Looking China (Kan Zhongguo) is a specialist film programme for international students, hosted by the Academy for International Communication of Chinese Culture and Beijing Normal University. This prestigious course sponsors overseas students from approximately 20 countries to spend a fortnight in selected locations in China.
During the 2015 ‘China Britain Cultural Dialogue’, Oxford Prospects Programmes signed a partnership agreement to act as the UK base for this programme, recruiting and selecting UK university student participants. The first group of ten students selected under this scheme, representing six UK universities, visited Guizhou, China in July 2016.
Presenting China through international young filmmakers’ lenses, in their first glances at the culture, students produce 10-minute video documentaries stimulated by that year’s set theme. The fortnight follows a structured programme, supported with filming facilities and a local peer partner, concluding in a Festival screening held at one of China’s notable urban universities. Students benefit from a cultural highlights tour, ceremonials, and companionship with fellow participants from many nations.
The 2019 “Looking China” Film Festival was held in Beijing and featured these accomplished videos by programme participants:
In the Shadow of the Wall 长城脚下 by Lydia Howe, Manchester University
Reconstruction of Life 重生 by Ollie Voak, University of York
Offering Balance 人之所教，我亦教之 by Steven Taylor, Oxford Brookes University
Cloisonné: The Lost Art of Patience 凝固的时光 by Jackson Mouldycliff, University of Huddersfield
Oxford Prospects Programmes hosts a UK screening event each year, as a platform for promoting students’ films and sharing their experience of filming in China.
Due to COVID-19, this programme will resume in Summer 2022, with applications opening in Autumn 2021.