May 27, 2022 at 8:30 pm
Directed by Jessica Kingdon
We are delighted to screen Jessica Kingdon’s Oscar-nominated film Ascension! We are so excited to come together to watch this widely acclaimed documentary that we are lucky to have as our case study for this iteration of our annual professional development series Doc Fundamentals.
NOTE: All Series Pass holders as well as folks taking the Planning Workshop Session may attend without purchasing tickets.
97 min., 2021
“Factory workers diligently parse fabrics and prepare plastic products—like water bottles and binoculars—in clusters and in an assembly line. Men weld metal cylinders with precision, and a networking conference devotes its attention to training a predominantly female audience how to excel in business etiquette.
These and many other absorbing vignettes are what make up the central focus of Jessica Kingdon’s Ascension: an exploration of contemporary China’s identity as it relates to its vision of consumerism, innovation, and social standing. Kingdon’s rich and unobtrusive access into these arenas captures revealing moments with impressive patience and restraint—but also with surprising moments of humor. The film’s curious and observational lens delivers a hypnotic quality in its visuals, immersing the viewer in the stark differences between social classes, and how the struggles of the working class are laid bare in trying to realize the “Chinese Dream.” Implementing a large-scale visual canvas, Kingdon scrutinizes China’s imposing standing as a global superpower and embeds the viewer in the work ethic and lifestyle of its citizens—showcasing their collective pursuit of success through hard labor and material wealth.”
Jessica Kingdon is a Chinese-American director/producer named one of “25 New Faces of Independent Film” by Filmmaker Magazine and selected for the 2020 DOC NYC “40 Under 40” list. Her work has been supported by organizations including SFFILM, Chicken & Egg, Cinereach, Sundance, Field of Vision, and Firelight Media. Jessica has served in producorial roles on Tania Cypriano’s BORN TO BE (NYFF 2019), Nathan Truesdell’s THE WATER SLIDE (True/False 2018), and Johnny Ma’s OLD STONE (Berlinale 2016). Residencies include UnionDocs and a MacDowell Fellowship. She is a member of the Brooklyn Filmmakers Collective and Brown Girls Doc Mafia.
Jessica Kingdon’s first documentary feature ASCENSION 登楼叹 (2021), won a nomination at the 94th Academy Awards in the Best Documentary Feature category as well as Best Documentary at the Tribeca Festival and Hamptons International Film Festival. The film has received nominations from the the DGA Awards, Spirit Awards, the Gotham and the International Documentary Association along with five Cinema Eye nominations and six Critic’s Choice
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