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China Blocks Beijing Independent Film Festival

Beijing authorities blocked an annual independent film festival from opening on August 23, 2014. The move is seen as a sign that Beijing is tightening ideological controls. According to indie director Huang Wenhai, the shutdown was “the darkest day in the history of Chinese independent film.” Started in 2006 by independent art critic Li Xianting, the film festival is a place for indie filmmakers to share and discuss their work. Although the festivals like this had some trouble with the police over the years, it's the first time the whole festival has been blocked. The police also took away records of the Li's work for investigation. 

China Media Project has more details about happenings around the shutdown.

Beatriz’s War: East Timor's First Feature Film

From Facebook page of East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN)

From Facebook page of East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN)

A Guerra da Beatriz (Beatriz’s War) is the first feature film from East Timor. It is about Indonesia's occupation of East Timor from 1975 to 1999 and its impact on the Timorese society.

According to the producers of the film, it was “made guerrilla style by the men and
women who fought in the armed resistance and the clandestine movement” against Indonesia's occupation.

Yasmine: Brunei's First Feature Film

The film Yasmine is notable because it is Brunei's first feature film. It is about a young woman who wanted to be a champion of silat, an indigenous martial arts from Brunei. The film has been well-received in various international film festivals.

Human Kidney Trafficking in China

A recent court case in Jianxi province revealed the insider story of human kidney trafficking business in China. Charles Liu from theNanfang.com curated the local investigative report on the operation of the underground business.

… a 21 year-old man looking to prove to his family that he was financially independent. After learning from a QQ contact that he could earn RMB 25,000 for selling a kidney he decided to go to Nanchang.

VIDEO: Development Master Plan for Brunei's Capital

This video shows the master plan to develop Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei's capital city, into a “livable, uniquely Bruneian, riverfront city.”

Digital Reconstruction of Cambodia's Angkor Wat

The Smithsonian Channel has uploaded a video showing a digital reconstruction of Cambodia's Angkor Wat using 3D image technology. Angkor Wat (Temple City) is a popular tourism destination in Cambodia which used to be the capital of the Khmer Empire in the 12th century. It is also a massive religious monument, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and one of the most important archaeological sites in South-East Asia.

Derailed Train Exposed Inefficient Philippine Mass Transport System

A train overshot it's stop at a terminal in Manila. Photo by Juan Carlo de Vela. Copyright @Demotix. (8/13/2014)

A train overshot it's stop at a terminal in Manila. Photo by Juan Carlo de Vela. Copyright @Demotix. (8/13/2014)

Scores were injured when a train overshot its stop at a busy intersection in south Manila. The crash ignited an intense discussion about the weak and inefficient mass transportation system in the Philippines. Authorities vowed to improve train service amid rising public anger over the incident.

China’s Soldiers Have Instant Noodles Cooked With Muddy Water. Political Performance? Or Not?

Offbeat China

Offbeat China reported on state-run media, Global Times’ report and self-denial response on a photo feature showing soldiers eating instant noodles cooked in muddy water in Yunnan earthquake zone.

Improving Internet Access in Cambodia

Danièle Adler, a consultant in communications strategy, gives an overview of the significant improvement of the IT sector in Cambodia:

Six years ago, fewer than 10,000 Cambodians had a web connection, and it was extremely slow. Today 2.5 million people have Internet access at home, and an additional two million Cambodians go online daily using their smartphones.

Political Implications on the Downfall of Security Chief

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) announced its investigation of Zhou Yongkang, a former senior member of CCP and headed China's security apparatus on July 29, 2014. China File invited Sebastian Veg, Roderick MacFarquhar and Taisu Zhang, scholars from history and social science to comment on the political significance of Zhou's downfall.

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