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14:00, Saturday 30th June, Thaw

Director: Sun Zengtian, Xu Dan (China)

Year: 2001

Run time: 54'

Location/Ethnic group: Minqing, Fujian

Language: Chinese

Production/Distribution: CCTV and Fujian TV Studio

Ancestral House

This film is about the Huangs living in an old house in the Fujian Province. Over the past 200 years, they have all led a simple pastoral life, thriving on the Chinese virtue and tradition.

Sun Zengtian works as a director-producer for China Central Television (CCTV) in the Documentary section. He trained at the prestigious Beijing Broadcast Institute, majoring in cinematography and graduating in 1983. He has since worked on a broad range of documentaries for CCTV, both as cameraman and director, specializing in popular science and ethnographic genres. Renowned in China for his television series (River Elegy, One Day along the Yellow River, Click on the Yellow River), he has won many international awards for his ethnographic documentaries. Amongst the best known of these are The Passing of the Last Mountain God (about the last shaman in a remote community in northeast China), Fading Reindeer Bell (which follows an artist returning to the reindeer-herding community in which she grew up) and now Ancestral House which in contrast deals with an urban topic, i.e. the relationships within an extended family all living under a single roof. Ancestral House was awarded the Silver Screen Award at the 34th US International Film and Video Festival in 2001.