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Canadian producer finds Guangzhou International Documentary Film Festival ideal for connecting with industry experts

This year marks the fourth attendance of Paul Lewis, Conference Director of the World Congress of Science and Factual Producers from Canada, at the Guangzhou International Documentary Film Festival, China (GZDOC). The festival is celebrating its 20th anniversary and was inaugurated at the Guangzhou Cultural and Art Center on December 4 and will last until December 7.

As an old friend of the festival, Lewis remains deeply impressed by the rapid changes happening in China. "You know you can leave China for a month, and there are huge changes." He pointed out one particular change in this year's event: "International co-productions have once again become a priority in China."

Lewis explained that there is a dramatic shift in audience expectations around the world: "Audiences want bigger budget, high-end productions." The best way to achieve those goals is to cooperate and to collaborate. "So, I expect to see a lot more cooperation and collaboration between countries, between producers from different nations at this event," said Lewis. 

"It means that we get more diverse stories. We get access to more talent," Lewis added, "And there are so many untold stories in China, and so much great talent here."

Lewis said that the GZDOC is the longest running documentary festival in Asia for a reason: "It's a great, wonderful place to meet new people not just from China, but also from other parts of the world." 

The GZDOC is the only national-level professional documentary festival in China and the largest state-level documentary festival in Asia.

This year, the event features 7,280 documentaries from 156 countries and regions, including 3,234 film works from 58 Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) partner countries. The festival will host over 80 activities, involving more than 1,000 institutions and over 4,000 professionals.

Furthermore, the Golden Kapok Awards, a highlight of the documentary film festival, will announce its winners at the closing ceremony on December 7. Up to now, 45 excellent Chinese and international documentaries have entered the final evaluation.

Reporter | Monica, Holly, Zhou Cun, Guo Haoqi

Editor | Nan, James

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