Jianbing in Beijing was one of the outstanding student video productions recognized at the Flux Film Festival, an event run by students of Beijing City International School (BCIS) on May 13. It won the Best Documentary category, besting three other productions. It also received the Invisible People special award as a recognition for the film’s effort to tell the story of people who don’t get noticed in today’s society.
“One of our friends got jianbing outside of our school and at that same time, we were coming up with an idea for our film, and then he was like ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if you made a film about street food?'” said Tony Huang, the student director of Jianbing in Beijing. The tenth-grader at the International School of Beijing (ISB) told beijingkids that it took him and teammates Keith Leung (G10), Jed Henderschedt (G10), Naime Gonzales, (G12) Hirotake Wang (G9), and Stanley Lian (G12) three months to complete the documentary, from story ideation to filming to video rendering.They started filming in September 2016.
Prior to the Flux, Huang and his team entered Jianbing at the Across Asia Youth Film Festival in Singapore last March. “I felt like it was an honor to have a film shown at a large festival that was sponsored by HBO, Disney and MediaCorp,” he said, “It was amazing to get feedback from their general managers and it was great to get some real feedback from real people in the audience about my film.” Huang said he plans to pursue a college degree in film in the US and produce his dream project: a film, not necessarily a documentary, that will give inspiration to other people.
Other outstanding student productions were the following:
- Best Narrative
- Best Documentary
- Best Public Service Announcement/Commercial
- High School: Change by Amy Ai, Beijing International School
- Middle School: Littering by Thorsangngam, Cindy Han and Tunn Patong, Prem Tinsulanonda International School
- Best Animation
- High School: The Music by Arvin Cong: Beijing City International School
- Best Music Video
- Middle School: Dream by Toby Yang, Beijing No.80 Middle School
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Now in its seventh year, “the Flux aims to celebrate the ingenuity and creativity of students … and gives (them) a chance to dream, create and enter a short film in (a festival),” BCIS said. The school invited four professionals from the local and international film industry to judge 73 student productions in six categories. The student contestants came from eight different international schools across China.
All the profits from the festival will go to a foundation that supports treatment of children with cleft palates. “With the inclusion of a Canadian organization that sponsored ‘The Invisible People’ award, it was only fitting that funds created from this event would go towards such a great cause,” said Mark Ellison, the teacher organizer of Flux. “The ‘Help a Child Smile’ organization was set up to help those that aren’t able to enjoy life the way we do … children with cleft palates.”
“The idea of this year’s Flux was an opportunity to provide the platform for the growth of the film festival. This year’s festival looked to provide the blueprint and hopefully the platform that would enable it to continue its success.”
Photos: Andy Penafuerte, courtesy of BCIS, Tony Huang