Over the summer, Austin Lau, Casey Lapidus and John Gilmore from the Academy for Creative Media (ACM) at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa experienced a new opportunity for immersion in filmmaking and Chinese cultural exchange. Looking China, a three-week intensive documentary production program, draws students from around the world to make 10-minute documentaries on topics revolving around a new theme each year. This year’s theme was “Craftsmanship, Inheritance and Innovation.”
The ACM students’ films will be screened at a conference on Wednesday, September 27, 7 to–8:30 p.m., in Moore Hall’s Tokioka Room (room 319). A behind-the-scenes documentary made during the summer program will also be shown. At the end of the screening there will be a Q&A. The organizers of Looking China will be visiting UH Mānoa for a small conference in conjunction with the Confucius Institute and the East-West Center.
Looking China adds to ACM’s long-standing program SMART Exchange with Shanghai University and Shanghai International Film Festival. While the program is co-hosted by universities in cities all over China, the ACM students were fortunate to be part of a group of 10 students from Australia, New Zealand and France that participated through Looking China’s home institution, Beijing Normal University.
- Lau, who graduated from ACM in May, chose Tongrentang, China’s most famous pharmaceutical company with a 400-year history. He was given unique access to company officials and workers, and focused his story on a wider examination of Chinese medicine and the company’s role in shaping it.
- Lapidus, an ACM senior, chose Rongbaozhai, a collection of workshops in old Beijing devoted to the restoration of many of China’s most valuable ancient relics.
- Gilmore, a senior, focused on a restoration topic centered on a team of textile archaeologists that restores some of the most intricate ancient fabrics found throughout China.
Read the news release for more.