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Global inspirations sparkle at Guangzhou International Documentary Film Festival

On December 7, the 20th Guangzhou International Documentary Film Festival, China (GZDOC) announced 17 winners of the Golden Kapok Awards at the closing ceremony.

As an important session of GZDOC, the Golden Kapok Awards attracted 7,280 documentaries from 156 countries this year. 45 works from around the world entered the final evaluation, competing for 17 awards in categories like Best Feature Documentary, Best Documentary Director, Best Short Documentary, and Best Documentary Series.

Posters of some documentaries

Jakub Laskowski from Poland won the Best Micro-Documentary Award with Aphasia on his birthday. This documentary is a portrait of Mr. Zdzisław, who talks about his life and how it changed under the influence of Aphasia.

"I'm speechless!" said Laskowski, "The whole documentary festival is great, and my visit to China is amazing, and the award is like the peak of it." He also mentioned that the GZDOC and his visit here were inspiring, and he met many great people from around the world and built friendships with them.

Jakub Laskowski (L)

Moreover, this year's GZDOC featured an array of international forums, pitching sessions, and other activities, involving more than 1,000 institutions and over 4,000 professionals.

Vikram Channa Narayan from India, Vice President of Content & Products of East & Southeast Asia at Discovery Networks Asia Pacific, shared his thoughts on cooperating with Chinese producers to film the documentary Freeborn Land. The documentary tells the story of Chen Pu, who used to work in the chemical industry but then contracts a Gonggan (a type of mandarin) orchard in Deqing County, Zhaoqing City, Guangdong. This documentary explores the journey of mutual aid and symbiosis between life and land.

Narayan believes that such a story about farmers in the new age is a common topic both in China and India, and this documentary combines both Chinese and Indian perspectives. "I think what we've achieved is common learning of both civilizations around a common challenge that humanity faces," he said, "it's really phenomenal to bring these two great cultures together and show how they are approaching through their own filters."

Thomas Scott, Head of Development for International and Co-production, BBC Studios, also noted that he had fruitful and interesting conversations with broadcasters and platforms at the GZDOC, and he hopes to have more co-productions and projects come about as a result of visiting the festival.

"I have never been to China, Guangdong, or Guangzhou. It's a fabulous city, the skyline is amazing, and the people have been so welcoming," Scott furthered, "I'm thoroughly inspired to try and come back here and make some shows about the city."

Reporter | Monica, Holly

Editor | Olivia, James 

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