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The Sixteenth Annual ChinaFest

ChinaFest is an annual Richmond city and university tradition that offers discussion, film, and other cultural resources to promote better understanding between the peoples of China and the United States. The University of Richmond and the Virginia Museum of Fine Art (VMFA) partner with The Rose Group for Cross-Cultural Understanding on programming. This year’s programming includes the annual lecture, films (including discussion with one of the film directors), and two student/alumni programs.


American Millennial Engagement with China

Current UR students and recent alumni discuss their studies, experience, and engagement with China in this panel, featuring:

Dr. Gengsong Gao (panel chair)
Assistant Professor of Chinese Studies, University of Richmond

Ifetayo Maloney, '22
UR Global Studies major, Chinese minor

Matthew McCooey, '19
Operations Manager, Ping An Cloud Accelerator

Alice Vo, '20
Graduate Student, Columbia University


The Hometowns Project

Five UR students offer video introductions to their hometowns in China: Shenzhen, Wenzhou, Hangzhou, Jining, and Chengdu. Come along and explore with these local UR tour guides!

Coordinated by the UR Chinese Students & Scholars Association: Jennifer Hantang Qin, President and Phoebe Yueyi Fan, Internal Affairs VP.

Mandy from Shenzhen Explore Shenzhen with Mandy
Amy from Wenzhou Explore Wenzhou with Amy
Fanny from Hangzhou Explore Hangzhou with Fanny
Hannah from Jining Explore Jining with Hannah
Elva from Chengdu Explore Chengdu with Elva


"Journey Through A Changing China, The China I Know"

Yue-Sai KanNamed in honor of the late University of Richmond professor of English and stalwart ChinaFest partner with Rose Chen, the annual Irby B. Brown Lecture features thought leaders on China who serve as keynote speakers to launch each ChinaFest. This year's speaker is Yue-Sai Kan, current co-chair of the China Institute in New York City, journalist, author, and entrepreneur. She has been a pioneer in sharing Asia and China with the U.S. through the long-running television program "Looking East," and sharing the world with China via "One World", which reached 400 million viewers.

Ms. Kan’s lecture is followed by a panel discussion moderated by Dr. Martha Merritt (UR Dean of International Education), featuring Rose Nan-Ping Chen, President of The Rose Group, Alex Nyerges (Director, Virginia Museum of Fine Art) and Dr. Betty Neal Crutcher (Presidential Spouse and Cross-cultural Mentor), and will include a Q&A session.


Co-presented with Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.


Feature Films & Documentary

Each year, ChinaFest offers a variety of Chinese films, both classic and contemporary. This year the film selections are available for online streaming at your convenience through February 14:

Beijing Bicycle

Dir. Wang Xiaoshuai, China, 2001, 113 min.

Beijing Bicycle

Guei, a boy from rural China, seeks to change his fortune by moving to the big city. In Beijing he becomes a courier using a bike he hopes to one day own. The bike gets stolen and eventually becomes the possession of Jian, a poor teenager who uses the bike to impress a girl. With both young men claiming ownership, numerous disputes arise over this symbol of mobility. Watch the trailer.

Streaming February 1-14!
Username: 49IS9I3A
Password: Kv>5a)$T1g
Only available in the U.S.

Finding Kukan

Dir. Robin Lung, USA, 2016, 75 min.

Finding Kukan

In the 1940s a feature documentary about World War II China -- "KUKAN" -- opens to great acclaim with segments even screened for President Roosevelt. Produced by Li Ling-Ai, "KUKAN" even receives an Academy Award in 1942. But why are we unaware of this talented filmmaker and why are there no available copies of such a successful film? A seven-year quest by director Robin Lung seeks to uncover these answers and more. Watch the trailer.

UR students, faculty, and staff can stream "Finding KUKAN" through library access to Kanopy.

Girls Always Happy

Dir. Yang Mingming, China, 2018, 117 min.

Girls Always Happy, courtesy of Icaraus Films

Wu and her mother live on top of each other in a cramped flat in a crowded section of Beijing. An aspiring screenwriter, she and her mother have a love-hate relationship that only becomes more tense as her mother also begins to engage in writing. Poignant and at times humorous, both women struggle with this bombastic relationship as they try to move forward. Watch the trailer.

Streaming February 1-14!
Password: GAHUR


Director's Talk

Director Robin Lung engages in discussion on her feature documentary "Finding Kukan". Robin discusses her journey in creating the film and takes questions from audience members via Zoom.


The Rose Group for Cross-Cultural Understanding
Scrolling Down the Creative Paths: A collection of Chinese heritage arts and crafts, music, food and more
ChinaFest Poster & Full Program


The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA)
ChinaFest Family Day