LIFT Co-Presents “People’s Park” and “Hometown Boy” at Reel Asian



LIFT co-presents two programs at the 2012 Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival.

PROGRAM #1: People’s Park

Toronto Premiere, Rated G

Directors: Libbie D. Cohn, J.P. Sniadecki (both in attendance)


78:00 | HD
| Sichuanese, Mandarin Chinese



Official Selection, Festival del Film Locarno 2012

Official Selection, Vancouver International Film Festival 2012


A single, uninterrupted shot just shy of 80 minutes meanders through People’s Park in the heart of Chengdu, Sichuan province. Elegant and brilliantly composed at every turn, this documentary engages the senses and presents viewers an intimate cross-section of a Chinese urban oasis. Cohn and Sniadecki’s virtuosic cinematography is simple yet meticulous: one holds the camera while seated in a wheelchair and the other navigates their pre-determined path through the park. Passing lush lawns, waltzing couples and lounging musicians, People’s Park does not cease to mesmerize, as viewers are led to stroll along with the crowds in realtime through this microcosm of society.


The site of protests in 1911 that eventually brought down the Qing Dynasty and Chinese Imperial rule, People’s Park is now a stage for citizens of all ages and stripes to congregate and daydream, to set their own pace, to coexist in the closely shared social space. The unobtrusive gaze of the camera goes with the flow, meets the eyes of children and nonchalant retirees, captures a vivid array of activities and interactions while the air brims with karaoke tunes, idle conversation, and the casual music of erhus.


Like its many regulars, People’s Park sets its own pace and challenges the documentary filmmaking’s potential for engagement. The immersive power of cinema is mobilized to its fullest, inviting the viewer to participate in a meditative journey and rediscover the feeling of free time. With spontaneous moments of conviviality, People’s Park takes you through the dynamic range of leisure in the contemporary Chinese city.



PROGRAM #2: Hometown Boy

Canadian Premiere, Rated G

Director: Yao Hung-I

Taiwan/China 2011

72:00 | BluRay | Mandarin W/ English Subtitles



Best Documentary, Taipei Golden Horse Award 2011

Grand Prize, Best Director, Best Documentary, Taipei Film Festival 2012


Regarded as one of China’s most respected artists, Liu Xiaodong has worked alongside Jia Zhang-ke and Wang XiaoShuai and considers auteurs Yao Hung-I and Hou Hsiao-hsien amongst his old friends. Following his journey to his hometown of Jincheng, in Liaoning Province, to paint portraits of his childhood friends in their everyday environment, Liu pronounced, “time is the greatest art of all”. Indeed, when faced with the familiar yet disappearing landscape of his childhood memories–rolling green hills; winding rivers and dusty roads; luminous train rides; humble, quotidian work brings the artist to confront a complex and contradictory range of emotions and revelations. Not only have economic development and the passage of time changed the landscape of his rural home, but the faces of the people he grew up with.


With vivid images and studied composition, the brilliant cinematography is as painterly as Liu’s paintings are cinematic, situating the artist and his own artisitic process within each frame. Through the artist’s humourous diary entries and personal illustrations, Hometown Boy offers lyrical vignettes of a deeply rich and complex visual and oral art history.



Friday 9 November 2012 –

Non-members: $12 General (must buy a ticket for EACH program)
Members: $10 Students/Seniors (must buy a ticket for EACH program)

AGO Jackman Hall 
317 Dundas Street West 
Toronto ON Canada