28 November 2023 The Irish Film & Television Network
Esras Films’ Documentary ‘The China Mission’ Gathers Momentum
19 Sep 2017 : Nathan Griffin
The China Mission
The historical feature length documentary follows the story of Irish missionaries, who traveled to China during some of its darkest year between 1920 and 1954, has received four international awards and a number of Official Selections.

Re-versioned from the short series ‘An Misean sa tSín,’ which was produced by Esras Films for TG4 with the support of the BAI. The documentary features a wonderful collection of rare film and photographs from missionary archives - much of it brought to the screen for the first time in 2017. 

Peter Kelly, Director:

“It’s a little known story, and yet we can situate Irish people at the centre of epic events of global significance.”

“We always knew this subject matter would find an audience around the world. We submitted to festivals that were open to documentaries with a religious history theme, and we are very encouraged that the work is being deemed of value and quality.” 

Hundreds of Irish men and women served as Roman Catholic missionaries in Central China over four decades beginning in 1920.  They worked in social, pastoral and disaster relief services during this extraordinarily turbulent but fascinating period of Chinese history. They encountered floods, famine and disease, civil war and world war, and finally persecution and expulsion with the establishment of the Communist People's Republic of China.  The film features interviews in Irish, Chinese and English, and addresses issues of cultural interaction and spiritual imperialism. 

‘The China Mission,’ has so far won an Award of Excellence at the Accolade Global Film Competition; the outstanding achievement award for a film on religion at the Calcutta International Cult Film Festival; Best of Show (Inspirational) at the Depth of Field International Film Festival (USA); and the Best Documentary at the Christian Online Film Festival.  The documentary also has ‘Official Selection’ status at a number of other international festivals.

Preview the promo  

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