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Invitation to global Chinese youth directors: cross mountains and seas to realize dreams

With a total funding support of over 1.6 million yuan, the event invites Chinese youth filmmakers from around the world to participate in creating theme-based short films.

The 2023 Maritime Guangdong Young Director Support Program, organized by the Yangcheng Evening News, officially kicked off on April 25th, and is now open for online registration for Chinese youth directors around the world. With a focus on the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, the program aims to invite promising youth directors to inject new vitality into the local film industry. Each project can receive up to 200,000 yuan in funding.

The Greater Bay Area has a rich history in Chinese cinema, with its unique geographical and economic advantages, providing inspiration and nourishment for the country's film and television industry throughout the years.

The program, initiated by the Yangcheng Evening News, aims to support promising directors in the Greater Bay Area's film industry and promote the development of high-quality projects. The event is also expected to explore the international perspective of Lingnan culture through the eyes and creativity of the younger generation.

The event is supported by several Guangdong organizations, such as the Guangdong Film Association, Guangdong Photographers Association, and the Yangcheng Evening News. It consists of three parts - director recruitment, short film creation, and short film exhibition, and is expected to run from April to September.

Two competition sections for short film and microfilm

The program is calling for young Chinese directors worldwide, launching two competition sections. The first one is a theme-based short film competition, with a focus on the cultural heritage of overseas Chinese in the Greater Bay Area. This section aims to tell stories of the cultural connection between Guangdong and the world through films.

Guangdong has been a province with a rich history of maritime trade and immigration. Overseas Chinese and the Greater Bay Area are connected by a shared cultural identity and history. The program aims to seek out talented young filmmakers with unique perspectives on Lingnan culture and the cultural heritage of overseas Chinese in the GBA, supporting them in creating various types of short films such as drama, documentary, and animation. This competition aims to break new ground in the future of the Greater Bay Area's film culture and to present Lingnan culture to the world through a lens.

"Overseas Chinese culture is an essential part of Lingnan culture, and the history of overseas Chinese has greatly influenced the history of Guangdong and the Greater Bay Area at large. It is a valuable heritage of memories, and the history of Guangdong people's integration and contributions to the world is an indispensable chapter in world history," said Du Chuangui, Secretary of the CPC Committee and President of the Yangcheng Evening News. "Looking back at the classic works of the Greater Bay Area's film and television, there are many films depicting overseas Chinese, which has always been a specialty of Guangdong filmmakers. We hope that young creators can bring us refreshing narratives through film, while reinterpreting Lingnan culture through the theme of overseas Chinese and showcasing the international aspects of Lingnan culture. This is a challenging task that requires young directors to possess both humanistic ideas and a global vision." The Yangcheng Evening News will maximize its platform and brand advantages, aggregate cultural resources from the Greater Bay Area, and provide comprehensive support to young directors and their works in all aspects, including script writing, filming, distribution, and promotion.

Apart from financial support, the program will also invite senior directors, screenwriters, film critics, and cultural scholars to form a mentor evaluation committee to interact with young directors and help them explore more creative possibilities.

Six young directors will be selected from the participants for the maximum support funding of 200,000 yuan. After the completion of the short films, there will be awards for best director, best creative, and international communication.

To expand the scope of support, the competition has also launched a second section, the "Walking Towards Mountains and Seas" microfilm/short film competition, which is also themed around overseas Chinese culture and is open to young filmmakers and college students worldwide. Outstanding creators will enter the Greater Bay Area's young film and television professional pool and receive awards ranging from 1,000 to 10,000 yuan.

Supporting young directors to present films globally

Short films that receive financial support and prizes from the program will be eligible to participate in this year's short film exhibition in September. The Yangcheng Evening News (YCWB) will join hands with partners in the Greater Bay Area and overseas to create a global tour stage for screening and communication for young directors, helping them to gain their "first audience" in the global presentation of their works.

"The film exhibition will consist of online and offline sections. We will cooperate with mainstream video websites and social media at home and abroad to facilitate the exposure and discussion of excellent works across regions and borders without time limits. The offline screening will include short film screenings, director meet-and-greet sessions, and cultural exhibitions, offering a visual culture feast for audiences at home and abroad. It will also promote exchanges and dialogues between young directors and professionals in the film and television industry to effectively expand the development space of young directors." According to Sun Chaofang, chief planner of the program and editor-in-chief of YCWB, the highlight of this year's exhibition is the overseas offline screening. The Yangcheng Evening News will join hands with Kwanteo Time-based Art Institution to promote short films to overseas Chinese communities and individuals in countries and regions with high-quality curation standards, connecting the inner intersection and emotional resonance of the Chinese worldwide through short films.

The first stop of the overseas event will be Southeast Asian countries. As of now, the organizers have reached cooperation intentions with local government departments, universities, film and television companies, and Chinese associations in Thailand, Singapore, and Malaysia to facilitate the screening and communication of short films in major cities in Southeast Asia.

Exploring the Lingnan culture to find international perspectives of it

The GBA has unique film and cultural resources, with stars both on and off the screen, and has given birth to numerous commercial and artistic masterpieces that are well-known both domestically and abroad. In recent years, the creative production capacity of the GBA's film industry has continued to improve, and the Guangdong film market has long ranked first in the country in terms of market size, with the research, development and application of film technology at the forefront of the country. The program will explore, guide, and support outstanding young directors to contribute to the film industry in the Greater Bay Area.

"When we emphasize the films of the Greater Bay Area, we are not just labeling the films, but hoping to enhance our cultural characteristics and promote our artistic style from a cultural and geographical perspective. We expect more distinctive films from the Greater Bay Area to present the unique features of Lingnan," said Xiao Xiaoqing, deputy chairman of the Guangdong Film Association. Xiao added that the first step for all successful directors is to make short films, and the program focuses on supporting short film creation. Young directors can fully tap and display their personal style, narrative ability, and artistic aesthetics within a limited time, laying the foundation for making feature films in the future. As a guiding institution of this event, the Guangdong Film Association will engage in professional guidance and work review, and provide industry resources and support for young directors with the potential to make long films.

The 2023 Maritime Guangdong Young Director Support Program is leading the charge in discovering the Lingnan culture, and the Yangcheng Evening News is at the forefront of this exploration. In the age of social media, short videos have become one of the most important means of content production and dissemination, and the Yangcheng Evening News has been focusing on this area for some time. However, creating short films requires even higher standards for content production than short videos. The program features young directors as the main creative force, with the Yangcheng Evening News as the producer. This project explores the path to creating high-quality short films, leading the "high-quality development" of cultural content production, and shaping a new cultural communication environment. Based on the international communication matrix of Lingnan on the Cloud, it collaborates with overseas Chinese-language media, local mainstream media, social networks, and other platforms to promote the culture of southern China to the rest of the world. With these efforts, the Yangcheng Evening News is making a significant contribution to the cultural strength of Guangdong and China.

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Source | ycwb.com

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