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  Chinese Way>Life

Filmmakers capture life in nine short minutes

2013-10-30 11:13:32



Yu Qing dreams of becoming a film director like Martin Scorsese, and making films that address social problems.

The young man from Hainan province went to the liberal arts college at Hainan University but never studied filmmaking.

Director Li Yatao (right) works on the set of his microfilm in Jiading, Shanghai.

Despite his lack of formal film education, the 24-year-old is on his way to realizing his dream, and his 10-minute short film Ashamed won the top award at the Nine Minutes Original Film Competition in 2012. This summer he participated in the competition again with a film shot on the old streets of Jiading district, in suburban Shanghai.

The Nine Minutes Original Film Competition is an open contest. Anyone can submit a storyline and apply for the opportunity to shoot a short film of no more than 10 minutes. Beijing Original Power Movie and TV Cultural Communications Co. Ltd launched the project four years ago.

Company president Qiu Qi found that many aspiring filmmakers worked on their own in China. Without adequate logistics or professional teamwork, beginners struggle to produce quality work.

"We want to build a fair and efficient platform for talent selection, and provide them with a professional team-to support young directors in the most practical and scientific ways," Qiu said during the filmmaking for the fourth competition in Jiading.

In September, when Yu shot his new project in Nanxiang town in Jiading, the town helped him to install a temporary electricity line to light up red lanterns along the old street, on the riverfront, and turned off all other lights.

"My film tells a story that happens in Nanxiang, and I wanted to present the authentic landscape, with an emotional touch," Yu says. "The Jiading district has been very supportive of my work."

By attracting the filmmaking competition, Jiading wants to encourage the development of cultural industries, especially film and entertainment. The competition is like an incubator for new artists, and local officials hope such films will introduce the local tourism resources to the greater public, says Zhu Jian, deputy director of the district publicity department.

The Nine Minutes competition was held in Xiangshan, in suburban Ningbo City of Zhejiang province for the past two years. "Xiangshan opened all of its public space for our film shoot, and provided funding for all the contest films," Qiu says. In return, the competition brought the seaside town more publicity, "significantly enhancing the image of Xiangshan in Zhejiang and all over China".

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