The opening ceremony of the 19th Guangzhou International Documentary Film Festival, China (GZDOC)

The opening ceremony of the 19th Guangzhou International Documentary Film Festival, China (GZDOC)

This year, a total of 3,670 documentary films from 125 countries and regions have registered for the competition, which set a record.

All activities will be held online, including the opening and closing  ceremonies, the Golden Kapok Award Competiton, and GZDOC International Pitching Session.

Among them, the opening ceremony was released on Audio-Visual China and Youku video platforms. As the exclusive strategic video platform of the current festival, Youku will exclusively present the industry discussion forums, master classes and film screenings of the festival, and the related information will also be synchronized with WeChat public account and micro-blog and other media platforms to support online viewing by audiences all over the world, so as to benefit more documentary fans and practitioners.

A total of 218 applications from 35 countries and regions have been collected for GZDOC International Pitching Session. 45 domestic and international decision makers will be invited to select quality proposals , explore the Chinese story in the new era, promote international co-production, and truly promote "Chinese Story , International Communication". The conference will be held on the cloud to select excellent proposals, explore the new era of Chinese stories, promote international co-productions, and truly promote “the spread of Chinese stories internationally”.

Documentary film festival opening in the “cloud" builds  a highland for  international cooperation and exchange of documentaries

On April 15, documentary filmmakers all around the world gathered in the "cloud" to celebrate the ceremony of the 19th Guangzhou International Documentary Film Festival, China (GZDOC) . Video as a medium, Yangcheng as the stage, all these elements work together to build a platform for international cooperation and exchange of documentaries , and provide a wonderful audio-visual feast for the global audience.

After 19 years of hard work, Guangzhou International Documentary Film Festival, China (GZDOC) has repeatedly set new records in terms of the number of films invited, participating organizations, the level of attention, participating countries and regions worldwide. In addition, the festival has become the top professional documentary film festival in Asia. The film festival has such a wide influence in the world that it has become an important cultural window for the world to see China and China to see the world.

In an interview, Asian documentary master Kazuo Hara praised GZDOC for not only bringing together the best documentaries from around the world, but also  providing an opportunity for outstanding documentary filmmakers to exchange and discuss with each other to create the creative sparks. As a jury, Kazuo Hara also really enjoyed the discussion. He described GZDOC as a professional and academic "institute" with an international perspective.

In his opinion, the festival not only promotes the dissemination of excellent documentaries to benefit the public; it also integrates multiple platforms to provide professional help for young documentarians.

Global Industries develop together to promote the Chinese expression globally

Over the past 19 years since its establishment, China (Guangzhou) International Documentary Film Festival has adhered to the concept of government-led, market-led and industry-led, and insisted on professionalism, market orientation and globalization to tell China's story, spread China's voice and share China's wisdom.

"During the 13th Five-Year Plan period, China (Guangzhou) International Documentary Film Festival has attracted more than 14,000 exhibitors, and more than 2,600 Chinese and foreign organizations have reached an intended transaction amount of about 2.6 billion yuan, and has been recognized as a key national cultural export project by the Ministry of Commerce and other five ministries for three consecutive times. Among them, the "China Stories" International Pitching Session, as the characteristic "business card" of the festival, won international co-production financing or introduction opportunities for 35 documentary film proposals, which showed the Chinese style and Chinese demeanor in the field of world arts and culture, and became a major event in promoting documentary films. It has became an important platform for promoting international exchange and cooperation, promoting national culture and demonstrating cultural confidence.

China (Guangzhou) International Documentary Film Festival insists on telling Chinese stories, while providing an exchange and trading platform for outstanding foreign works, signing cooperation agreements with famous festivals such as Durban Film Market in South Africa, International Film and Video Exhibition in Italy, Sunshine International Documentary Festival in France, DMZ Korea International Documentary Film Festival and World Scientific Producers Conference; inviting top executives of global top broadcasters as international decision makers and forum guests, constantly developing international vision, bringing together a large number of high-quality international cultural resources to help international communication in the new era, creating a comprehensive and multi-level cultural exchange model, and providing new channels for Sino-foreign cultural exchange.

