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Since 1983 when "Strange Friend" by Xu Lei from Department of Directing won the special award of 33rd West Berlin International Film Festival, graduates of Beijing Film Academy have tried various types and themes on behalf of the Chinese film industry at the Berlin Film Festival. In 1988, Zhang Yimou from School of Photography won the 38th West Berlin International Film Festival Golden Bear Award with "Red Sorghum", Wu Ziniu from Department of Directing won Silver Bear Award, special award of the 39th West Berlin International Film Festival with "Evening Bell", Prof. Xie Fei from Department of Directing won the 40th Berlin International Film Festival Silver Bear Award with "This Animal Year", that is to say, alumni of the academy have won three Berlin Film Festival Golden Bear Silver Bear Awards for three consecutive years, and later teachers and students from Beijing Film Academy have won more than ten Berlin Film Festival awards until now. Director Xie Fei became the first Chinese director to win the Berlin Film Festival Golden Bear ("Soul Girl") and Silver Bear Awards ("This Animal Year") at the Berlin Film Festival.


In 2017, the performance of graduates on behalf of the Chinese film industry at the Berlin Film Festival was also stunning, Have a Nice Day, the first Chinese language animated film nominated for the three major international film festivals in Europe is produced by Yang Cheng, a graduate from Department of Screenwriting and Film Studies. Ghost in the Mountain, the film nominated for the panorama section was directed and screen written by Yang Heng from School of Photography, in his team, Bi Shanyi, the producer, Yangcheng, the executive producer, Lou Kun, the recording recording guide graduated from Beijing Film Academy. Foolish Bird by Huang Ji from Department of Screenwriting and Film Studies was nominated for the 2017 Berlin Film Festival Generation Kplus and gains the jury special award.   

 

                                 (Posters of "Have a Good Day", "Ghost in the Mountain", "Foolish Bird" at Berlin Film Festival)


The production team of "Foolish Bird" was excited when they received the award and the two directors thanked the film festival judges.

The following was the evaluation of the film in the award speech by the panel of judges


The panel of judges presented the special award to "Foolish Bird". The mysterious atmosphere of the film has been haunting the minds of the audience. The film explores the relationship between people, how people try to find a path for interpersonal communication in a world filled with modern communication tools that separate us. The film is characterized by its exquisite arrangement, the intentionally neglected content, as well as the outstanding performance of Yao Honggui, the actress from China.

   

                                                                         (Berlin Film Festival official media manual pages)


The new film by the couple of Huang Ji and Ryuji Otsuka tells a story about loneliness. The protagonist of the film is a 16-year-old girl living in a small town, her mother works outside all year around, she tries to study in a police school, but she was bullied by her classmates. She stole the mobile phone of the girl who bullies her and gives it to her friend Meizi as a gift. Driven by the instigation of Meizi, Lin Sen begins to steal mobile phones and Meizi sold the mobile phones to men she does not know, the two do a new hairstyle with the money they earned from selling mobile phones and are inebriated by the hair stylist, waking up, Lin Sen cannot contact Meizi and she has to sell mobile phones alone. One day she meets Da Wei from the same school and Da Wei brings her the cruelest first…


The film depicts the mental distance between young people and adults, they cannot feel each other, and do not want to perceive each other because adults and children are more focused on their own lives, that is why Lin Sen seeks for the support from strangers and interacts with them, but eventually she realized that she cannot rely on others. The dense forest in Anhua, Huaian, the foggy environment and the rainy weather bring a romantic atmosphere to the film and uncertainty to the path of life of the protagonist, so that the audience has always been concerned about the choice of the 16-year-old girl.


Co-made by Longji Pictures (Beijing) Culture Co., Ltd., and Kuli Film Company, and produced by Chen Zhenzhen, supervised by Xu Xiaoming, director of Sliver Bear Award gainers "Seventeen-year-old Bicycle", and "Love You Love Me", shot by Ryuji Otsuka, the film invites Liao Qingsong as the editor and Lin Qiang as the music producer.

 

 (The second on the left of the photo is Huang Ji, screenwriter and director, the fourth on the left is Yao Honggui, the protagonist of the film, the fifth on the left is Ryuji Otsuka, screenwriter and director of the film)


 As the parallel screening unit, panorama covers a variety of subjects, includes personalized and stylized forms of manifestation to encourage directors to create new film works. The early films of the famous directors like Ann Hui and Kang Je-gyu were once nominated for the Panorama. Ghost in the Mountain, the fourth film by Director Yang Heng was nominated for the Panorama and shown for four days at the Berlin Film Festival, all tickets were sold out and the film triggered heated discussions by domestic media and was covered by Hollywood Times. The following is the on-the-spot interview at the Berlin Film Festival premiere of Ghost in the Mountain.

   

                                                            (Site exchange at Berlin film festival premiere of "Ghost in the Mountain")

                                                               Director, screenwriter Yang Heng (Graduate of School of Photography):

My fourth film "Ghost in the Mountain" is about a man who returns home after many years to look for childhood memories, friends, family and the past. He has been on the way of search and misses beautiful sceneries and arrives at an unexpected outcome. The script preparation took a long time and the film was made in West Hunan. Leading roles were non-professional actors and the photographer was not given much room to stretch out. I insisted on my own ideas and style. I introduced religious elements to the film, I believe that many thinking is common among Chinese and western viewers, but like our lives, we have a lot of questions that are not answered.


Supervisor Yang Cheng (Graduate of Department of Screenwriting and Film Studies):

The premiere of "Ghost in the Mountain" at the Berlin Film Festival was perfect, so I have more thoughts on this film, when I saw the outline I understood its sociological level of meaning, when I saw the script, I imagined the "language sense" of the film, when I saw the completed film, I was convinced of the beauty of the film itself, the unique reconciliation between reality and the form, the subtleness of sound and images. Watching the film in front of this huge screen in Berlin, I was immersed in and could feel a kind of attitude towards life. I was fortunate enough to have two very good Chinese films nominated for the Berlin Film Festival, it was the first production of my company, I hope that in the future we can produce more and better movies for audience at home and abroad.

 

                                        (Bi Shanyi, presenter and producer, graduate of Department of Directing)

This is for the first time I have participated in the production of a film as a producer and presenter. The reason why I decided to cooperate with Director Yang Heng in the film "Ghost in the Mountain" was based on my understanding of works and style of Yang Heng. From a personal perspective, I very much like the film's theme and story about a man look for his past in his hometown. The film was shot in west Hunan, from last September when the shooting began filming to it was submitted to the Berlin Film Festival, the entire production cycle was very tense, and we had almost no time to rest. The film is still being distributed overseas and launched domestically, and the director also wants to make further adjustments and modifications to the film.


The sound design of "Ghost in the Mountain" was kind of difficult since the soundtrack did not occupy the main part of the film, most of the time it was natural sound, sound of the environment, which was also what the direct desired. In the shooting process, the environment sound will be even more tranquil than what was heard at the premiere. Some natural voices, animal voices, the voice of the landscape were introduced to the film, which enriched the film affecting the picture, story, and delivery of atmosphere. The volume of the scene shows was a little bit small, and the low frequency was not particularly obvious, but the overall sound design was a bit richer than the real sound, but did not affect the director's desire to create the kind of tranquility.



It is reported that a number of films produced by graduates from Beijing Film Academy have been invited to many international film festivals and favored by overseas distribution companies since they were revealed in Berlin, and the audience is expected watch these films in domestic and overseas cinemas. 
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