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Chinese filmmaker eyes Sundance glory with city tale

Chinese filmmaker eyes Sundance glory with city tale

film fPARK CITY: Chinese filmmaker Zhao Qi is not a newcomer to the Sundance Film Festival. He’s had four films here in the last five years. That’s pretty impressive, for the uninitiated.

But the Emmy winner hopes his latest one, “The Chinese Mayor,” will finally win some silverware at the independent movie showcase event, held annually in the Utah mountains, ending this coming weekend.

The 40-year-old also wants the film to counter Western misconceptions of his homeland, and show the reality of the modern country with a rare portrait of life in a provincial Chinese city.

“I always think that there’s a misunderstanding about China, especially for the Chinese government and Chinese party,” he told AFP in an interview, while insisting he was not a supporter as such of the Beijing government.

“I would not say a fan,” cautioned the producer, but added: “At least he’s doing something more than the previous administration, which gives more expectations for people.”

“The Chinese Mayor” tells the tale of Geng Yanbo, dubbed “Demolition Geng” after he became mayor in 2008 of former imperial jewel Datong, some 350 km (220 miles) west of Beijing.

The city served as the capital of the Northern Wei Dynasty during its heyday 1,600 years ago. But decades of mining in the 20th century has left it dubbed one of China’s most polluted regions.

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