In the keynote forum themed "Reviewing the history of light and shadow for 100 years, multi-dimensional record of the journey of the times", industry guests shared how to tell the story of China with the spirit of documentary. According to Meng Xia, the general director and chief editor of "The Mountain River Years", documentaries should strive to use people as peaks, speak with people, move people with real details, and infect people with warm narratives. Sisi Xiao, chief director of the documentary "Common Pursuit - Stories of Democracy, Freedom and Human Rights" and deputy editor-in-chief of Xinhua News Agency Guangdong Branch, said that the documentary should explore more excellent stories and IPs with Chinese characteristics and Chinese wisdom, and move from "propaganda and teaching" to "exchange and mutual understanding" in terms of expression. The documentary should transform from "propaganda and teaching" to "exchange and mutual appreciation", and from spreading "Chinese symbols" to "Chinese values" in terms of content, so as to further explore "Chinese values". "Chinese values". Hua Dai, Vice President of Media Content and Original Content of Walt Disney (China) Co., Ltd, said that content creation needs to focus on topics of global common concern and be full of empathy.

Yi Han,   Yiqian Zhang and Jia Zhao, three renowned female producers at home and abroad, shared the problems and solutions they encounter when working as producers, and expressed their views on "Chinese and foreign co-production" in the live exchange. The event received nearly one million views. According to  Yiqian Zhang, it is sometimes easier for people with different cultural backgrounds to make films with universal feelings. Yi Han emphasized that there is a great need for the world to understand China, and for documentarians, telling the Chinese story is not just an empty phrase. Jia Zhao encouraged documentarians not to give up their creation and love, but to keep going.

Innovative festival and exhibition presentation to promote the development of documentary industry pattern extension

This year, the festival cooperated with video platforms to meet the audience in online format, including the opening and closing ceremonies, the Golden Kapok Outstanding Documentary Awards, and "China Stories" Pitching Session, to expand the dissemination channels and ways to bring documentaries into millions of households, upgrade the festival from a fixed location and time to a lasting industry event with global participation, and promote international exchange and cooperation.

The Industry Forum focused on annual hotspots and hot topics, and invited decision makers, directors and producers of internationally renowned documentary production and broadcasting platforms to gather in the "cloud" for live interaction, multi-dimensional discussions, and release the latest industry developments. Overseas documentary platforms such as BBC and National Geographic, and new media platforms such as Youku, Tencent, iQIYI, and Watermelon Video made an appearance, bringing new cooperation and strategies. Each platform introduced various cooperation methods in detail, discussed how to create new methods of content chain with product thinking, and shared with the industry the multiple core elements that drive young users to watch documentaries, such as how the platform can help the content and create a user-oriented documentary pattern.

For the first time, China (Guangzhou) International Documentary Film Festival adopted the format of festival preview live broadcast, and joined hands with Weibo Film and Film Industry Network to invite industry professionals to communicate with documentary film industry professionals and documentary film lovers online on the topic of "The Amazing Behind the Scenes". The total number of viewers is up to one million. In the directors' session, three famous documentary directors, Qi Zhao, Hao Zhou and Han Xiao, discussed "How is a documentary made?" From topic selection to character building, from directorship to creative boundaries, they provided inspiration for young documentarians and also showed the public the never-ending passion of documentary filmmakers.

As a result of the epidemic, many film festivals have launched the "Watch on the Cloud" section one after another. This year's China (Guangzhou) International Documentary Film Festival has selected a number of outstanding domestic and international documentary masterpieces to be screened on Youku, the exclusive video platform, so that more documentary lovers can watch the world in one place without leaving home. The online screening includes the new film "The Man and His Camera" by Dutch director Guido Hendrikx, who was nominated for the Best Documentary at the European Film Awards, and the Chinese-American co-production "Return to the Past". The public service documentary "Everything Will Be There" will also meet the audience online for the first time. Renowned documentary director Nengjie Jiang focused his camera on the group of "mentally challenged" and spent two years tracking and filming to truly record the daily life stories of the protagonists.

