"Looking at China·Shanghai Tour" Achievement Screening: Impressions of China from the Perspective of Overseas Young Directors

    Observe the implication of folk houses, appreciate the melodious folk songs, and feel the mellow folk customs. Chinese and foreign youths integrate what they have seen, heard, heard, and what they said in short films, and go deep into various parts of Shanghai to show the combination of tradition and modernity, and the Shanghai style intertwined with the East and the West. The charm of people's livelihood, showing the colorful humanistic customs, exploring the vivid background of Chinese traditional culture. This is the special creative process experienced by the young directors of the 2023 "Looking at China·Foreign Youth Video Project·Shanghai Tour".

    On the afternoon of May 22, the screening ceremony of the 2023 "Looking at China·Foreign Youth Video Project·Shanghai Tour" was held at the Shanghai Vancouver Film Academy of Shanghai University. Eight young foreign directors from Madagascar, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Russia, Thailand, Vietnam and other countries, with the theme of "Dwellings, Folk Songs and Customs", with the one-on-one assistance of Chinese volunteers, After 14 days of painstaking creation, eight excellent short documentaries have been completed.

    "Looking at China·Foreign Youth Video Project·Shanghai Tour" foreign young directors were awarded certificates.

    Eight works show the charm of Shanghai city

    A total of eight documentaries participated in the screening ceremony: "Shanghai Rhythm", "Old Dreams in the Alley, Nine Sons' Relics", "A Home Away from Home", "A Day in Poetry", "Wish", "Second Life", "Hometown", "Looking for Hometown" Taste" is divided into four units. Eight young foreign directors from all over the world interpret Shanghai's traditional dwellings, charming folk songs and simple folk customs from a unique perspective.

    The works of the first unit "Shanghai Rhythm" and "Old Dreams in the Longtang, Nine Sons Supplements" respectively focus on modern music and traditional folk nine son games, leading everyone to get closer to Shanghai with a relaxed and lively rhythm.

    Shen Liang, the second-level inspector and director of the External Publicity Department of the Shanghai Municipal Party Committee's International Publicity Office (Municipal Government Information Office), expressed his affirmation and appreciation for the two films. ""Shanghai Rhythm" fully demonstrates the "inclusiveness and modesty" in the urban spirit of Shanghai, and it also brings everyone to feel the fashion charm of the Shanghai culture. The scene shows Shanghai's 'touchable' unique alley culture". He also said on the spot that he "will promote the broadcast of these films on the entire network."

    "Shanghai Rhythm"

    "Old Dreams in the Longtang, Nine Sons Supplements"

    The short films "A Home Away From Home" and "A Day of Poetry" screened in the second unit focus on the "home" culture with Shanghai characteristics, and show us how foreigners perceive Shanghai culture in "why" from the dual perspectives of audio and video. A sense of identity as home".

    "Poetry Day"

    Li Yingjie, Dean of the School of International Education of Shanghai University, said after watching the short film that whether it is "Home Away From Home" which focuses on the experience of three foreigners in Shanghai, or "A Day of Poetry" which shows cultural integration in the form of a vlog, they all use The warm perspective allows the audience to feel the inclusive temperament of the city of Shanghai.

    "A Home Away From Home"

    The short films "Hometown" and "Looking for the Taste of Hometown" respectively focus on "Rural Revitalization" and "Journey to Seek Halal". The former records a Shanghai entrepreneur who returned to the countryside for three years; The story of SHAKIL (Xia Kai) pursuing halal taste in Shanghai.


    Ding Chen, deputy director of the International Communication Center of SMG Financial Media Center, believes that both films show the unique side of Shanghai: "Hometown" truly shows the current situation of Shanghai's rural areas through simple recording methods, which is very appealing; while "Looking for Hometown" "The Taste" uses the "window" of food to convey the director's understanding to the audience from the first perspective through visitation-style interaction, which is full of life.

    "Finding the Taste of Home"

    The two short films "Wish" and "Second Life" respectively tell about the mental journey of Ukrainian students living in China and the unique trendy culture of the elderly in Shanghai. One of the protagonists in the documentary "Second Life" - 75-year-old Mr. Liu Jiankui also came to the screening site that day, and together with director RANDRIANOMEARISOA Rado Tsiadiana Nataniela (Chen Xiaohua) from Madagascar, brought a dynamic impromptu dance show to everyone.

    "second Life"

    Liu Qi, deputy editor-in-chief of "Shanghai Daily", said in the short film review session that although the rhythm and style of the two short films are completely different, they both brought her a lot of feelings. "Wish" shows the theme of "Shanghai is home and a safe haven" from the perspective of director Sophia. And "Second Life" breaks everyone's stereotypes of the elderly. In the film, the retired elderly are more willing to participate in popular cultural activities while enjoying their retirement life.


    12 years of conveying the voice of China

    "Looking at China", as a Chinese and foreign youth cultural exchange project, has adhered to the core connotation of "foreign youth telling Chinese stories" for 12 years, and practiced "tell Chinese stories well, spread Chinese voices well, and show credible, lovely and respectable China's image" mission.

    As of 2022, 895 foreign youths from 78 overseas colleges and universities in 101 countries on five continents have traveled almost all over China. They have completed a total of 854 short documentaries, won more than 160 international awards, screened in 28 countries on 5 continents, published 13 series of books, held the "Golden Eye Award" for eight times, and have been widely concerned and continuously reported by more than 300 Chinese and foreign mainstream media.

    Since 2020, the Shanghai Vancouver Film Academy and the School of Journalism and Communication of Shanghai University have successfully hosted three sessions of "Looking at China·Foreign Youth Video Project·Shanghai Tour" and held short film screenings. It was difficult, but it did not stop young directors from picking up their cameras and going to the streets to record their lives.

    Xu Rong, an industry mentor at the Shanghai Vancouver Film Academy who has served as a mentor for the "Looking China·Shanghai Tour" project for three consecutive times, reviewed the touching moments of co-creation with Chinese and foreign students: "Every time I guide 'Looking China', I can immediately It is a very happy thing to experience everyone’s joys, sorrows and sorrows.”

    Screening event site

    At this screening event, the documentary "Xia Yu·"Convergence of Eight Directions"" was screened, reviewing the creations of eight groups of Chinese and foreign young people together, revisiting the process of foreign young directors looking for the charm of China's excellent traditional culture, and feeling the foreign Young directors have a unique understanding of Chinese culture.

    Distinguished professor of Beijing Normal University and executive dean of the Institute of International Communication of Chinese Culture said in his speech that the eight excellent short films screened this time have different angles and are wonderful. Interesting stories of recognition, and a different kind of storytelling by pointing the camera at the Shanghai countryside and experiencing different worldly fireworks... "Your stories are not only recorded in the film by the camera, but also recorded in beautiful memories."

    Yan Sanjiu, dean of the School of Journalism and Communication of Shanghai University, summed up the screening with two keywords: "congratulations" and "expectation". "'Looking at China' not only provides a platform for Chinese and foreign students to work together, but also leaves more treasures of cultural interlinkages for human society. Chinese and foreign students forged a deep friendship during the ten-day filming, and will always leave a lasting impression on them. In the deepest memory of all participants."

    "In the 'Looking at China·Shanghai Tour', the participants showed a credible, lovely and respectable image of China, let the world hear more Chinese voices and Chinese stories, and promoted Chinese and foreign youth to learn from each other, Cross-cultural communication and cooperation.” said Jiang Weimin, executive director of Shanghai Vancouver Film Academy.


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