The 13th FIRST training camp starts! Mr. Makhmalbaf calls for letting go of film competition

Before the curtain-up of the 13thFIRST International Film Festival, the training camp opening ceremony was held on Jul 12thas ten training camp directors and their team gathered. The supervisor, Mr.Mohsen Makhmalbafand his wife,Iranian director Mrs. Mazyan Makhmalbaf arrived in XiNing to deliver their hope for young creators, pressing the start button of a creation journey which explores limits of their own.

The following five days will be for directors to have theory lessons, check the spot, rehearsal and complete script plus shooting cases at the same time. On Jul 20th,the beginning day of the 13thFIRST International Film Festival, ten short films will finish one after one, ready for post-production,hitting the screen for the first time in QingHai Grand Theatre Music Hall. The public are welcome to watch these films, pick their seats at random according to entrance order. So far, the Purchase Audience Passes system remains unblocked, please refer to FIRST official website for appointment.

The training camp, as an essential part of FIRST to produce and cultivate, attempts to explore an alternative for film education by deliberately delivering lectures to selected directors and examine them in the form of shooting short films in limited days in XiNing. Dramatic moments beyond expectations splash during performer selection, spot-checking, rehearsal, prototype modification,shooting on spot,post-production,even the whole process of premier.

Li ZiWei, the CEO of FIRST, asked on opening ceremony of training camp:”Has anybody shot his own feature debut yet?” Wang QiJi ,a director in 2016, gains access to FIRST Competition this year with his feature film. The training camp happily sees directors’ growth ,in the meantime, believes their works can be exposed to public at last.

Duan Lian,director of Programme, thinks that to be a supervisor of training camp is to always pass down excellent views for film. It is his very hope that the shooting process in XiNing can drag directors out of comfort zone,connecting them with a fresher, more strange environment and figuring out meaning of film in door, out door and in camera.

Supervisor Mr. Makhmalbafshowed up with overwhelming applause. He said,despite the first arrival in China,he had been touched by Chinese culture in art films long before. Film is a great metaphor where we can get to know each other and bridge different cultures.

The strength is also in the air of teams in training camp. Directors became acquainted with each other and organized meetings to watch everyone’s previous films, discussing scripts spontaneously. Given that ten casts will shoot films simultaneously, Mr.Makhmalbaf highlighted”the essence of film is team creation”.Only by letting go of film competition, expressing by film sincerely and communicating openly can all taste fun of  art creation.

From today, Mr.Makhmalbafwill set five deliberate lessons for ten directors and their scripts. Starting with general knowledge about “attraction,meaning and magic of film ”, he will teach rules in script creation and lead directors to read the script . Then in director’s style part, discussions will revolve around how to form one’s own style in various restrictions and complex film elements. Apart from one-to-one shooting process, supervisor editing lab is specially set to guarantee ten films’ successful process from the beginning to the end.

Wan Ma Cai Dan, literary consultant, will bring script practice lessons leading ten directors to adapt his original novel《一篇小说,及其两种结尾》.Zhang Songwen ,performance consultant, will bring group lessons and outdoor scene rehearsal lessons to directors and performers.

As Mr.Makhmalbaf said“Art is not science. At the end, it is our tastes.”FIRST training camp invites him who has dedicated to film education for years as a supervisor and sets a form that two consultants with directors during whole process for the first time for expectation that different creation systems compromise, thus figuring out their unique style as well as tastes instead of approaching a certain standard.

Meanwhile, Lu YiFan, director of filming, He Shan, Deng Xu and Lan ZhiQiang , art director who are called “training camp Supermen Group”jokingly have already buried into preparation work. With ample experience and qualification as front-line films’ directors,they will stand by ten directors to help polish ten excellent short films.

The short film Madresei keh baad bord shot by Makhmalbaf in 1996 impressed audiences with a poetic moment: Temporary classes in a tent, an elderly teacher, dozens of children who learn are blown off by a burst of wind. Compared with traditional academic teaching ,FIRST  training camp is more nomad-like full of teaching with  practice and sense of presence. We are waiting for numerous dramatic moments to appear through creation with mutual companion and assistance.