Looking China 2015 | Global filmmaking project

LookingChina2015-onlocationNews from University of Lincoln School of Film & Media: Documentaries about Chinese culture have been created by University of Lincoln filmmakers as part of a global workshop. Six students from LSFM were chosen to take part in a global workshop called Looking China 2015 – to enhance cultural communication between China and the rest of the world through the art of film.  

The LSFM students travelled to Sichuan University of Media and Communication in Chengdu this year, as fellow filmmakers from universities across king China is organised by the Academy for International Communication of Chinese Culture at Beijing Normal University, one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in the country, and the link was established with Lincoln as a result of Professor Brian Winston’s Visiting Fellowship there.  Students Lucy Norton, Bryony Hooper, Tara Clements, Granby Limb, Emma Bridgewood, and Anna Leask each produced a short ten minute film, all of which will now be shown across the world via the Looking China YouTube channel.

The students each took on the role of creator, director and editor of their own short film, and were accompanied by a Chinese student as a guide and translator.  The short documentaries focused on themes such as local crafts, food culture and the native Chinese Sun Bird.

LookingChina2015-Panda-with-AnnaLeaskAnna, who is due to start her third year as a Media Production student in September, made her documentary about Sichuan Embroidery. She said: “This style of embroidery is a beautiful and delicate art form. I wanted my film’s primary focus to be on the lives of the people that made the embroidery, and the work they put into it.  I visited an embroidery studio and met lots of wonderful people who wanted to share their stories with me it was a great honour for me that they were so forthcoming with their stories. I really wanted to go to China the minute I heard about the trip, and saw it as a fantastic opportunity to expand my skills in film production. But most importantly it was an adventure, something I would remember and gain experiences from.”

Emma on shootEmma, also about to start her third year in Media Production, made her documentary about the journey of Douban Chilli Paste, from chilli pepper to the traditional Sichuan Hot Pot. “I was very excited to be able to experience another culture, and make a documentary on my findings to show everyone back home. The most challenging part was the language barrier as it sometimes made communication difficult, especially when finding interviewees. However, our translators were very friendly and knew very good English making the whole process a lot smoother.”

Mikey and volunteerFilm production lecturer Mikey Murray from the School supported the students on their trip. “The trip to Chengdu was a massive learning curve for the students. Making a ten minute film from scratch in two weeks is difficult enough, but when you are expected to direct and shoot yourself, and then face the problem of trying to edit interviews in an unfamiliar language it becomes extremely challenging.  I think our students can be extremely proud of what they achieved in China.”

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The project ran for 17 days, with all participating students presenting their final 10-minute films at an exclusive screening ceremony at Sichuan University of Media and Communication, attended by representatives of the British Council in Beijing, on 16th July.