Student Films Capture Remote Vanishing Cultures

Monday, October 26, 2015
CHINA DAILY -- This summer, 11 students from San Francisco State University’s School of Cinema went on an adventure to remote mountain villages in China’s Guizhou province, where minority groups have maintained their aboriginal lifestyle for thousands of years. “It is indeed an adventure for them, as they have to overcome hardships and challenges like the language barrier,” said Weimin Zhang, associate professor at San Francisco State, who initiated the International Documentary Film Summer Workshop in 2010. Previously, the workshop was conducted in Shanghai. This was the first time the project was taken to a less-developed area, so the students could explore “the other side of China” by embracing the natural landscape and experiencing the unique culture and lifestyle of China’s minority groups, Zhang said. The “films do not intend to provide an answer but rather an inspiration to raise people’s awareness of the problem. That’s what a documentary is meant to be,” she said.