Film­mak­ers on high-speed ride

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By HATTY LIU in Toronto for China Daily

China’s high speed rail (HSR) tech­nol­ogy was re­cently dis­played to an in­ter­na­tional del­e­ga­tion of film­mak­ers tour­ing Bei­jing to ex­plore Chi­nese cul­ture and net­work with China’s young film­mak­ing tal­ent.

Mem­bers of the 2016 Golden Panda In­ter­na­tional Film­mak­ers Cul­tural Im­mer­sion Trip to China took a round trip on the Bei­jing-Tian­jin In­ter­city Rail­way on April 2, com­plet­ing the 276-kilo­me­ter (164-mile) jour­ney in just 33 min­utes.

As part of the trip, the Golden Panda del­e­ga­tion shot short videos record­ing their thoughts on Chi­nese rail­way devel­op­ment and their ex­pe­ri­ences trav­el­ing at the day’s max­i­mum speed of 290 km/h (180 mph). Their videos will be shown on their own web­sites, me­dia part­ner sites, so­cial me­dia and blogs back home.

At one point, they recre­ated a vi­ral video on Chi­nese web por­tals in which a trav­eler was able to bal­ance a coin on its thin edge aboard the HSR with­out it fall­ing over.

“The de­sign and engi­neer­ing that went into the HSR is just mind-blow­ing,” said Christo­pher Lane, Golden Panda fes­ti­val judge and Toronto Film Academy in­struc­tor. “It’s per­fect form-meets-func­tion, and in Canada you could sell this in a heart­beat: imag­ine go­ing from Toronto to Mon­treal in less than two hours. That’d be fan­tas­tic.”

“This is my first time on a high­speed train. It’s some­thing that should be avail­able ev­ery­where. We def­i­nitely need a train go­ing from LA to New York,” said Dara Kell, a US-based South African doc­u­men­tary film­maker whose film The Fighter won the 2015 Golden Panda Best Hu­man­is­tic Vi­sion Award. “It’s so much bet­ter than an air­plane: You get to see the coun­try­side and feel con­nected to the land, it’s more con­ve­nient, it feels safer, and it’s re­ally, re­ally fun.”

China’s HSR sys­tem, de­fined as any pas­sen­ger train trav­el­ing at speeds ex­ceed­ing 200 km/h (124 mph), be­gan con­struc­tion in 2004 and has the long­est HSR net­work in the world as of 2016. The Bei­jingTian­jin line went into ser­vice in 2008. HSR trains cur­rently travel at a max­i­mum speed of 350 km/h (217 mph), and jour­neys across China on the Bei­jing-Guangzhou and Shang­hai-Chengdu lines av­er­age 300 km/h (186 mph) per trip.

The de­sign and engi­neer­ing that went into the HSR is just mind­blow­ing. It’s per­fect form-meets-func­tion.”

“The trip or­ga­niz­ers picked the HSR ex­pe­ri­ence be­cause it best rep­re­sents the mod­ern de­vel­op­ments of China we want to show­case in­ter­na­tion­ally,” Sandy You, ex­ec­u­tive mem­ber of the Golden Panda Trip com­mit­tee, told China Daily. “Putting this ex­pe­ri­ence to­gether was also a cross-bor­der ef­fort with the Chi­nese and in­ter­na­tional spon­sors and me­dia part­ners we’re very grate­ful to work with, in­clud­ing China Daily.”

The Golden Panda Cul­tural Im­mer­sion Trip is an an­nual ex­pe­ri­ence of­fered to win­ners and other par­tic­i­pants in pre­vi­ous Golden Panda North Amer­ica In­ter­na­tional Short Film Fes­ti­vals. The cul­tural im­mer­sion of­fered to in­ter­na­tional trav­ellers is on three fronts: ex­pe­ri­enc­ing the devel­op­ment of Chi­nese cul­ture over thou­sands of years, un­der­stand­ing China’s mod­ern­iza­tion and re­form, and fos­ter­ing ex­change among Chi­nese and in­ter­na­tional film­mak­ers.

In seven days from March 29 to April 4, trav­ellers were in­tro­duced to mod­ern China through ex­pe­ri­ences such as a visit to Bei­jing’s Olympic Green, ex­plor­ing China’s na­tional heritage sites such as the For­bid­den City and tra­di­tional hu­tong neigh­bour­hoods, and spend­ing a day at the Bei­jing Film Academy with a screen­ing of their films and Q&As with Chi­nese film fac­ulty and stu­dents.

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

Golden Panda del­e­gates take

a group photo in front of the high speed rail­way.

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

Del­e­gates watch the speedome­ter ex­cit­edly as the speed reaches 290 km/h.

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