Target: Xi Jinping, President of China
Goal: Denounce the shutdown of film festivals in China
The shutdown of one of China’s most influential film festivals is the latest example of the country’s government crackdown on freedom of speech. The Beijing Independent Film Festival is one of many film festivals in the country that has suffered interference from Chinese authorities. The Chinese government has halted many other film festivals such as those in Kunming and Nanjing. During the shutdown of the film festivals, men working alongside the Chinese authorities shoved away those who tried to attend the event and confiscated phones to erase any pictures of the incidents.
The Beijing Independent Film Festival’s organizer, the Li Xianting Film Fund, has also been affected by the crackdown on freedom of speech and civil society. After the shutdown of the festival, authorities shut off the power to the organizers’ offices and also confiscated documents. Aside from the festival, the Li Xianting Film Fund, named after its patron, focuses on nurturing the artist community by hosting film archives and summer workshops for aspiring film makers. Even though authorities have barred them from using its usual space for its operations, the Li Xianting Film Fund still perseveres to open the minds of students and teach them the world of film and cinema by holding its workshops in secret locations.
The crackdown on freedom of speech is both terrifying and unfair. The Beijing Film Festival was an opportunity for aspiring film makers and film lovers in China to experience new, experimental films as well as narrative works. Many film makers are trying to create modest careers out of their true passion, which are film and cinema. By halting film festivals, the Chinese government is slowly destroying yet another outlet for self-expression and creativity. Sign this petition and denounce the shutdown of Chinese film festivals.
Dear President Xi Jinping,
It has come to my attention that you and your government have shut down yet another film festival. During your crackdown on freedom of speech and civil society, you are not only silencing the voices of your people, you are also hindering their creativity and passion for film and cinema.
During the shutdowns of festivals, those hoping to attend are greeted with unexpected aggression as they are shoved by the authorities and men working alongside the police. Some even had their phones confiscated to erase any pictures of the incidents. If your goal is to silence your people, shutdowns such as these will only fuel their motivation to expose the truths of your country.
Many film makers who attend these festivals are often trying to make a modest career out of their passion for film. By continually shutting down these film festivals, you are also standing in the way of their aspirations and dreams. Every human being deserves the right to freedom of speech, and citizens should never be silenced by their government.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Hochgeladen von Martin H. via Wikimedia Commons