Youth play key role in boosting Chinese films through hard work
Published: May 03, 2023 11:09 PM
Illustration: Liu XiangYa/Global Times

Illustration: Liu XiangYa/Global Times

 The 30th Beijing College Student Film Festival will come to a close during a ceremony for the May 4 Youth Festival on Thursday.

As a cradle of young filmmakers in China, the festival has been encouraging and supporting young people for the past 30 years. 

The young filmmakers' productions demonstrate the creativity and tenacity of Chinese youths, which are essential characteristics for boosting Chinese films and the country's cultural prosperity. Since 1993, the festival has recommended many films that reflect the times and passion of young people. 

More than 1 million Chinese college students have participated in the festival since its inception in 1993. In 2023, 31 diverse and creative films out of more than 200 domestic entrees were nominated. 

At the closing ceremony to be held on Thursday night, the films, scriptwriters, directors and actors that are most favored by college students will be revealed. 

As the Chinese saying goes, "One should establish himself at the age of 30." Over the past three decades, the festival has trained young talent in film making and witnessed China's film development. 

Many of today's mainstay directors and actors got their start at the festival, which has persisted in artistic independence, creation and noninterference from commercial interests. 

"I started to direct in 1993, the year the festival was established. Now that it is 30, that means I have been directing for 30 years," famous Chinese director Feng Xiaogang said at the festival. 

As the most-awarded director at the festival, Feng noted that college students are the main audience for films and that he is proud that his films have been "recognized and accepted" by young audiences. 

At present, many young actors are taking the lead in Chinese films. At the just-concluded 13th Beijing International Film Festival, German director and screenwriter Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck said the Chinese actor he wanted to cooperate with the most was Jackson Yee, as Yee's acting in the film Nice View impressed him very much. 

"Yee can go very far as he is still very young," noted von Donnersmarck.

In addition to film screenings, the festival has also paid great attention to theoretical discussions. At the seminars and forums, young filmmakers debated about avant-garde topics and communicated with scholars. 

Meanwhile, filmmakers also took the opportunity to come face to face with the young men and women full of potential to listen to their in-depth feedbacks. 

Chinese films require the attention, concern and support of college students. 

The festival was born during a low tide in Chinese film history, a period when the market saw deteriorating quality and loss of audiences to overseas films led by Hollywood. 

Under these circumstances, the festival committed itself to the goal of raising Chinese cultural confidence and guiding the direction of the film industry. 

All the films awarded over the years have shown the spirit of Chinese culture by encouraging Chinese aesthetic awareness and ways of expressions, and rejecting commercial and over-Westernized fast-food films. 

Thanks to the hard work of Chinese film makers, especially young creators, the past 30 years have seen Chinese films rise and prosper. 

They have refined and shown the essence of Chinese culture, and produced quite a number of excellent films, achieving the vision of telling good Chinese stories and making China's voice heard. 

As a Chinese scholar once said, "When the young are strong, the country is strong." Only hard work and devotion to the country can make one's youth memorable. 

The young generation is better informed and have active minds, and their cultural confidence is increasing. So young filmmakers should make full use of their time to learn professional knowledge and techniques, gain practical experience and create new ideas. 

Youth people carry our hopes. 

As long as young filmmakers take the lead, set lofty goals and forge ahead, they will achieve their dream of boosting Chinese films as well as the overall cultural industry.