Skip to main content

Exploring Feminism Through Cinema: ‘Dancing with Water’ film festival to debut at Queen Mary University of London

‘Dancing with Water’, a unique film festival curated and programmed by Kiki Tianqi Yu, Senior Lecturer in Film at Queen Mary University of London, and Shan Tong, programmer for Beijing International Short Film Festival(BISFF). ‘Dancing with Water’ film festival is set to take place starting Sunday, 11 February, and will run through April 2024.

Published on:

‘Dancing with Water’ aims to revolutionise the conversation surrounding feminism, power, cinema, and artistic practice. In a time where the discourse around feminism is undergoing critical re-evaluation amidst neo-liberalisation, and where women filmmakers globally seek recognition within patriarchal film industries, this festival captures the dynamic energy of Chinese women filmmakers and their cinematic achievements.

With a focus on fluidity, flexibility, and resilience, ‘Dancing with Water’ aims to create a space that connects discussions of women and cinema with the Daoist concept of yin as a transformative power. By likening water to feminine force—both soft and formless yet pervasive and tenacious—the festival invites audiences to reconsider the ways in which we perceive strength and power.

Running from February to April 2024, this curated programme constitutes five sessions: ‘Genders and sexualities: Fluidity and resilience’; ‘Maternal ties: unbreakable Love and pains’; ‘Pasts and Futures: interflowing fiction/nonfiction’; ‘Diving into the Inner World’; and ‘Diaspora Blues’. Together, it presents 12 features and 9 shorts encompassing fiction, documentary, animation, and experimental, made by women filmmakers from People's Republic of China within the last four years.

'Dancing with Water' will launch on Sunday 11 February 2024, at the newly launched BLOC Cinema, Queen Mary University of London, with the remainder of the season taking place across multiple venues across London.

The festival will feature interactive Q&A sessions, introductions, three panel discussions, a filmmakers’ masterclasses, and a Dao Yin meditative workshop, where audience engagement will shape the ongoing conversations and flow of meditation. 

Commenting ahead of the launch, Film season Director and Curator, Kiki Tianqi Yu said: "As curators of 'Dancing with Water,' we are thrilled to bring forth a film festival that not only showcases the talent and resilience of Chinese women filmmakers but also prompts critical reflections on feminism, power dynamics, and artistic practice. Through cinema, we aim to challenge existing norms and foster meaningful dialogue, inviting audiences to explore the transformative power of storytelling and the fluidity of feminine force."

This innovative film festival not only shines a spotlight on contemporary Chinese women filmmakers but also fosters meaningful dialogue between UK audiences and industry professionals. By encouraging audiences to reassess their own strengths in the face of adversity, ‘Dancing with Water’ promises to be an enriching and transformative cinematic experience.

‘Dancing with Water’ launch event and screening of This Woman (2023) by artist, feminist Alan Zhang, on Sunday 11 February 2024, 13:30 – 17:30 GMT at BLOC Cinema, ArtsOne Building, Queen Mary University of London, London, E1 4PD – More info and booking here on the 'Dancing with Water' website.

Back to top