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Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry's video poster

AI WEIWEI: NEVER SORRY is the first feature-length documentary about China's (in)famous artist and activist, Ai Weiwei. Read more

New York, NY Documentary
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This project was successfully funded on May 28, 2011.

AI WEIWEI: NEVER SORRY is the first feature-length documentary about China's (in)famous artist and activist, Ai Weiwei.

New York, NY Documentary
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About this project

Miss AI WEIWEI: NEVER SORRY on The Colbert Report? See it here

We have just over a week to go and we've already doubled our initial ask! Do we still need funds? Definitely. Any additional contributions go towards finishing costs and important things like subtitling, which will only help Weiwei's story reach a wider, global audience. Forty-three days into Weiwei's detention by Chinese authorities, he was granted his first family visit. Yet this only raises more questions than it answers, as his location and the charges against him remain a mystery, and his access to legal counsel completely denied.  It's important that we continue to tell people about Weiwei. Funding this film is a way to achieve this end. 


On the morning of April 3rd Ai Weiwei was detained at Beijing Capital Airport by customs police while traveling to Hong Kong. His Beijing studio was raided. His wife, Lu Qing, and eight assistants were taken into the local police station for questioning. Five of Weiwei's associates remain missing. On May 15th, 43 days after Weiwei disappeared into police custody, Lu Qing was allowed to visit him at an undisclosed location in Beijing. There still are no formal charges against Weiwei, but he continues to be held by police. 

These above events have dramatically changed the context of my film's production and release, but here is my original Kickstarter pitch ::

Two years, seven countries and eleven cities later, I know Ai Weiwei. He is the ultimate prankster: simultaneously an international art star and a “dissident artist” in the Western press, with tens of thousands of Chinese netizens following him online and the government keeping almost constant tabs on him. 

I have over 200 hours of footage (some of it viewable here) that includes never-before-seen interviews with Weiwei’s family, friends and fellow artists, and chronicles his preparation for major museum shows at the Haus der Kunst and Tate Modern, and a public sculpture work for New York’s Central Park. The two years I spent filming him really mark his rise to international renown, both for his art and his online activism. He is probably the fiercest and loudest internal critic of China, yet somehow he is not in jail.

Weiwei’s story is extraordinary, but I need your help bringing it to the world.

To date I have invested my own money and earned critical support from Agnes Gund, the Henry Luce Foundation and Hazen-Polsky Foundation. But, making a feature-length documentary is no small task. I’m working with a top-notch team including editor Jen Fineran, composer Ilan Isakov, Beijing-based graphics company 39 Degrees North, and a host of volunteers helping get the word out. I now need funding to meet post-production costs of editing, color-correcting, sound mix and music recording.

In a more abstract sense, you are helping to bring the issues of human rights, Internet censorship and freedom of expression to the forefront of conversations at film festivals, theaters, museums, universities, broadcast television, government and diplomatic offices…everywhere we plan to show the film.

Thank you for your support!

Alison Klayman


最新消息: 艾未未的妻子路青昨天在北京获准探视丈夫,她在警方安排的一个秘密处所与艾未未见面并简单交谈。路青说艾的身体状况目前还不错。随后她与律师刘晓原会面商议,刘律师认为艾未未目前相当于遭到软禁并处于警方密切监视中。


我拍摄了超过200个小时的镜头,其中包括之前从未发布过的对艾未未家人、朋友以及同事的采访,同时还记录了艾未未为慕尼黑Haus der Kunst美术馆 、伦敦泰特现代美术馆(Tate Modern)以及纽约市中央公园等展出所做的准备工作。在我拍他的这两年中,他的国际知名度爆增,无论是在艺术方面,还是在网络激进主义方面。在中国,他可能是最尖锐,也是最张扬的批评家,不知道为什么他没有被逮捕。


到目前为止,除了自己投资之外,我也得到了来自MoMA总裁Agnes Gund,Henry Luce基金会 和Hazen-Polsky 基金会的大力支持。然而,制作一部长篇纪录电影不是一件容易的事情。目前我正在与一些非常出色的先锋艺术家们合作,这其中包括编导兼联合制片人Jen Fineran,作曲家Ilan Isakov,北京的创意机构39 Degrees North,同时还有许多帮助我们宣传的志愿者。现在,我们需要更多的资金支持来进行后期制作,例如剪辑,调色,音响效果以及音乐录制等工作。



Alison Klayman



AI WEIWEI: NEVER SORRY collectible buttons  Ten 1" buttons with Ai Weiwei (艾未未), Ai Fan (艾粉) and more...



To see more of AI WEIWEI: NEVER SORRY visit:

The Film's Website ::

PBS Frontline :: Who's Afraid of Ai Weiwei? 

Wall Street Journal :: Film Gives Close-Up to Chinese Artist

Curated: Alison Klayman, Director of "Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry"

The Good Pitch :: Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry 

To see and read more about Ai Weiwei:

The New York Times : 'Ai Weiwei Takes Role of China's Conscience'

Time Magazine: 'Not Another Day in the Life of Ai Weiwei'

HUM Media: 'Noted Chinese Artist Detained at Beijing Airport, Studio Raided'

Ai Weiwei and Christiane Amanpour discuss Twitter


  • It's coming, but it hasn't been made yet! When we know any details, you'll be the first to hear it. Once the film was bought by a distributor, that part had to be handed over to them. They're great and working hard to get them made.

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  • You selected
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    377 backers

    Receive a digital download of the film when it becomes available.

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    138 backers

    Receive the DVD edition of the film when it becomes available.

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    143 backers

    Receive an official AI WEIWEI: NEVER SORRY t-shirt and a digital download of the film when it becomes available. Includes international shipping.

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    39 backers

    Receive a digital download of the film, an official AI WEIWEI: NEVER SORRY t-shirt and 10 snazzy, collectible NEVER SORRY buttons. Pictured at left and includes international shipping.

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    28 backers

    Receive a limited edition DVD set of Ai Weiwei films, which includes AI WEIWEI: NEVER SORRY, AI WEIWEI: NEW YORK PHOTOGRAPHS and a limited edition run of a disc of NEVER SORRY deleted scenes bundled with an AI WEIWEI: NEVER SORRY t-shirt and collectible buttons.

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    13 backers

    Receive the tee, buttons, download, the NEVER SORRY DVD and two 8 x10 limited edition photographs of Ai Weiwei (edition of 20) signed by director Alison Klayman. We'll bundle all of these goodies in a chic NEVER SORRY tote bag and you will also get a special 'thank you' in the film's credits because we're very, very grateful.

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    2 backers

    Receive everything at the $500 level and two tickets to a private screening in New York or Los Angeles (transportation and lodging not included).

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    Receive everything at the $1000 level and 2 unique original hand-made porcelain sunflower seeds (packaging by the artist) from Ai Weiwei's Sunflower Seeds (2010), at the Tate Modern.

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    3 backers Limited (1 left of 4)

    Receive everything from the $2500 level, plus the limited edition DVD set of Ai Weiwei films and two fine arts catalogs signed by Ai Weiwei as a thank you for being one of Alison's and Weiwei's biggest fans! You will also be listed in the credits as a member of the Producer's Circle and receive Producer Circle updates, mailings and bonus clips.

Funding period

- (60 days)