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Lights, Camera, Action! Once again, Beijing City International School is accepting entries for its 2016 Flux Film Festival, an annual event that has become something of a school tradition since beginning back in 2011. The festival is open to student and teacher filmmakers from all over the world, and in the past has enjoyed participation from all over China and much further beyond. Last year, for example, saw entries from the US, Germany and Italy.
Over the years, the Flux has evolved from an “Awards Show” format to a more open and public show as was employed in Flux 2015. It is a much-celebrated event, chiefly because it is student-led, and is a wonderful opportunity to open up the school community and share artistic talent. Entries are divided into age groups and categories, with the youngest entrants usually of elementary school age, and the oldest being high school seniors, and teachers (as of 2014). Categories have included animated films, public service announcements (PSA), music videos, special effects and many others.
Judging is carried out by industry professionals, including critics, filmmakers and others involved in the arts. Flux 2015, for example, saw noted Chinese filmmakers, Moxie Peng and Fan Popo join the panel. The judges represent one of the strongest elements of the Flux, which is that participants can have their work scrutinized by a professional of the film world. This adds a lot of meaning to an award, and helps the organizing students attract entries of the highest possible quality.
Logistically, the competition would be a lot simpler if kept within BCIS, but the students have always felt that opening the event up to the whole world is what makes is truly unique among events in the international school community. Last year’s event presented unique challenges, because it was integrated into one of BCIS’ largest community events, “Spring in the City.” The Flux group established a viewing area where the 3000 or so visitors could come and see the more-than 150 film entries, and even take part in choosing a “People’s Choice Award” winner. A well-understood problem with the global nature of the competition is that award winners would not be able to be at BCIS to receive their awards. The students creatively solved this by asking all award winners to prepare an acceptance video, so that when winners were announced, we were able to hear from all award winners. In fact, some of the acceptance videos were thoroughly Flux-worthy themselves!
The Flux will be happening again in 2016, with the deadline for entries set at March 19, 2016. If you are interested in taking part, get filming now! The Flux Website is down temporarily, but a new Flux page will be announced at www.bcis.cn in the coming weeks.