Stories Never End, Spirits Never Fade—Beijing 2022 Expert Seminar under Everlasting BJIFF Successfully Concluded
On September 8, 2023, an expert seminar on Beijing 2022, the official documentary film of the Beijing 2022, part of the Everlasting BJIFF series organized by the Organizing Committee of Beijing International Film Festival (BJIFF) and Beijing Cultural Investment Holdings Co., Ltd., was successfully held at Beijing Radio & Television Station. Tan Zheng, editor-in-chief of Film Art and a researcher at the Film Art Center of CFLAC, moderated the seminar, while Rao Shuguang, President of the China Film Critics Association, Hu Zhifeng, Director of the Academic Committee of Chinese Collegial Association for Visual Art, Li Daoxin, Vice Dean at the School of Arts, Peking University, He Suliu, Deputy Director of the Faculty of Journalism and Communication, Communication University of China, Zhang Wei, Executive Vice President of the China Film Critics Association, and Cui Yan, Director of the BJIFF Operations Center of Beijing Radio & Television Station, attended the event as panelists. In addition, Lin Lingsi, Chief of the General Affairs Division, Media and Communications Department, Beijing Organising Committee for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (BOCWOG), Zhang Jing, Deputy Director of the Film and Television Division of Publicity Department of Beijing Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China, Hao Jie, Deputy Director of the BJIFF Operation Center of Beijing Radio & Television Station, as well as Gao Qi, Cai Min, and Wang Jingyi, representatives of the Promotion and Distribution Team of Beijing 2022, were also present at the seminar.
Poster of Beijing 2022 Expert Seminar
Beijing 2022, the official documentary film of the Beijing 2022 and the opening film of the 13th BJIFF, witnesses three years of efforts in planning and shooting and was screened on May 19, 2023 in the Chinese Mainland. The film records glittering moments and touching stories of participants in Beijing 2022, in or out of competition venues, fighting for their dreams and yearning for their friendship, and also the glories of Beijing 2022 “together for a shared future”. Over a year after Beijing 2022, in the face of the declining trend of the Games, the limitations of documentaries in the market and commercial perspectives, and the merging excellent works following the full recovery of China's film market, the Promotion and Distribution Team made all the strengths to bring it to the audience. The film recorded over 30 million yuan at the box office, among the top ten of the box office list of Chinese documentaries. The spirit of Beijing 2022 is fully and thoroughly embodied in the film and also all aspects in its production, promotion, and distribution, which will never stop with the perpetual spirit of Beijing 2022.
In preparation for the opening ceremony of the 19th Asian Games Hangzhou 2022, the director Lu Chuan had a talk with panelists online. He was moved about this film, "This is a project in the limelight. In the three years of shooting, we overcame massive difficulties. As a movie director and professional filmmaker, I am proud that we have such a work, and I believe that the coming years will prove its value. I am grateful to the Promotion and Distribution Team for their support with the spirit of Beijing 2022, fighting for every moment in each city and each school, which contributes to this marvel. I hope that this film will be an opportunity for spreading the Chinese culture and telling Chinese stories to the world."
Rao Shuguang, President of the China Film Critics Association, researcher, and doctoral supervisor
Rao Shuguang, President of the China Film Critics Association, researcher, and doctoral supervisor, fully recognized director Lu Chuan and the creation team. He said, “What most amazes us in a sports-themed film is the sport itself, the beauty it brings, and the 'climax' it creates. This film shows us the full charm of beauty in sports and the sense of tension, pressure, breakthrough, and achievement that sports bring to people, which is the realm that both the official film for Beijing 2022 and other sports-themed films should reach. The film itself is an art of movement, and only in the way of films can this movement be brought into full play to the acme. Director Lu Chuan is good at shaping characters, which are designed with ultimate tension. The international communication narrative is a proposition of grand meaning. For accurate application, the focus should be put on 'characters', especially the 'small potatoes'. The core of a film is to truly shape and portray character. I hope that through the continuous promotion of this official film, the Olympic legacy could be truly integrated in people’s daily lives and change our ideas on future life to some extent in our pursuit of a better life."
Hu Zhifeng, Director of the Academic Committee of Chinese Collegial Association for Visual Art and professor at School of Arts and Communication, Beijing Normal University
Hu Zhifeng, director of the Academic Committee of Chinese Collegial Association for Visual Art and professor at School of Arts and Communication, Beijing Normal University said, "Beijing 2022 shocks us in three ways. The first is 'difficult'. It is based on cases and true stories material, and in history we have never promoted to theaters and markets any film of this theme, hence the great difficulty. The second is 'heavy'. That is the significance and importance. The third is 'accurate'. Director Lu Chuan took pains in every detail of the film even down to the subtle expressions of each actor. The film also shows three styles, namely, Chinese style, Beijing style and Olympic style. Throughout the preparation of Beijing 2022, the resolution of difficulties embodies our wisdom. From the presence of national leaders, to the opening ceremony directed by Zhang Yimou, and then the delivery boy, hairdresser and other ordinary people, we feel the enthusiasm of Beijing, the capital of history, to embrace the Games. The participants from each country, including the organizers of the Games, for the pursuit of the Olympic spirit of being faster, higher, stronger, fully reflect the Olympic style. As a collection of the Games, an education material for young people, or for communication and publicity, Beijing 2022 is a very special and meaningful practice worth our efforts in various efforts."
