News & Events

Screening of 2019 “Looking China Youth Film Project” Was Held at BNU

On July 7, the Screening of 2019 “Looking China Youth Film Project” was held at Beijing Normal University. The 2019 "Looking China" Project lasted 90 days from the launch ceremony on April 9 to the film show on July 7, bringing together 102 young foreign directors from 42 universities in 38 countries and presenting 102 short documentaries.


The annual theme of "Looking China" in 2019 is "Moment, Season, Time". A saying in Analects of Confucius goes: The Master standing by a stream, said, "Time passes on just like this, not ceasing day or night!" This is a profound understanding of Confucius on the passage of time. In a deeper sense, “Moment, Season, Time” is a theme of Chinese people's handling of culture and life, ecology and nature, that is, the relationship between man and man, man and heaven and earth. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. At this special time node, "Looking China" welcomes young international directors to present their own profound understanding of China's "time" concept.

Follow the track of Chengdu-Chongqing Railway, the first railway built after the founding of the People’s Republic of China, and walk across the magnificent Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge; from Sichuan giant pandas, see the Taiji diagram that perfectly combines stillness and movement, and listen to the echoes of 38 years in the bell tower of the Bund customs house. A professor known as "Western Red Candle", who has been teaching in Xi 'an for more than 60 years, still insists on teaching undergraduates. A veteran selling newspapers on Harbin's Central Street tells about the history of the flood control monument. The memorial ceremony of Confucius in Qufu, Shandong, has been going on for thousands of years. The song and dance of Wulanmuqi in Otog has been going on since 1959. The little girl in Yushu, Qinghai grew up in 9 years after the earthquake, while the Shougang Park, which has been shut down for 14 years, will be rejuvenated in 3 years….Under the guidance of the annual theme of "Moment, Season, Time", international young directors explore Chinese stories about "time" and watch the dialectical thinking of Chinese civilization on the concept of time, especially the changes of the times and historical achievements of the Chinese society since the founding of the People’s Republic of China 70 years ago, as well as the cultural concepts, customs and values behind such thinking.

All the works of this "Looking China" Project will be shown to the world through the Internet and overseas exhibitions, and the international influence of Chinese culture will be expanded through participation in international competitions, international exhibitions, evaluation of works for "Golden Lenses" Award and other follow-up activities.


6 representative works were presented in this film show, namely:

“Looking China,Shandong Tour”——Indian director Pragadeesh Marimuthu’s work “Unbroken Wheels”, which follows the story and dream of a 49-year-old disabled cyclist.

 “Looking China,Chongqing Tour”——Young Italian director Andrea Vallero’s work “Jiao Tong Tea House”, which examines the various life styles from the tea house.

“Looking China,Qinghai Tour”——Israeli director Or Itzhak Ben Zrihen’s work “Eye In The Wild”, which follows Ge Yushu, an “antelope waiting man” on the Qinghai Lake.

“Looking China,Inner Mongolia Tour”——South Korean young director Seenae Choi (Sarah)’s work, "Big Scissors Small Scissors", which examines the daily life of female paper-cutting artists by interviewing the grandmother and her granddaughter, two female artists devoted to promoting traditional culture.

“Looking China,Shaanxi Tour”——Sri Lankan director Hewa Madduma Di Lina Jana Dith Nawarathne’s work “Simple i”, which attempts to see life from Buddhist classics in ancient temples of Xi’an.

“Looking China,Beijing Tour”——U.S. director Bricen Allen Standish’s work “The Egg” which expresses the architectural beauty and human concerns of the National Grand Theater from his novel perspective.





Jacob Haselkorn, senior advisor of CCTV English News Channel, and Xiang Yunju, distinguished professor of Beijing Normal University, vice-chairman and secretary-general of the Chinese Literature and Art Foundation and vice-chairman of the Chinese Literature and Art Critics Association, commented on the six "Looking China" films on the spot.

Jacob Haselkorn stated that all the films shown were impressive, presenting various aspects of the Chinese society. Mr. Jacob noted that he has been deeply attracted and hoped to watch more "Looking China" films soon after he heard about the "Looking China Youth Film Project". He believed that short documentaries are a good cultural carrier suitable for network communication, helping people from different countries and regions to share information and culture with each other. He hoped that the directors of "Looking China" would continue to engage in similar activities and that "Looking China" would do better and better.



