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China, through the lenses of international youth

Editor: Qian Ding 丨CCTV.com

04-10-2018 16:10 BJT

By Qian Ding, CCTV.com reporter and editor

2018 Looking China Youth Film Project has started on April 9 with 100 international youth from 35 countries arriving in China's 11 provinces, municipalities and autonomous region, including Beijing, Guangdong, Chongqing, Hubei, Liaoning, Guizhou, Jiangsu, Qinghai, Hebei and Inner Mongolia. Each participant is expected to film a 10-minute documentary about China under the theme, "Ecology, Biology and Lifeology." All films are scheduled to be finished by July 17 this year.

The project has been running for 7 years, serving as a culture experience program sponsored by Huilin Foundation and hosted by the Academy for International Communication of Chinese Culture (AICCC). 405 youth from 49 countries have participated in the program and with the assistance from local Chinese universities, 404 short documentaries have been filmed and a few have won international awards. Here is the special page  for the program where you can see some of the best documentaries filmed in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

Since 2014, the best films of each year will be awarded "Golden lenses." On April 4, 2018, AICCC announced the 4th looking China Golden Lenses Award winners in Beijing. The first prize goes to the film "Watch People" directed by Christian Grobbelaar from South Africa with the film telling the story of a watch repairman and how he has struggled so much in his life. The story unfolds slowly in an artistic way as he repairs watches, combining craftsmanship with humanity. The process of watch repairing is just like the process of cultivating one's self. The film is inspiring, touching and simple.

Christian Grobbelaar (middle) with Huang Huilin (left), Professor Emeritus of Beijing Normal University, Dean of AICCC and Francesco Cardinali (right), Professor of Macerata University, Italy.

The second prize goes to "Dancing Dream Hall" directed by Richard Ducros from France, "The bridge between us" directed by Akos Kovacs from Serbia and "Voice notes about Mr. Wang" directed by Sebastian Cantillo Acosta from Columbia.

"All That Grows" directed by Milena Grujić from Serbia, "Taste of Shenzhen" directed by Volen Penev from Bulgaria and "Survival Hands" directed by Portuguese João Henrique Mestre Marques, "The King of Ice" directed by Domas Merkliopas from Lithuania, "Water Bonds" directed by Kili Leon from Israel and "Stories Crafted in Hands" directed by Selena Chloe St. Cyr Raskin from Canada are awarded third prizes.

Picture from the film “Water Bonds”

Other five movies including "Tea Mountain", "A New Spring","The Tales Of Our Family", "Desert Combater" and "The white camel of salars" are awarded with Special Prizes.

Picture from the film "Tea Mountain"

Looking China film project has offered a good opportunity for international film makers to understand China by experiencing Chinese culture themselves. The project is supported by universities from around the world and embassies in China including Australia Embassy, Cambodia Embassy and Romania Embassy.

Cecilia Mello, Professor of University of Sau Paulo, Brazil, said in the 2018 project launching ceremony, "we should all feel very privileged to have been invited by the Looking China Project to travel through the real spaces of China and to turn them into cinematic, emotional spaces, for they will, in their turn, open themselves to people from all over the world, allowing them to also travel through China, to get to know its culture, its geography, its society and its people." Victor Cruz, Professor of University of Buenos Aires, Argentina said "We look different, our cultures are different, but we are all together here connecting culture by film, by the documentaries this young filmmakers are about to shoot."

Victor Cruz, Professor of University of Buenos Aires, Argentina

This year, Looking China project also welcomes international independent film makers to participate, the selected films will be distributed on many Chinese main stream medias and official web pages of the project. 

Documentary is an encounter between reality and the way we see the world. Through culture and knowledge exchange, it's not just films be made. In a broad perspective, it's a way to build mutual-understanding relationship between people and countries. 

(The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Panview or CCTV.com. )

Panview offers a new window of understanding the world as well as China through the views, opinions, and analysis of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

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