Li Daoxin, Vice Dean at the School of Arts, Peking University and distinguished professor of Cheung Kong Scholar Program
Li Daoxin, Vice Dean at the School of Arts, Peking University and distinguished professor of Cheung Kong Scholar Program, held "In terms of audio-visual, the film features a perfect combination of visual and auditory feast, with a high level of production and fine artistic quality. In terms of content, it's not just talking about the Olympics itself, but about the transformation of time and space, and the fusion between the heaven and the earth, as well as the landscapes and people of various countries and regions, especially China and its capital – Beijing. In terms of character shaping, every word, every line, every figure, and every detail have their own unique connotations and messages. In terms of value development, it is highly elaborate, delicate and exquisite as it conveys the idea about the future, integrating the value of Beijing 2022, the memories of Beijing, and the image of a great nation."
He Suliu, Deputy Director of the Faculty of Journalism and Communication, Communication University of China, Director of the China Documentary Research Center, professor, and doctoral supervisor
He Suliu, Deputy Director of the Faculty of Journalism and Communication, Communication University of China, Director of the China Documentary Research Center, professor, and doctoral supervisor, told us his opinions about this film. “I can feel the director's ideas from this film that he is able to capture the relationships and true hearts of people with a lot of details and to present exceptional sound effects. I think the journey of realizing a dream is very wonderful, and such spirit of fighting for dreams is something that is parallel to that from sports. Each character is a shining star in this film. Documentary is designed to respect human nature and the subjects with great sincerity, dedication, recording skills and dissemination. Therefore, we need to stay true to the original for promotion in order to impress the audience. I hope that this film will gain more popularity and more success in the promotion and distribution in the future.”
Zhang Wei, Executive Vice President of and research at the China Film Critics Association
Zhang Wei, Executive Vice President of and research at the China Film Critics Association. Said, “The workload for shooting this film is too tense for a limit of time, lack of sufficient manpower, and heavy tasks. While retaining the spirit of patriotism, it highlights the position and height of a community with a shared future for mankind, with equal stress on patriotism and human values. Despite the basic shooting skills of documentary, original sounds and interviews on site are more widely used, showing strong objectivity and higher attractiveness, thus the perfect combination of documentary style and artistic expression. From the perspective of philosophy and art, we can clearly feel the dualistic philosophy of Taoism and the strenuous efforts in artistic expression, which objectively and realistically expresses the grandeur of a Chinese sports blockbuster.”
Cui Yan, Director of the BJIFF Operations Center of Beijing Radio & Television Station and Executive Deputy Director of the BJIFF Organizing Committee Office
Cui Yan, Director of the BJIFF Operations Center of Beijing Radio & Television Station and Executive Deputy Director of the BJIFF Organizing Committee Office, said, “At this year's BJIFF, adhering to our responsibility and commitment to history, we were particularly determined to invite Beijing 2022 as the opening film, and we were also willing to dedicate the resources of each department to support its promotion and distribution and mobilize all media coverage. We all know that Beijing 2022 faced a lot of objective difficulties and challenges in promotion and distribution, but we also saw that the Promotion and Distribution Team paid constant efforts in targeted promotion activities, such as campus screenings, in a bid to each higher earnings at box office, which reflected their enthusiasm and persistence in spreading the spirit of the Games. BJIFF will continue the promotion with Beijing Cultural Investment Holdings Co., Ltd., and give a top priority to Beijing 2022 for overseas promotion, when the world will witness the great quality of our Chinese sports-themed documentaries. We will unswervingly support Beijing 2022, and we can definitely do better in the future!”
Tan Zheng, editor-in-chief of Film Art and a researcher at the Film Art Center of CFLAC
Tan Zheng, editor-in-chief of Film Art and a researcher at the Film Art Center of CFLAC, said, “Beijing 2022 is a humanistic documentary of an international event, far beyond an official documentary, and even further beyond a sports documentary. Lu Chuan’s idea is clearly embodied as he combines skills of feature films and film content, with breakthroughs in the structure and fine quality in the production. With a poetic sense of beauty in images, the film is filled with wonderful moments and clever strokes, such as landing, failure, and happiness, all of which reflect exquisite traditional culture of China. The local traditional symbols like as lanterns, paper cuts and other urban icons are cleverly spread to the society. From the view the spirit of the Olympics, the creation and distribution marked a great success to interpret and publicize the spirit of Olympics.”
Lin Lingsi, Chief of the General Affairs Division, Media and Communications Department, Beijing Organising Committee for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (BOCWOG)
Lin Lingsi, Chief of the General Affairs Division, Media and Communications Department, Beijing Organising Committee for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (BOCWOG), was very excited, “This is the best official Olympics-themed film in for me personally, and I'm very proud of it because it not only documents the unity and hard work in organizing and hosting the Games, but also shows the perseverance and determination of team overcoming difficulties and challenges in this process. This film is the fulfillment of our commitment to the Olympics and the achievement of our promise to the teams of the Games. It documents this history and shares it with more audience through constant distribution. I'm honored to have been a part of it, and I'm grateful to all the teachers for their guidance and help during the process. I also would like to thank the Promotion and Distribution Team for their joint efforts.
Cai Min, Executive Deputy General Manager of Beijing Cultural Investment Holdings Co., Ltd. said, "The distribution of Beijing 2022 is about returning to the value of quality itself and bringing valuables to those in need of this film. In the past six months of continuous output, integration, seeking directions and targeted groups, and adjusting the focus of work, the Promotion and Distribution Team has also been practicing the spirit of Beijing 2022. We don't know when the distribution will end and how much we will achieve it comes to an end, but we want to continue to pass on the spirit of sports, the spirit of Olympics and the spirit of Beijing 2022 in more specific ways."
Through in-depth talks at the seminar, more specialized opinions and orientations were clarified for the promotion and distribution of Beijing 2022 in the future. It is the responsibility of every filmmaker to pass on Chinese culture and promote the spirit of the Games. We wish Beijing 2022 greater success in the future and hope that it can shape a greater image of China as a responsible power and tell Chinese stories well to the whole world.