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iW NEWS | Zeitgeist Announces Sundance's First Deal, Acquiring Acclaimed "Up The Yangtze"

By Indiewire | Indiewire January 17, 2008 at 4:04AM

On the morning that the 2008 Sundance Film Festival kicks off in Park City, UT, Zeitgeist Films has announced its acquisition of Yung Chang's acclaimed first feature, "Up The Yangtze," a documentary about the effects of the construction of the massive Three Gorges Dam that is displacing millions and destroying national landmarks in the country. Set for its U.S. premiere tomorrow (Friday) in Sundance's world documentary competition, the film debuted back in November at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) and will be released theatrically by Zeitgeist in April. It looks at life on River, where the filmmaker's grandfather grew up, including a trip aboard a cruise ship for farewell tours of a river that will soon be flooded. "In Upstairs-Downstairs style, the comfortable lives of the perhaps well-intentioned but oblivious western passengers are contrasted with the difficult lives of the young Chinese crew," Zeitgeist noted in a description. The film, produced by Mila Aung-Thwin, John Christou and Germaine Ying Gee Wong, is from the National Film Board of Canada, which also handled the Zeitgeist release, "Manufactured Landscapes." "We are so proud to be distributing this stunning and heartbreaking true epic of life inside modern China," said company co-president Nancy Gerstman, in a statement this morning, "Like the rest of the world we're fascinated and horrified by the destruction caused by the Three Gorges Dam, and 'Up The Yangtze' gives an insiders' perspective, with compassion and dark humor." indieWIRE published an interview with director Yung Chang last week. [Eugene Hernandez]
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On the morning that the 2008 Sundance Film Festival kicks off in Park City, UT, Zeitgeist Films has announced its acquisition of Yung Chang's acclaimed first feature, "Up The Yangtze," a documentary about the effects of the construction of the massive Three Gorges Dam that is displacing millions and destroying national landmarks in the country. Set for its U.S. premiere tomorrow (Friday) in Sundance's world documentary competition, the film debuted back in November at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) and will be released theatrically by Zeitgeist in April. It looks at life on River, where the filmmaker's grandfather grew up, including a trip aboard a cruise ship for farewell tours of a river that will soon be flooded. "In Upstairs-Downstairs style, the comfortable lives of the perhaps well-intentioned but oblivious western passengers are contrasted with the difficult lives of the young Chinese crew," Zeitgeist noted in a description. The film, produced by Mila Aung-Thwin, John Christou and Germaine Ying Gee Wong, is from the National Film Board of Canada, which also handled the Zeitgeist release, "Manufactured Landscapes." "We are so proud to be distributing this stunning and heartbreaking true epic of life inside modern China," said company co-president Nancy Gerstman, in a statement this morning, "Like the rest of the world we're fascinated and horrified by the destruction caused by the Three Gorges Dam, and 'Up The Yangtze' gives an insiders' perspective, with compassion and dark humor." indieWIRE published an interview with director Yung Chang last week. [Eugene Hernandez]

This article is related to: Documentary, Acquisitions