Following a show stopping rendition of a Cantonese opera piece being performed by established Cantonese Opera artist Ou Kaiming, the 2019 Guangzhou International Documentary Film Festival (GZDOC) got underway at the Guangzhou Library on December 10th, 2019.
The opening ceremony of the 2019 GZDOC. [Photo provided to Newsgd.com]
The Cantonese opera performance is staged at the opening ceremony. [Photo provided to Newsgd.com]
Ou is the main protagonist of the documentary film ‘Loving Cantonese Opera’, which tells the stories of a generation represented by Ou, who is set on promoting the spread of Cantonese opera traditions, while constantly seeking breakthroughs. The film won the Special Jury Award at the 2018 GZDOC Golden Kapok Awards Competition.
This year, a total of 3,441 documentary films from 130 countries and regions have registered for the competition, 46 of which have been shortlisted for a total of 14 awards. The winners will be announced at the closing ceremony on the evening of December 12th.
Aboozar Amini, director of ‘Kabul, City in the Wind’, told the reporter that this is the first time for him to take part in the festival, and he thinks the documentary films shortlisted for awards are all very strong. ‘Kabul, City in the Wind’, one of the finalists, won the Special Jury Award for First Appearance at the Amsterdam International Documentary Film Festival in 2018.
The Opening Film of the festival ‘Honeyland’, a 2019 Macedonian documentary film directed by Tamara Kotevska and Ljubomir Stefanov, picked up the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival 2019. It was screened on the evening of December 9th at the library and was widely-admired by audiences. Mr. Wang from Guangzhou said, “I am so delighted to have this chance to watch a documentary which has both the charm of a plot driven narrative while showcasing an impressive reality at the same time.”
“The films are very professional and work also for an international market,” according to Christian Beetz, CEO of Gebrueder Beetz Film Production from Germany.
Foreign guests attend an activity at the festival. [Photo provided to Newsgd.com]
Guests attend a forum at the festival. [Photo provided to Newsgd.com]
Apart from the competition, the 2019 GZDOC also holds screenings, pitching sessions, marketing activities, international forums and industry training, attended by over 10,000 professionals and enthusiasts from 695 organizations from across the world.
Bill Locke, Director of Specialist Factual productions from Lion Television in the UK, said that GZDOC is a really useful way for international producers to find out what is going on in broadcasting in this “fascinating part of the world”.
Kamil Skalkowski, Vice-president of Studio Filmowe Kalejdoskop from Poland, has attended GZDOC five times. “At GZDOC I have a chance to see projects in preparation, meet filmmakers and learn about new trends in China and other Asians countries. It is important to get more insight into the Asian market,” Skalkowski said.
“I think GZDOC is an indispensable opportunity for all of us Western producers to understand the style and culture of a nation and a people that are increasingly attentive to their traditions and roots,” Mario Paloschi, CEO of Ballandi Arts from Italy, pointed out, “In addition to this, the Festival gives us the opportunity to discover new talent, (and) the stories of a China unknown to our small European world.”
Guests arrived at the library for the event. [Photo provided to Newsgd.com]
A foreign guest visit the Southern Chinese documentary booth at the library. [Photo provided to Newsgd.com]
Author: Monica Liu
Editor: Simon Haywood