Jacob Haselkorn Made On-site Comments


Xiang Yunju believed that the films shown the day were only a microcosm of 2019 “Looking China” films, and many other artistic and experimental films were equally excellent. To every "Looking China" event, young directors from excellent colleges all over the world are invited to carry out cultural exchange activities with the support of domestic hosts. Cultural exchange and communication behind the "Looking China" films are even more important. The significance and value of "Looking China" Project in education have not been fully explored and understood, and its educational philosophy, achievements and practices merit in-depth observation.



Xiang Yunju Made On-site Comments


Next, Dov Boris Steuer, the foreign advisor of “Looking China, Qinghai Tour”, and the professor from Tel Aviv University in Israel, Dr. Cecilia Antakly De Mello, the foreign advisor of "Looking China, Inner Mongolia Tour " and a teacher from the School of Arts and Media of Sao Paulo University in Brazil, and Geoffrey Wilson Poister, the foreign advisor of “Looking China, Beijing Tour” and professor at Boston University, shared their experiences and thoughts on the "Looking China" trips.

Dov Boris Steuer recalled the screening held in Qinghai a few days ago in a building of ethnic style. Today, the "Qinghai Tour", "Inner Mongolia Tour" and "Beijing Tour" teams enjoyed excellent films together, which are all related to the culture and history of Chinese society and tell about the happiness and kindness of Chinese people. Professor Dov believed that Chinese culture is very different from Israeli culture, so it is even more necessary to have personal experience to realize cultural blending. The "Looking China" event enables international youth not only to "see" China, but also to visit more people and talk with them through filming, realizing cultural exchange in this process.

Cecilia Antakly De Mello said hello in Chinese and briefly introduced "Looking China, Inner Mongolia Tour ". She believed that she had gained a lot of care and friendship during the whole "Looking China" event, which helped them to create the film. Dr. Cecilia said frankly that she likes China very much and is willing to continue to explore Chinese culture in China.

As an advisor to "Looking China" for the sixth time, Geoffrey Poister recalled his feelings and experience when he participated in the "Looking China" Project for the first time, marveling at the booming of the Chinese society. He thinks that every time he takes part in "Looking China", he can get a deeper understanding. This year's annual theme calls for international young directors to look back at the Chinese history and to observe the Chinese society in depth, as well as the traditional culture and philosophies contained therein. He drew on the example of the creation experience of “The Egg” filmed in “Beijing Tour” to encourage young directors to capture the real and sensible stories taking place at present, so as to understand the deeper meaning behind Chinese culture.

At the film show, "Looking China" special book Experiencing China: Looking China Youth Film Project, was introduced. This book is the fourth special book published after People-to-people Bond: “Belt & Road” Looking China Youth Film Project, People-to-people Bond: “BRICS” Looking China Youth Film Project, and Impression on Reform and Opening-up: Looking China Youth Film Project. The book brings together experience and perception and documentary videos of the 508 international young people and 32 international teachers participating in Looking China. The Information Office of the State Council selected the book as a special book for the "Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations" and presented it at the meeting on May 15.



The "Looking China Youth Film Project" is a cultural experience and film creation project sponsored by BNU Huilin Culture Foundation and BNU Academy for International Communication of Chinese Culture. It has been held for nine sessions so far, attracting 610 young people from 77 universities and colleges in 60 countries including the United States, Canada, Britain, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Georgia, India, Singapore, South Korea, Israel, Australia, Brazil and Argentina. 609 short films have been created, winning more than 100 international awards.

"Looking China" is a practice of the “Third Pole Culture” theory put forward by Professor Huang Huilin, Dean of the Academy for International Communication of Chinese Culture. The theory of “Third Pole Culture” holds that the world culture today is becoming diversified. Among the great variety of cultural styles, the mainstream cultures can be generally considered to have three poles from the perspective of influence. Chinese culture, American culture and European culture respectively represent one "pole" in the current diversified world culture. Through cultural exchanges and cooperation, the three pole cultures jointly lead the development of world culture and achieve the vision that “appreciate the culture/values of others as do to one's own, and the world will become a harmonious whole; everybody cherishes his or her own culture/values, and if we respect and treasure other's culture/values, the world will be a harmonious one.” Through the project, young people in the world eventually spread the Chinese culture they experience to all parts of the world through films, building bridges for international youth and realizing cultural communication.