“Letter from Masanjia” Shortlisted for Oscar Best Documentary

A Dafa Disciple

PureInsight | January 7, 2019

[PureInsight.org] On November 8th, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the organizer of the Academy Awards, announced the candidates for the 91st Oscar for Best Documentary Film Awards. A total of 166 documentaries have won the candidacy. The Chinese documentary “Letter from Masanjia”, which has won awards at several film festivals, is among the best. This is the first time after the Oscar documentary qualifications reform on raising the entry threshold.

This story began when Julie Keith, a woman in Oregon, opened a package of Halloween decorations purchased at a local K-Mart. Inside the package she found a “SOS letter” from Masanjia Labor Camp in Shenyang, China, which is eight thousand kilometers away. After she publicized the letter on social media, mainstream media including CNN, Fox News, the New York Times, The Globe and Mail and other major media reported the incident, which soon received global attention.

On the other side of the world-China, Mr. Sun Yi, who wrote the letter, took the risk to expose more about the brutal torture of Falun Gong practitioners. Cooperating with Director Leon Lee, Peabody Award winner, Sun Yi took video footage of his life in China and interviewed other former Masanjia detainees. Along with his story, Sun Yi shared his drawings depicting the abuse he suffered and witnessed at Masanjia Labor Camp. This film shows how a Chinese engineer and an American housewife rewrote the history.

“Letter from Masanjia” was selected as “the 20 most popular films” at Hot Docs, the largest documentary film festival in North America in April this year. The film received more than ten audience selection awards and jury prize at the Cambridge Film Festival in the UK, the Atlanta Documentary Film Festival, the New York Asian American International Film Festival and the Mexico City International Documentary Film Festival. After the film was shown on NHK TV in Japan in September, it is triggered a strong reaction and discussion from the Japanese audience.

Film director Leon Lee said that he is much honored to be qualified for the Oscar for Best Documentary, “This is a good opportunity for more people to get acquaintance of ‘Letter from Masanjia’. Sun Yi and his story should be known to the world and remembered by history. This persecution to human rights that has lasted for nearly 20 years is still happening in China. Each of us can get inspiration from the experience of Julie and do what we can to help stop the persecution as soon as possible.”

The iTunes version of the film will be available at a pre-sale soon at https://apple.co/2OiaSvj.

From December 4, more North American audience will have the opportunity to watch the film. They can watch “Letter from Masanjia” through video on demand or digital platforms, including iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Vimeo, Xbox, Fandango Now, VUDV and more.

This year is the first year after the Oscar documentary selection reform, which further raises the threshold for the issuance of theaters.  

The checklist for the 91st Oscar for Best Documentary Film Awards will be announced on December 17th and the nomination will be announced on January 22nd. The Oscars will be held on February 24th next year.


Translated from http://www.zhengjian.org/node/247740




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