Chinese Students Produce Environmental Short Films

By Isabella Tianzi Cai

The Environment & Human Short Documentary Project is part of a national green project called “Qing Guo Qing Cheng Huan Jing Xin Guan Cha [Green Country Green City Environmental and Spiritual Observation].” The Project is organized and co-sponsored by the Society of Entrepreneurs and Ecology (SEE) Foundation, Beijing Indie Workshop (founded in 2005 by Zhang Xianmin), and the Tencent Company for Public Welfare in China this year. College students from roughly 200 Chinese colleges and universities were encouraged to participate in the project by submitting documentary proposals that investigate current environmental problems and seek innovative resolutions to them. Of the proposals, 20 were selected as finalists. These students were given free training in video filmmaking as well as a small fund to complete their documentaries. Seven documentaries were given special mention by the event organizers. Below is a list of four that received a special public screening at the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA) on November 9, 2010 in Beijing.

“The Summer of Nima” by JIANG Hua
(video available at sina.com)
Nima lives with his family deep in the mountains of Shangri-la in Yunnan. For centuries, they have been doing the family timber business. On one summer day, a group of outsiders entered their life, and nothing has been the same since then.

“River Keeper” by ZHONG Yanshan
Two homeless young men make a living by scavenging along the Xi’an Moat. Their life is full of plight and struggles.

“Complete Eggs” by CHEN Liang
(video available at sina.com)
In the Erguna River Valley in Inner Mongolia, villagers have a tradition of picking up fresh eggs laid by wild birds, but this is having a huge negative impact on the environment.

“Trash Demonstration Village” by ZHANG Hao
Many villagers living next to a huge hazardous landfill site in Heilongjiang are unhappy about their situation, but what can they do?

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