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International Documentary Festival Launches in Fujian Province to Promote Spirit of Maritime Silk Road

Source: Global Times | 2023-07-04 08:34   Click:

Photo: VCG


The year 2023 marks the 10th anniversary of the China-proposed 21st Century Maritime Silk Road (MSR). To accentuate the plan's cross-cultural scope, an MSR film festival was launched for the first time in Quanzhou, East China's Fujian Province, on Monday.

Themed on "promoting the spirit of the MSR and documenting the changes of the times," the event is committed to building an open, cooperative, mutually beneficial, and win-win international platform for film and cultural industry cooperation.

It is welcoming more than 400 industry insiders from both home and abroad, such as Mathieu Béjot, the director of strategy and development of international documentary marketplace  Sunny Side of the Doc, which Béjot noted has a long history of collaboration with China.

Béjot told the Global Times that in 2023, a total of 15 Chinese film organizations participated in the French event. Béjot also said that besides major movies coming out of the country, "very local and native Chinese stories" are also able to resonate with international audiences.

Against the backdrop of the MSR, keywords such as "history," "international trade," and "geography" are new subjects being tackled by worldwide documentary makers.

At the event, an initiative that stresses the sustainable facilitation of international documentary exchanges has been introduced by the festival's artistic committee.

A highlight of the initiative is its goal to promote MSR film productions at other international documentary film festivals.

Wang Muxin, a documentary filmmaker, told the Global Times that this strategic promotion can drive filmmakers to "want to dig deep into those MSR stories."

"As a Chinese filmmaker, I see the MSR theme as a treasure box containing a lot of good modern Chinese stories," Wang told the Global Times, noting that the subject has the potential to become an "independent newcomer" at acclaimed galas like the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam. Not only documentary filmmakers, but the initiative has also called for more in-depth collaboration in academia. It will collaborate with global scholars in fields like anthropology, sociology and ecology to launch annual MSR-related research events.

Hong Lei, the vice president of the Fujian Media Group, one of the event's organizers, noted the importance of "international collaboration" in the documentary industry.

Just three months ago, a China-Japan-France co-produced documentary called Beyond the Far Side: The Dawn of a Space Revolution debuted on the CCTV-9 documentary channel in China. The production showcases China's efforts in the field of space exploration for the first time. Liang Hong, the director of the channel, told the Global Times that the production is a big step forward and demonstrates that the domestic documentary industry has "expanded from a single cultural perspective to cross-cultural communication and cooperation."

"Such high-quality productions can transcend cultural barriers and promote cross-cultural understanding," Liang said, adding that the film will soon be showcased  in 12 countries including France, Poland and Japan.

The festival is co-hosted by organizations such as the China Foreign Languages Publishing Administration, Fujian Provincial Administration of Radio and Television and Quanzhou Municipal People's Government.

It is set to conclude on Thursday.