Last week, filmmaker Lixin Fan participated in the Sundance Institute’s Film Forward China program screening his film Last Train Home and serving as an advisor for the Documentary Workshops with CNEX in Beijing. Last Train Home chronicles the annual journey of 130 million migrant workers to their home villages for the New Year in the world’s largest human migration. Last Train Home premieres on POV on September 27, 2011.
Fan wrote about his experience showing Last Train Home for the first time in his hometown of Wuhan, China on the Sundance Institute Blog.
Here’s an excerpt from his post.
“Traveling with Film Forward is a fun and rewarding journey. In Beijing, we had three intensive but fruitful days on the Sundance/CNEX workshop with 11 Chinese filmmakers working to strengthen their inspiring projects. Last Train Home was also privileged to conclude our Beijing events at China’s most prestigious film school, the Beijing Film Academy, full of eager young students with intriguing questions and perspectives.
Onward to Wuhan, my mom rang while we were on our way to Wuhan University to open the first screening in town. Mom told me her ‘cheer team’ is already in position. Thanks to Film Forward, this will be the first time I show Last Train Home publicly in my hometown…”
“In fact, I’m a bit nervous about the Q&A session this time as my mom is in the audience. She’s always worried about me being ‘too out spoken’ or ‘too radical’ when making a social film in China. I can understand her worries, but I always tell her that someone has to do this kind of thing to push for changes. The Q&A went well. The audience cared a lot about the family in the film, they wanted to know how we shot the railway station scenes, etc.”
Read more about the reactions of the Chinese audience and the provocative questions they had for Fan at the Sundance Institute blog.