporation of different art forms, while staying true to the film motif. It introduces two exhibitions. One tells the story of the San Mao comics and the other showcases movie posters to highlight an important part of film culture. Of course, movie screenings of various Chinese classics are also included. You may find the overview here.

Before the official opening ceremony, a unique film master class was given by Mr. Zhang Weijun, who talked about the creation process behind the San Mao comics. Besides charming anecdotes, he gave a look into his father’s inspirations for the character and which outside influences from the real world affected the comics. At the end, Mr. Zhang engaged in a dialogue with Mr. Jan BULTHEEL, a Belgian graphic designer and animation film director, about the parallels between San Mao and Tintin on the one hand and between Zhang Leping and Hergé on the other hand.

Correspondingly, when Mr. GE Yiyou, Director of the China Cultural Center in Brussels, took the floor during the opening ceremony, he mentioned the connection between Belgium and China as two countries with popular comic characters, such as Tintin and San Mao.

Subsequently, Mr. Guo Lei, Vice-Director of the Shanghai Film Museum, conveyed the intentions of the “Shanghai Film Week”: to bring beauty in the form of Shanghai film. He expressed his hopes that these Chinese movies can capture the imagination of the Belgian audience, as they did for many generations of Chinese viewers.

Afterwards, a film adaptation of a San Mao comic was shown to the audience. This 1949 movie is named “Adventures of San Mao the Orphan” and offers insight in the life of this famous comic character. A second screening is planned on Wednesday, October 2 for all who couldn’t attend the opening ceremony.

Throughout the rest of October, on every Monday, other film screenings of classic Chinese works will take place. The exhibitions “The Eternal San Mao” and “The Ingenuity of Film” will be on display until October 31, because, despite its name, the “Shanghai Film Week” is a month-long project.

“The Eternal San Mao” Comics Exhibition
September 27 – October 31
Open Monday to Friday according to the opening hours of the Center

“The Ingenuity of Film” Film Poster Exhibition
September 27 – October 31
Open Monday to Friday according to the opening hours of the Center

“Movie on the Sea” Retrospective of Shanghai Film
FREE OF CHARGE, but registration is compulsory as seats are limited. Send an email to info@cccbrussels.be or call us on +32 (0)2 704 40 20 to book your seat.

Film screenings in October:
October 2 at 18.30: Adventures of San Mao the Orphan (1949) & Feelings of Mountains and Waters (1988)
October 7 at 18.30: Uproar in Heaven (1961)
October 14 at 18.30: Two Stage Sisters (1964)
October 21 at 18.30: Big Li, Little Li and Old Li (1962)
October 28 at 18.30: San Mao Joins the Army (1992)