Los Angeles, CA — 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 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.”
CNEX is the short form of “Chinese Next” and “See Next”. It’s a non-profit foundation devoted to the production and promotion of documentaries of the Chinese people. CNEX strives to facilitate cultural exchange between Chinese and the rest of the world through supporting documentaries depicting contemporary Chinese – people of Chinese ethnicity, their living and their society.
CNEX aspires to become a platform supporting Chinese documentary filmmakers to enhance a sustainable strategy for the contemporary Chinese documentary making. CNEX aims to establish and develop a library of global Chinese non-fiction works to preserve visuals and cultures of Chinese communities, especially in a time of unprecedented and rapid changes happening in this ancient culture.
Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program
The Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program provides year-round support to nonfiction filmmakers worldwide. The program advances innovative nonfiction storytelling about a broad range of contemporary social issues, and promotes the exhibition of documentary films to audiences. Through the Sundance Documentary Fund, the Documentary Edit and Story Laboratory, Composers + Documentary Laboratory, Creative Producing Lab, as well as the Sundance Film Festival, the Sundance Creative Producing Summit and a variety of partnerships and international initiatives, the program provides a unique, global resource for contemporary independent documentary film. www.sundance.org/documentary
Founded by Robert Redford in 1981, Sundance Institute is a global, nonprofit cultural organization dedicated to nurturing artistic expression in film and theater, and to supporting intercultural dialogue between artists and audiences. The Institute promotes independent storytelling to unite, inform and inspire, regardless of geo-political, social, religious or cultural differences. Internationally recognized for its annual Sundance Film Festival and its artistic development programs for directors, screenwriters, producers, film composers, playwrights and theatre artists, Sundance Institute has nurtured such projects as Born into Brothels, Trouble the Water, Son of Babylon, Amreeka, An Inconvenient Truth, Spring Awakening, Light in the Piazza and Angels in America. Join Sundance Institute on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.