Submit a Manuscript to the Journal

Journal of Chinese Cinemas

For a Special Issue on

New Sinophone Documentaries: Trajectories and Intertwinements

Abstract deadline
30 September 2023

Manuscript deadline
31 January 2024

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Special Issue Editor(s)

Tze-lan Sang, Michigan State University
[email protected]

Hsin-Chin Hsieh, National Taiwan University
[email protected]

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New Sinophone Documentaries: Trajectories and Intertwinements

This special issue of the Journal of Chinese Cinemas proposes to examine the pasts and presents of new documentary movements in the Sinophone sphere. Roughly three decades ago, new documentary movements surfaced in multiple sites across the Sinophone world. In Taiwan, independent documentary filmmaking arose in the context of political opposition and social movements in the 1980s. Since then, diverse new documentaries have flourished alongside the rapid development of Taiwan’s democracy. In mainland China, independent documentaries first emerged as underground films around 1990. As works proliferated and won attention from domestic and international film critics, the Chinese independent documentary movement has been recognized as forming an unofficial archive of China’s social, economic, cultural, and other changes. In Hong Kong, independent documentaries since the 1990s have provided a marginalized but important alternative to commercial narrative cinema and other entertainment media. They have served, moreover, as vital witnesses to Hong Kong’s evolving sociopolitical conditions since the former British colony became a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China in 1997.


Given these distinct yet sometimes intersecting histories, this special issue invites essays that examine the legacies and/or current states of independent documentary filmmaking in the Sinophone sphere. The primary focus will be on productions from Hong Kong, Taiwan, and mainland China but considerations extending beyond these regions are welcome. Topics include but are not limited to:

Sinophone documentaries on particular topics (e.g., ecology, LGBTQ+, migration, etc.)

Cross-fertilization between Hong Kong, Taiwan, and mainland documentary practices

The expanded fields of documentary or the blurring boundaries of documentary

Documentary in the era of Web 2.0

Documentary and soundscapes

Documentary and transmedia storytelling

Documentary and film festivals

Documentary and activism

Social media and the everyday documenting impulse

Curation, museums, and documentary

Documentary ethics



September 30, 2023: Abstracts of 250 words and author bios of 100 words due

January 31, 2024: Manuscript drafts due

February to June 2024: Peer reviews and revisions

July to December 2024: Online publication of accepted articles

Late 2024 or early 2025: Special issue published


Abstracts or questions should be addressed to the special issue editors: 

Tze-lan Sang, Michigan State University ([email protected])

Hsin-Chin Hsieh, National Taiwan University ([email protected])

Submission Instructions

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