In addition, this year, for the first time, the Golden Kapok online selection system was used for the preliminary evaluation, re-evaluation and part of the final evaluation, and the online system worked well and the selection efficiency was improved. The re-evaluation is carried out in the form of "domestic films are selected using the online system and foreign films are selected in offline meetings", which further improves the efficiency of the selection and strengthens the communication with domestic and foreign jury members.

Integrate resources to form a synergy and build a documentary video aggregation platform for cultural tourism in the Greater Bay Area

With the gradual implementation of the blueprint plan of China's Greater Bay Area, the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area has received extensive international attention in recent years. This year's China (Guangzhou) International Documentary Film Festival introduced the data analysis of the Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao Greater Bay Area call for films, with a total of 111 works from seven cities - Hong Kong, Macau, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Foshan and Zhongshan - registered for the competition. The works reflect how the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area, as an important carrier for China to build a world-class city cluster and participate in global competition, and an important support area for the convergence of "The Belt And Road", has become a world-class bay area under the "One Country, Two Systems" and "China Model". Under the "One Country, Two Systems" and "China Model", it has become an international first-class bay area.

The documentary "No Poverty Land " produced by Hong Kong Television Broadcast Limited has been shortlisted for the final evaluation of the Golden Kapok Award of the China (Guangzhou) International Documentary Film Festival. Through the lenses and perspectives of Hong Kong compatriots, the film penetrates into the ten most representative deep poverty areas in China to explore and understand the national poverty alleviation policies and witness the results of poverty alleviation in the country. Also shortlisted for the final evaluation of the Golden Kapok Award, the Bay Area production is "We are young" directed by Gong Cheng.The director focuses his camera on the young and charming city of Shenzhen, restoring the dream journey of Shenzhen people and interpreting the new spirit of Shenzhen. The film "Interpretation of Images", directed by Kingyu Liu and shot by the creative force of Macau film and television, presents the history of Macau's screening industry over the past hundred years, from its birth, golden age, downturn to recovery, presenting the human face of the city in three dimensions from an interesting historical perspective.

The China (Guangzhou) International Documentary Film Festival has demonstrated China's style and Chinese demeanor in the world of arts and culture, and has become an important platform for promoting international exchanges and cooperation in documentary film, promoting national culture and demonstrating cultural self-confidence.

In 2021, the National Radio and Television Administration and the Guangdong Provincial Government included the China (Guangzhou) International Documentary Film Festival in the provincial-ministerial cooperation agreement, integrating the advantageous resources of both sides and jointly building an international and national professional This has given a strong impetus to the high-quality development of the festival.

With its strong authenticity, documentary film is becoming a bright spot for China in the cross-cultural communication context. The China (Guangzhou) National Documentary Film Festival fully embodies the role of communication bridge by promoting outstanding documentaries to the sea and enhancing the three-dimensional image of the Bay Area and Guangzhou. Discovery Media Group, a global leader in documentary entertainment content, presented "Exploring the Greater Bay Area", a program that not only clarified the layers and dimensions of the strategic significance of the Greater Bay Area, but also imaginatively and perceptively showed the open, inclusive and vibrant Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao Bay Area. While helping "China story, international communication", China (Guangzhou) International Documentary Film Festival is also trying to build a platform for documentary video aggregation in the Greater Bay Area. In terms of content support, it encourages the combination of documentary video production and cultural tourism projects, brings the concept of "exploration" from online to offline, makes the concept of "documentary +" more three-dimensional, brings better market prospects and predictability for documentary projects, and is conducive to the "blood building function" of the documentary industry. This will bring better market prospects and predictability for documentary projects, and help improve the "blood-making" function of the documentary industry.

In order to solidly promote the construction of a strong cultural province and earnestly implement the "Opinions on Promoting the High-Quality Development of Documentaries in the New Era" of the General Administration of Radio, Film and Television, the China (Guangzhou) International Documentary Film Festival officially launched the special activity "Guangdong Stories" documentary film incubation project in March, soliciting documentary film shooting proposals with temperature and vitality of Guangdong stories from documentary filmmakers all over the world, and inviting global guests to record the relatable and respectable people, the ever-changing development and the continuous inheritance of the cause in Southern Guangdong, presenting a three-dimensional Guangzhou and a three-dimensional Lingnan culture through the transmission of documentary images and the capture of cultural essence.