Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program wraps up in China

The Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program | CNEX Workshop and Documentary Summit in Beijing end today, following four days (March 14-19) of programming designed to nurture documentary storytelling and encourage the diverse exchange of ideas. Ten Chinese documentary project teams from mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan participated in the program, having been invited by DFP and CNEX staff.

The three-day Workshop began with a half-day orientation session and informal dinner hosted by CNEX. The 10 documentary project teams participated in one-to-one creative feedback meetings, pitch sessions and small-group discussions with international advisors about their film projects each morning, followed by presentations, panels and productive discussions for larger audiences of artists, film professionals, broadcasters, educators, cultural leaders and stakeholders in the afternoon. Each evening, the filmmakers attended networking receptions and dinners with the broader Beijing cultural and diplomatic communities, as well as film screenings featuring work by participating Advisors, including Robb Moss (SECRECY), Jean Tsien (MUSIC FROM THE HEART), Arthur Dong (HOLLYWOOD CHINESE), Ruby Yang (THE BLOOD OF THE YINGZHOU DISTRICT)  and Andrea Meditch (BUCK).

Following the Workshop, the first-ever Documentary Summit was a one-day schedule of panel discussions on topics of direct relevance to Chinese documentary filmmakers, such as crowd funding and international best practices. More than 150 people participated, including bloggers, filmmakers, representatives from CCTV and scholars. A networking reception in the evening further fostered relationships among members of the Chinese and international filmmaking communities.

“Documentary storytelling is a global phenomenon, and cinematic documentary in China is at an exciting stage of evolution. Our hope is to further encourage and support that work,” said Cara Mertes, Director of the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program and Fund. “In our second Beijing workshop with CNEX, we provide a platform for the tremendous array of talented Chinese filmmakers to connect with each other and consider how they can best tell their stories, in their own ways.”