Chongqing- On the evening of October 24, the screening ceremony of “2020 Looking China·Foreign Youth Film Project·Chongqing Trip” was held in Beibei Chongqing. The documentary of Hope Sower was shown during the ceremony, with its record of 10 filming teams, including Chinese producers and foreign directors from Argentina, Madagascar, Kazakhstan, Ghana, Cameroon, Nigeria, and Eritrea, and their exploration in Wushan, Wuxi, Wanzhou, Kaizhou, Xiushan, Shizhu, Hechuan, Beibei and other places in Chongqing over the past 17 days. The stories focused on those Chinese farmers living in small villages and the countryside, telling narratives of resistance, perseverance, courage, hard work, and love.
“The people I interacted with are very welcoming,” said Awu Issac Oben, a foreign director from Cameroon, who is also a student from the Faculty of Education at Southwest University. “I think it was a great experience for me, my partner, teachers, and the people we met in the village when we shot the film.” He believes it was a privilege to be chosen and to be a part of the “Looking China” project.
Through using a wide variety of narrative techniques and lens language in film, the scenery of a theme emphasizing “farming, farms, and farmers” was well-depicted, allowing more people to understand the story of poverty alleviation in rural China under the new era.
“Being in a part of this project serves as a big opportunity for me to learn Chinese culture,” said Ernest Chibuzo Agu, a foreign director from Nigeria, who is also a student from the School of Journalism and Communication at Southwest University. “I am hoping to go out and play different roles to spread Chinese culture, letting the world know better about the authenticity of Chinese culture, telling more interesting stories about the local people living there.”
With a target of expressing Chinese charm and promoting Chinese culture through young foreign directors’ unique perspective, 10 short high-quality films were successfully produced. This involves The Ultimate Niche, a story of planting precious Chinese medicine and leading the villagers out of poverty; The Countryside Heroes, a man’s inspiration story along with his life, living in a village called Shiping; Once Through The Sea Is Difficult For Water Wushan Is Not Cloud, a story of the family of four, who have depended their life on harvesting the grapes in their vineyard. The Old Under The Tangerine Tree, a story where the strength of the older people living in the countryside of China can be witnessed; The Agriculture Museum, a story of the history of the countryside in China; The Journey of A Thousand Miles, a story of building a real road for easy access to the outside world; A Remarkable Express Journey, a story about promoting e-commerce in a village; More than Honey, a story of producing honey that reflects in the corresponding division of labor in human society; Just Like Lotus, a story of a man giving back to the land after having left it for many years; as well as A Mountain A Lady, a story of a female countryside entrepreneur who found harmony in her life.
“The land (of Chongqing) is mountainous, which makes it hard to build roads, isolating individual villages across the landscape,” said Antokly De Mello Cecilia, a foreign instructor of the “Looking China” project. “Thanks to individual initiatives and government incentives which made all the stories of poverty alleviation happened.”
She also thinks there has been a great change in Chongqing’s countryside in the past few years. “Growing things can also be difficult, depending on the terrain. But most of all, there is the attraction of the big city, where most adults want to live and work to make money and provide for their families,” said De Mello Cecilia. “Luckily, we were able to witness some of the stories connected to this land.”
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