Currently, the 19th Guangzhou International Documentary Film Festival, China (GZDOC) is in full swing from April 15 to 21 in an online format. Apart from providing excellent documentary visual and audio feasts for the audiences, the event also holds a range of industrial forums online, allowing international experts in the documentary industry to share and exchange their creative ideas together.
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Most of the experts think highly of the GZDOC, which they acclaim as an important platform to share excellent documentaries on a global basis. Among them, Peter Hamilton, a Consultant of Documentary Business, said, "Producers need to study the market before they develop a story and produce and create a documentary, and the best way to study the market is to attend the GZDOC."
China is renowned for its continuous outpouring of Chinese stories and vigorous documentary creators, said William Paterson Ferns, the President of Ferns Productions Inc. The "China Stories" International Pitching Session works as an essential platform, enabling many excellent documentaries, especially those featuring Chinese stories, to be presented to the international market, William Paterson Ferns pointed out.
Documentaries focusing on natural history have continued to grow in popularity over the past few years. For Mike Gunton, a senior executive producer for the BBC Natural History unit, the momentum of this tendency lies in innovation, relevance and range, among which innovation can be considered to be the lifeblood for documentary production. "The key thing is innovating. I think the audiences want to keep seeing new things," he said.
Janet Han Vissering, the senior vice president of Development and Production for National Geographic Wild, laid the emphasis on making full use of continuously-updating cinematic instruments to capture the changing world and nature. "The world is changing every single day. And I think the topic that we're going to discuss is climate change, and the impact of that on the planet, so when you have changes on the planet, you have changes and behavior changes of how animals are behaving evolutionarily," Vissering said. "I think the innovation, aligned with the constant changes on the planet allows us to refresh the material and the content that we're making."
Zhu Lexian, the documentary studio of general director for Tencent Video, revealed that Tencent is concerned more about weather conditions as well as the interaction between global changes and human beings. Meanwhile, the company has also focused on diseases during the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic. It looks back through the history of the co-existence of human beings and viruses from the birth of human beings hundreds of millions of years ago.
As for how to fulfill the audiences' expectations on documentary works under the lockdown of COVID-19 pandemic, Ellen Windemuth, the CEO of Waterbear Network and co-CEO and the founder of Off the Fence, stressed that the quality of documentaries matters the most, so it's necessary that documentary producers should manage to enhance the quality of their works. "I think people have been locked in their apartments for the first time in their lives for a long, long period of time and what people miss most was nature. So, I think there's a massive shift in values, because people really have recognized the importance, the significance of being close to nature. I'm not worried that they're going to be fatigued, I'm worried about quality," Windemuth said.
Author | Nancy (Intern)
Editor | Wing, Olivia, Monica, Will, Jerry