Chongqing - All 12 films of "Looking China 2022·Chongqing" created by local and international students of Southwest University were shortlisted for the "Maple Leaf Award" at the 10th Vancouver Chinese Film Festival.
"Forest of steles dream" won the "Best Documentary Film Editor" award, while "Keeping the Loong Alive" won "Best Documentary Cinematography." Both "The Protector" and "Family, Happiness, and Wine" were in recognition for their outstanding filmmaking at the 5th Vancouver International Youth Film Festival. Besides, six films were screened at the opening ceremony.
"Forest of Steles Dream" was directed by Jamaican international student Brown Kemar and produced by 2021 film graduate student Lu Tianrong. It tells the story of the unbreakable bond between ninety-year-old Xing Shiying and the Qingyun Monument Forest in Bishan District, Chongqing.
Director Brown Kemar said: "First and foremost, I would like to thank the Vancouver Chinese Film Festival for giving us this honor, which will inspire us to create more in the future. I would like to express my gratitude to all of the instructors of the 'Looking China · Chongqing' tour, as well as to my Producer Lu Tianrong, who has contributed a great deal to the creation of this film. I will cherish this award and thank everyone again for their encouragement and support."
The producer said: "It is a pleasure to be able to meet Kemar from Jamaica and win this award. I would like to thank the teachers for their careful guidance, and our joint efforts enabled the results to be achieved. Without your careful guidance, the filming would not have proceeded so smoothly. Next, I am grateful to the judges for appreciating this work and encouraging us to continue punching. I would like to thank our subject, Mr. Shieying Xing, a worthy subject for our study, for his perseverance in ordinary work and extraordinary work."
Directed by the Sudanese international student Mohammed Hassen ALI ALAGHIB, and produced by Zeng Bolin, a 2019 journalism major, the film "Keeping the Loong Alive" tells the characteristic folklore and lifestyle of dragon culture in the ancient city of Anju, located in Tongliang District, Chongqing.
"It is a pleasure and honor to receive this award. First, I must thank the 'Looking China·Chongqing Tour' project, which allowed me to learn more about Anju Ancient Town in Tongliang District. Besides that, my producers assist me with language communication and equipment use. Also, the gracious hospitality of the local government will be in my memory forever," said the director.
"I didn't expect to win 'Best Documentary Cinematography' at the 10th Vancouver Chinese Film Festival. This year, I completed this documentary with director Mohammed Hassen ALI ALAGHIB and came back with fruitful results," said producer Zeng Bolin. He viewed the project as a brand new experience.
"The Protector," directed by Nigerian student ERNEST CHIBUZO AGU, and produced by a 2020 graduate drama student of film named Jiang Jianjun, describes how forest rangers patrol the mountains and protect flora and fauna, and research data in Yintiaoling of Wuxi County in Chongqing.
"Delighted to receive this honor! This documentary shows the everyday life of a ranger who loves the mountains and guards the forest. Forest protection and the efforts of the Chinese government to protect forests should be known, and this is what we should do. This honor does not belong to me alone but to the entire team. All of this is inseparable from the practical support of the teachers, volunteers, and the local government of the 'Looking China·Chongqing Tour' project. Thanks for your dedicated work and selfless dedication," said the director.
"In order to shoot this film, we walked in the Yintiaoling National Nature Reserve for two days. In the mountains, there was no network signal. I hope this film will highlight the natural beauty of Yintiaoling and the touching stories of generations of forest rangers," added producer Jiang Jianjun.
Magam Thomas, a Nigerian student, directed the film "Family, Happiness and Wine," spotlighting the story of brewing in Lvxi Winery and Jiangji Winery in Jiangjin District, with his producer Liu Chong, a 2021 film graduate student.
Magam Thomas pointed out that the team mainly communicated via text and online conferences. But under the same belief, they always worked out unexpected situations.
Producer Liu Chong elaborated on his opinion, "Thomas and I both like the topic of winemaking, and we grow closer due to frequent communication and cooperation. The official platform will enable more people worldwide to know the spirit of Chongqing winemakers."
"Looking China· Youth Film Project·Chongqing Tour" made its debut at Southwest University in 2018, aiming to showcase the unique culture of Chongqing. In the past five years, the school has organized 52 foreign youths and more than 200 student volunteers from 24 countries to explore 25 districts and counties of Chongqing. These young people received more than 40 awards for their 56 excellent documentaries. Moreover, the series "Looking China · Chongqing Tour" was selected for the National University Ideological and Political Work Net in December 2021.
The films of the "Looking China·Chongqing Tour" project were screened in six cooperative universities in Italy, Russia, India, and Brazil. Moreover, 40 films were screened at the China-US Film Festival and Vancouver Chinese Film Festival, and 32 films were launched in the overseas mainstream media with more than 800,000 views on American City News Network. Local stories are told, native voices are heard, and the spirit of China is promoted. Relevant work has been widely covered and reported by more than 180 mainstream media and platforms. Among them, Xinhua News Agency has written more than 40 articles, 18 of which have been reported in five languages on overseas platforms, with over 10 million views.
(Chen Lu, as an intern, also contributed to the report.)
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