2021 Award Winners

Most Potential Award

3000 Yuan (2021)

Directed by Jingze Zhang with the crew of Jinao Wang, Mu Jia and Kexuan Meng

This film is about 4 teenagers who made 3000 yuan during 7 days in summer, through promoting the ancient Chinese art of DianCha (點茶). 

The process of DianCha originated in Chinese Song Dynasty. It emphasizes on “the way of tea”, which involves a spiritual and philosophical experience. With the appreciation of tea culture, DianCha encourages people to pay attention to the correlation between the tea, the water, the ritual, and most importantly, the state of minds. Although this well-respected ritual used to be a huge part of Chinese tea culture, less and less young people know about it. Through this movie, the team hopes to combine this ancient art with modern media, and bring the knowledge of traditional Chinese culture to the younger generations.

Best Documentary

Tibet: Journey into the Inner Peace (2021)

Directed by Ziyi Wang

 In this documentary, instead of going to the famous attractions during Tibet’s most popular tourist season in July, the crew drove for nearly 50 hours in 10 days, visited the most mysterious no-man’s land of this snow-covered plateau, the Sapu Mountain, the holy elephant, Tianmen and so on.

 

This documentary brings three different perspectives: nature, religion, and local traditional life. Through these perspectives, the film leads audiences to explore the unknown part of Tibet. In order to capture the best natural scenery, the documentary crew lived in the plateau 5000 meters above sea level by local herdsmen at home or in a tent, where the temperature can be as low as below zero. 

 

At the same time, they experienced a different cultural environment from mass tourism in mysterious small temples. The local devout believers wore simple clothes and crawled forward with unshakable expressions in their eyes. Resolute, looking for their own beliefs towards the Jokhang Temple or the sacred mountain, but with natural weathering and cultural shocks, many cultural and natural landscapes are also declining.

 

The director claims that “with the development of tourism in Tibet, there are fewer and fewer herders living a traditional life. if these special things are not preserved through images, most people and our descendants probably will never see them again.”

Best Director

Gratuity (2021)

Directed by Daoji Yang

 In Gratuity, a story of a struggling Chinese restaurant was told. The proprietress and her chef husband are confronted by an ethical dilemma on the night of Thanksgiving. 

This film discusses the dilemma between ethical beliefs and basic survival through portraying the main characters hesitations upon money that doesn’t totally belongs to them. During the pandemic, a lot of small businesses are facing huge difficulties like this restaurant in the movie. The director Daoji Yang, used his unique international perspective, introduced the ethical beliefs of Chinese people to the western world with a touching story. 

Best Film

Silence (2021)

Directed by Chuhao Zhou

 George returned to school after recovering from COVID-19, only to find out that his friends and classmate remained silent in front of him all the time. He could feel various of emotions from those people around him: fear, pity, and indifference. The bias toward COVID carriers, even though they are cured, are still defining them, just like George. 

Finally, George couldn’t stand it and ran out of the school. But then he woke up and realized all of it was nothing but a dream. Now He is about to going school. What will happen to him? Will it be the scenes in his dream? This film discussed the most recent topic of COVID-19 and the social relationship influenced by this pandemic. It brings audiences a chance to rethink their attitudes towards people who suffered from the virus.