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University of Iowa News Release

Sept. 15, 2006

Sept. 17 And 24 IWP Events Introduce Cinema In Kyrgyzstan And China

The International Writing Program's Cinemateque series will screen examples of contemporary cinema from Kyrgyzstan and China at 8 p.m. Sundays, Sept. 17 and 24, in Room 105 of the Adler Journalism Building on the University of Iowa campus.

IWP participant Jamby Djusubalieva will introduce the 1998 film "Beshkempir: The Adopted Son," directed by Aktan Abdykalyakov, on Sept. 17. The film from Kyrgyzstan was an official selection of the 1999 Sundance Film Festival.

Piers Handling at the Toronto Film Festival wrote, "Shot in black and white, with the most discreet use of occasional color in certain scenes, 'The Adopted Son' is as much a film about a culture as it is about one character. It exudes the rhythms, rituals, and sounds of village life in Kyrgyzstan with great formal and visual beauty. . . .

"A film of supreme subtlety, 'The Adopted Son' is a celebration of local and regional idiosyncrasies, making us marvel both at what is different and what is similar in a foreign culture. (It) is a magical experience."

On Sept. 24, Chinese novelist Bi Feiyu will introduce 'Shanghai Triad,' a 1995 film for which he wrote the screenplay. The film, set in the opium gang wars of the 1930s and directed by Zhang Yimou ("Raise the Red Lantern"), was a Golden Globe Nominee for Best Foreign Language Film.

Controversy erupted when the director was prevented by the Chinese government from attending its screening on the opening night of the 1995 New York Film Festival.

Mike Clark wrote in USA Today, "'Shanghai Triad' concludes the sublime seven-movie collaboration of Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou and actress Gong Li with a bang worthy of the most jubilant New Year's Eve.

Djusubalieva and Bi are among the 29 writers, representing 22 countries, in residence this fall at the IWP. Biographies of all the writers and samples of their writing are accessible on the IWP website,

This year's roster of well-established poets, fiction writers, screenwriters, translators, editors, essayists, journalists, playwrights and literary critics includes writers from current news hot spots including Sri Lanka, Palestine and Iraq. All the world's populated continents are represented.

The IWP -- a unique program that has been described as "The United Nations of Writing" -- introduces talented writers to American life; enables them to take part in American university life; and provides them with time, in a setting congenial to their efforts, for the production of literary work. Since 1967, more than a thousand writers from more than 120 countries have attended the IWP.

The evolving calendar of events is accessible at and on the IWP site. These calendars will be updated regularly as new events are added.

IWP writers are financed through bilateral agreements with numerous countries; by grants given by cultural institutions and governments abroad; and by private funds that are donated by a variety of American corporations, foundations and individuals. The activities of the IWP are assisted financially by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the United States Department of State under the authority of the Fulbright-Hays Act of 1961, as amended.

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STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

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