At 1:30 PM April 17th, the blockbuster event of the Beijing International Film Festival (BJIFF) “Industry Conversation: Rise of Chinese Young Directors – Previous BJIFF Project Pitches Results Sharing” was held as scheduled in Beijing International Hotel. This session of Conversation specially reunited project directors participating in previous editions on the stage of the 9th BJIFF Beijing Market Industry Conversations to show their project pitches results, share their bitterness and joy in the course of growth, and discuss how the Project Pitches Platform will facilitate Chinese films in the future.
The Conversation was hosted by Ms. Chen Caiyun, Curator of the 1st-9th BJIFF Film Market. Guests present included Qiu Sheng, Director of Suburban Birds ranking Top 20 Works of the 7th BJIFF Project Pitches, Xu Xiangyun, Director of No Killing winning the Best Original Script Award of the 7th BJIFF Project Pitches, Gu Xiaogang, Director of Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains winning the Special Award of the 8th BJIFF Project Pitches, Liang Ming, Director of Under the Sun awarded the title of “Outstanding Pitching Project” of the 8th BJIFF Project Pitches, and Gexige Baoyin, Director of Harif ranking Top 20 Works of the 8th BJIFF Project Pitches. They talked about their courses of chasing dreams, with enthusiasm and passion.
Among their works, Under the Sun, Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains, No Killing and Harif have been completed with shooting. Suburban Birds has also shown up at international and domestic film festivals and won or been nominated several awards. It demonstrates that over recent years the BJIFF Project Pitches Platform has played an increasing role in incubating original films of young directors. More than 150 film projects have been facilitated by the training, introduction, exhibition and resources of the Platform and more than 30 young directors have been introduced to the international and domestic film markets. The Project Pitches always believes that a film’s artistic value is of equal importance to its commercial value. It aims to provide a platform of common exhibition for different film projects and talents, and support and encourage young directors in completing their original film projects.
At the beginning of the Conversation, the moderator Ms. Chen Caiyun played the retrospective films of the last-session Project Pitches and previous results clips, including Harif directed by Gexige Baoyin and Suburban Birds directed by Qiu Sheng. From writing to today’s filmic frames, those have always been with Project Pitches felt quite sympathetic.
Then the moderator invited the five directors onto the stage to talk about the reason why they chose their hometown as the shooting location for their directorial debut. Director Liang expressed that he cherished his memory of hometown’s taste. Director Xu said that for him it was cost saving to shoot a film in the hometown if only the tonalities between the two are consistent. And the drastic changes of hometown inspired Director Gu. Director Qiu divided his work into two parts, and finally he decided to shoot the hometown frames elsewhere.
After that, the directors introduced their debut films. Life, memory and hometown were all the sources of their inspiration. For ten years had Gexige Baoyin conceived a story he heard in his childhood. The story tells that a horse goes back home alone. Later all of them talked about their difficulties in financing at the project launch stage. They “swiped face” to raise money, and even borrowed money from loan sharks. But they still insisted on creating. Finally the moderator concluded that it was one’s persistence in dream that made him/her manage instead of family background or talent.
Followed was the Q&A session where the offstage shortlisted project parties of the 9th Project Pitches sought advice from the directors. And the directors shared without reserve their way of selecting and cooperating with sponsors as well as how they get along with actors. The moderator could not help but agreed that the directors had become more mature and sharper in looking at problems after their first, complete creation.
After the end of the Q&A session, the directors gave their blessings to the 9th pitching project parties.