NTD’s “Free China” Film Wins Free Speech Award in Philadelphia

May 18, 2012

It would be hard to find a more apt location for the first ever Free Speech Film Festival. Across the road from Independence Hall in Philadelphia, at the American Philosophical Society’s Benjamin Franklin Hall, the Free Speech Award is being handed out…

…the winner… Free China: The Courage to Believe, a film by Michael Perlman, co-produced by NTD Television and World2Be Productions.

It follows the story of two practitioners of the Falun Gong meditation discipline, who along with tens of millions of other Falun Gong practitioners have been persecuted for their beliefs in China.

[Kean Wong, Producer, Free China]:
“Ten years ago I met Jennifer and she had just escaped China. She was writing her book and to be able to tell her story after so many years and get it out and to be acknowledged… this is about not just her story but also those inside China who are being suppressed, so this is for them.”

The film received a warm welcome from VIPs at the event.

[Karen Curry, Former CNN New York Bureau Chief]:
“When you can tell a story that’s a pretty broad story through two intensely compelling characters like Jennifer and Charles, from a filmmaking standpoint, I thought that was really pretty extraordinary.”

Festival founder Margaret Chew Barringer says Free China was a clear winner.

[Margaret Chew Barringer, Founder, Free Speech Film Festival]:
“Technically perfect, the music is superb, and the cause, of all the films we saw, related to the most people.”

Director Michael Perlman says the spirit of the Free Speech Film Festival could not have come at a more crucial time in China’s history.

[Michael Perlman, Director, Free China]:
“If China allows itself to open up and allow freedom of speech, and religion and assembly, they’ll become a much stronger nation, both economically, politically and in the world stage so this is really a critical time for the Chinese leadership and for the people inside China to understand this and to embrace it and we’re just here to give our support for this. This is history in the making, now.”

This spirit also reflects the mission of NTD television.

[Lee Zhong, NTD President]:
“It’s part of our mission to really spread the word about freedom, freedom of the press, freedom of speech, that’s why the platform of NTD exists. This is great, and we finally see this is being recognized and a lot of people love this movie.”

This is the third award the movie has won and it will continue to tour the global film festival circuit.

Ben Hedges, NTD News, Philadelphia


To view the video on the NTD website, click here.