20th Guangzhou International Documentary Film Festival Announces Outstanding Winners
The 20th Guangzhou International Documentary Film Festival concluded on the evening of December 7th with the announcement of the outstanding documentaries of 2023. A total of 7,280 documentaries from 156 countries and regions participated, marking a fifty-fold increase compared to the festival’s inaugural edition in 2003. The festival honored 17 exceptional works with the prestigious Golden Kapok Awards.
Among the winners were “Charting the Decade”, “My Story and My New Era”, “Harnessed Yellow River Enjoys Tranquility”, “10 Years of Dream Pursuit”, and “Refueling in the New Era”, which all received the “Special Award of the Organizing Committee”. Additionally, the documentary “Of Color and Ink” directed by Chinese-American filmmaker Zhang Weimin earned the honor of “China Story: Best Feature Documentary”. Zhang Weimin’s film previously won the “Best International Documentary” at the 47th São Paulo International Film Festival.
“Of Color and Ink” documents the overseas life of Chinese artist Chang Dai-Chien after he left the Chinese mainland in 1949 and showcases his journey of bringing Chinese aesthetics to the West for artistic creation. Zhang Weimin spent twelve years collecting historical visual materials and conducting interviews with Chang’s families, friends, art collectors, and scholars from various fields. The film also features a historic exhibition in Paris where Chang engaged in a dialogue with French surrealist artist André Masson.
In addition to Zhang Weimin’s documentary, director Zhou Hao’s “Before Sandstorm” made it to the final evaluation of the festival. The film captures the daily conversations of two elderly farmers while they work on combating desertification. Zhou Hao aimed to familiarize the audience with the lives of these seemingly familiar individuals and recreate the feeling of “eavesdropping on the conversation by accident”.
The festival served as a platform to celebrate the outstanding achievements in the field of documentary filmmaking and showcased the diversity and complexity of stories from around the world. With an unprecedented number of submissions, the festival continues to grow and inspire filmmakers to capture captivating stories through the art of documentary filmmaking.