Editor Special: Mary Stephen & 1428 Screening – 12 September 2011

Screening of award winning documentary ‘1428‘ + discussion and editing demonstration 

14:28Join acclaimed film editor Mary Stephen – an editor who crosses all genres – for a screening of the award winning documentary 1428.  The screening will be followed by a discussion between Mary Stephen and Julia Overton where Mary will show clips from other documentaries and will show and discuss her approach to editing and the collaborative process.

Mary Stephen is an accomplished film editor, best known as Eric Rohmer’s long time collaborator. Initially an assistant to Cécile Decugis (the editor for Godard’s Breathless) since The Aviator’s Wife (1981), Stephen became Rohmer’s Chief Editor in the early 90s with Winter’s Tale and all the subsequent Rohmer films up to the last one, The Romance of Astrea and Celadon (2006). In the last few years she has worked in Turkey, Canada and China, on films such as Du Haibin’s 1428, a prize-winner at the Venice Film Festival and the multi award winning Lixin Fan’s Last Train Home which won the top prize at IDFA in 2009.

THIS IS A NOT TO BE MISSED EVENT from an expert in her field.

About 1428

In 1428 the filmmakers deliver a vision of human devastation that is ‘fascinating, beautifully crafted (Ronnie Scheib, Variety).  Without judgment but with a deep compassion for their subjects, the filmmakers of 1428 bring us a myriad of individual stories of absurdity, confusion and grief. 1428 has won a number of awards including Best Documentary at the 2009 Venice Film Festival.


Directed by: Du Haibin
Produced by: Ben Tsiang, Du Haibin
Cinematography by: Liu Ai’guo
Edited by: Mary Stephen
Running Time: 117 min.

1428 gets its title from the Great Sichuan earthquake, which struck China at exactly 1428 on May 12, 2008. Director Du Haibin traveled to the hardest hit town, Beichuan, ten days after the quake and again seven months later. He points his lens towards the town’s ghostly survivors who search desperately for missing loved ones while suffering from a lack of food, housing, and power. Ordinary people who have lost everything are reduced to selling scrap metal for mere pennies and pillaging the homes of victims in order to sustain themselves.

The winner of the Best Documentary prize at the 2009 Venice Film Festival, 1428 gives an honest portrayal of the painful struggle of the townspeople of Beichuan as they attempt to recover from the devastating tragedy. While the official Chinese TV cameras recorded one version of the recovery process, Du was compelled to film what he saw firsthand in the town, and tell the stories that weren’t being told by the Chinese media. Unlike a typical documentary format with formal interviews and voiceover narration, Du interviews survivors while they go about their lives, attempting to recover what they have lost. He lets the camera tell the story as he pans across the ruined scenes left by the aftermath of the quake, and the survivors speak for themselves without added commentary from a narrator. This strategy earned the film much praise, including that of Shelly Kraicer of the Vancouver International Film Festival: “Subtle, scrupulously non-dogmatic, compassionate, and critical, Du’s film is a rich, open text: it grants the audience full autonomy to judge what they see for themselves.”

Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uUv5caIzjIM
Dgenerate Films Website: http://dgeneratefilms.com/catalog/1428/

Event Information

WHERE: AFTRS Theatre, Fox Studios, Entertainment Quarter, 130 Bent St, Moore Park NSW.

WHEN: Monday, 12th September, 2011
Wine, nibbles and conversation from 6:00pm for 6.30pm start.


RSVP not required, but be early to ensure your seat. Please invite your friends and colleagues too! This event is open to the public. Parking fees discounted after 6pm, or with validated ticket from AFTRS.

Mary Stephen is in Australia as a guest of the Melbourne Film Festival and the Griffith Film School in Brisbane.