Genevieve Ching-wen Lee '96 Memorial Lecture for 2014

Karin Chien is an independent film producer and distributor committed to uncompromising visions that challenge traditional paradigms. Karin is a four-time Independent Spirit Award nominee, the recipient of the Independent Spirit Producer's Award, and the producer of ten independent feature films, including Stones In The Sun (2012), Jack And Diane (2012), Circumstance (2011), The Exploding Girl (2009), The Motel (2005) And Robot Stories (2002). Her films have won over 100 festival awards, been nominated for four Independent Spirit Awards, premiered at the Sundance and Berlin Films Festivals, and received distribution in over 30 countries. Karin is the founder/president of dGenerate Films, the leading distributor of independent cinema from mainland China, and the creator/director of the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM) Fellowship, a mentoring program for emerging Asian American media professionals.

Friday, April 11, 2014
4:30 p.m.
Science Center 101
Swarthmore College


Thursday April 3
Short Film Screening: Untitled (Structures) and Chinatown Film Project
LPAC Cinema - 7 pm

Untitled (Structures) (directed by Leslie Hewitt, cinematography by Bradford Young, produced by Karin Chien, US, 2012, 17 min)
Untitled (Structures) investigates the powerful way in which still and moving images create meaning and history, the deeply subjective perspective of the person holding the camera, and the influence they wield on the understanding of one's self. The footage was shot with 35 mm on location in Memphis, Chicago, and Arkansas, in buildings and spaces associated with the Civil Rights Movement and the Great Migration, when an estimated eight million African Americans moved from the South to Northern cities in search of new opportunities. Representing two years of research addressing the perceivable limits of still photography and the photojournalistic forms associated with the era, the work is comprised of a series of non-­linear, silent vignettes that point to often unseen private spaces and explore landscape, interiority, and notions of time.

Chinatown Film Project (various directors, produced by Karin Chien, US, 2007, 71 minutes)
Chinatown is an evocative place. It exists in our cities, in our imaginations, on our television screens, and in our memories. It is at once a sprawling, vibrant immigrant community and a forgotten strip mall of buffet restaurants. Chinatown is the ultimate Hollywood metaphor and a space where families still live. The Chinatown Film Project is an inaugural film exhibition of The Museum of Chinese in America that tackles Chinatown's elusiveness and its stereotyped representations by constructing new images for the viewer. The exhibit features ten original short films about Manhattan's Chinatown by twelve celebrated New York filmmakers. Filmmakers represented include Wayne Wang, Amir Naderi, Sam Pollard, Rose Troche, Miguel Arteta, Patty Chang, So Yong Kim & Bradley Rust Gray, Jem Cohen, Richard Wong, Shelly Silver, and Cary Fukunaga.

Thursday, April 10
Narrative Feature Screening: Circumstance
LPAC Cinema - 7 pm

Circumstance (dir. Maryam Kesharvarz, prod. Karin Chien, US/Iran/Lebanon, 2011, Farsi with English subtitles, 107 min.)
A suspenseful tale of love and family upended by obsession and suspicion, Circumstance is also a provocative coming-of-age story that cracks open the hidden, underground world of Iranian youth culture, where a young woman's most electrifying passions can become the most dangerous of secrets. The Audience Award winner at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, writer-director Maryam Keshavarz's debut feature boldly takes filmgoers inside a modern Iran rarely witnessed by outsiders: an exhilarating, invisible realm of illicit parties where young hipsters risk arrest, and their futures, as they experiment with sex, drugs and defiance, all while trying to evade the authorities.

Sponsored by the Genevieve Ching-wen Lee '96 Memorial Fund
Organized by Asian Studies Program and Dept. of Film and Media Studies, Swarthmore College