Film­mak­ers from Canada visit Bei­jing

China Daily (Canada) - - ACROSS AMERICAS - By HATTY LIU in Van­cou­ver For Chi­naDaily

In­ter­na­tional ex­po­sure for 11 young film­mak­ers was the cen­tral theme of an ex­change visit by par­tic­i­pants of the Van­cou­ver-based Golden Panda North Amer­ica In­ter­na­tional Short Film Festival to China’s elite Bei­jing Film Academy on Wed­nes­day.

The visit marked the open­ing of the 2016 Golden Panda In­ter­na­tional Film­mak­ers Cul­tural Im­mer­sion Trip, an an­nual ex­pe­ri­ence awarded to win­ners of the pre­vi­ous year’s Golden Panda Festival, as well as a se­lect num­ber of festival judges and other par­tic­i­pants.

Now in its third year, this year’s trip took its del­e­gates on a seven-day, all­ex­penses-paid tour of China’s cap­i­tal.

The BFA visit was in­tended to show­case the ta­lent and re­sources of China’s young film­mak­ers to the in­ter­na­tional film­mak­ing com­mu­nity, as well as al­low Chi­nese film stu­dents to find in­spi­ra­tion from in­ter­na­tional col­leagues on po­ten­tial ca­reer paths.

“We want to use this col­lab­o­ra­tion with Golden Panda to show our stu­dents and fac­ulty the achieve­ments of in­ter­na­tional film­mak­ers and where we still need to im­prove,” said BFA Prin­ci­pal Zhang Hui­jun in a speech wel­com­ing the del­e­gates to the school. “To be able to host an ex­change here sig­ni­fies ad­vance­ment for our school.”

The Golden Panda del­e­ga­tion be­gan their visit by tour­ing BFA’s cam­pus fa­cil­i­ties, in­clud­ing an an­i­ma­tion work­shop, a state-of-the-art soundrecord­ing stage and a crowd-pleas­ing vir­tual-re­al­ity gam­ing room, all avail­able for BFA stu­dents of all lev­els to use at no ex­tra cost.

Fol­low­ing the tour, all eight win­ning en­tries of the 2015 Golden Panda Festival were screened to an au­di­ence of BFA stu­dents, fac­ulty and other film en­thu­si­asts, who par­tic­i­pated in a Q&A ses­sion with the film­mak­ers and other del­e­gates af­ter the screen­ing.

Both stu­dents and Golden Panda del­e­gates con­trib­uted ideas about the el­e­ments that en­able a film to com­mu­ni­cate across lin­guis­tic and cul­tural bar­ri­ers. Each del­e­gate was also asked by stu­dents to de­scribe how they got their start in film­mak­ing.

“It’s hum­bling when I see some­one that doesn’t speak the same lan­guage I speak, but that walks up to me and is af­fected by some­thing that came through me and that I cre­ated,” Amer­i­can ac­tor and screen­writer Gabriel Fur­man, whose film Mother’s Day won a Golden Panda Spe­cial Jury Award, told China Daily.

This year’s Golden Panda del­e­ga­tion in­cludes two na­tives of Bri­tish Columbia: di­rec­tor Iris Moore of Vic­to­ria, whose film Seek­ing Wing won the Golden Panda Best An­i­mated Film award, and Van­cou­ver-based model and ac­tress Alexan­dria Kayy.

The third Cana­dian del­e­gate is festival judge Christo­pher Lane, pro­fes­sor and co­or­di­na­tor of the Toronto Film School film pro­duc­tion pro­gram.

Lane be­lieves that the cul­tural im­mer­sion trip could be a good first step for young Cana­dian film­mak­ers and film stu­dents to seek fur­ther col­lab­o­ra­tion with their Chi­nese coun­ter­parts.

“I would be happy to have some sort of cul­tural ex­change -- I think my stu­dents [at the Toronto Film School] would ben­e­fit greatly from the Bei­jing Film Academy, and their stu­dents would learn a lot from us,” Lane told China Daily. “Also, I would like to see co-pro­duc­tions [be­tween] peo­ple of both coun­tries, as the artist in me is fas­ci­nated by draw­ing from dif­fer­ent ex­pe­ri­ences.”

The Golden Panda North Amer­ica In­ter­na­tional Short Film Festival holds an award cer­e­mony an­nu­ally in Rich­mond and is co-pre­sented by China Net­work Tele­vi­sion (CNTV), and Van­cou­ver’s Ori­ent Star Me­dia Inc.

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