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Sundance Selects Takes 'Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry' -- Dissident for Digital Age?

Thompson on Hollywood By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood February 21, 2012 at 4:19PM

Alison Klayman's "Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry" - the "story of a dissident for the digital age" - has been acquired by Sundance Selects for North American distribution. The doc debuted at Sundance (winning the Special Jury Prize for Spirit of Defiance) and recently screened as an official selection in the Berlinale Special. The film's planned summer release will coincide with the film's subject making his first trip outside of China since his detainment. Read more below.
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Ai Weiwei

Alison Klayman's "Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry" - the "story of a dissident for the digital age" - has been acquired by Sundance Selects for North American distribution. The doc debuted at Sundance (winning the Special Jury Prize for Spirit of Defiance) and recently screened as an official selection in the Berlinale Special. The film's planned summer release will coincide with the film's subject making his first trip outside of China since his detainment. Read more below.

Sundance Selects/IFC Films president Jonathan Sehring states: "Alison Klayman has delivered a major achievement in documentary filmmaking with this story about the importance of Ai Weiwei in his fight with the Chinese government for greater transparency and basic human rights. In giving Ai Weiwei a voice, she uncovers that he is a natural born star and one of the most charismatic and fascinating subjects to appear in modern documentary filmmaking."

Ai Weiwei is China's most famous international artist and its most outspoken domestic critic. Against a backdrop of strict censorship and an unresponsive legal system, Ai expresses himself and organizes people through art and social media. In response, Chinese authorities have shut down his blog, beat him up, bulldozed his newly built studio, and held him in secret detention.  AI WEIWEI: NEVER SORRY is the inside story of a dissident for the digital age who inspires global audiences and blurs the boundaries of art and politics. First-time director Alison Klayman gained unprecedented access to Ai while working as a journalist in China. Her detailed portrait provides a nuanced exploration of contemporary China and one of its most compelling public figures.

This article is related to: News, News, Documentary, Documentaries, Sundance, Directors, Sundance 2012, Sundance 2012 News


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.