Ai Weiwei to release first feature-length film focusing on migrant crisis
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Ai Weiwei to release first feature-length film focusing on migrant crisis

CHINESE artist and activist Ai Weiwei has announced plans to release his first feature-length film next year documenting the current migrant crisis.

The documentary will follow the plight of refugees on the Greek island of Lesbos, where Ai moved his studio to in January.

Speaking to reporters at the Paul Klee center in Bern, Switzerland on Friday, the film has been shot over 600 hours so far, with Ai carrying out “hundreds of interviews”.

He told Reuters: “Now we are still doing last [shoots] since the refugee situation is continuous, it doesn’t seem [like] it is going to stop.”

According to The Art Newspaper, Ai hired a professional film crew that will be helping him gather footage over the course of the next year, and editing will take another six months.

Most of Ai’s work over the past year has been focused on the migrant crisis, involving projects such as installing a grand piano in the Idomeni camp, and covering the pillars of Berlin’s concert hall with over 14,000 discarded life jackets.

Gendarmenmarkt. Berlin

A photo posted by Ai Weiwei (@aiww) on

The controversial artist has been documenting his trips to various refugee camps in Europe and the Middle East on social media.

Ai’s recent collection of work, including a gala in which he requested celebrities to take selfies while wearing emergency blankets in solidarity, has drawn fierce criticism from an art collective and a politician.

Cinema for Peace

A photo posted by Ai Weiwei (@aiww) on

Artnet branded the stunt as “misguided” and “tasteless”, while Berlin’s culture secretary Tim Renner called the selfies “obscene”.

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