We may be living through times of unprecedented change, but in uncertainty lies the power to influence the future of storytelling.
Now is not the time to despair, but to act and interact!
Please introduce yourself in a few words? What’s your current position? What is your company’s main activity?
My name is JING Shuiqing and I am Vice President of China Intercontinental Communication Center (CICC). As a leading Chinese documentary company, CICC has produced 350+ hours of high-quality factual programs through international coproduction and reached audiences in more than 200 countries and won over 100 prestigious awards worldwide. Known as one of the longest-established co-production documentary companies in China, CICC is proud to have worked with more than 70 partners including broadcasters and production houses from over 30 countries and regions. In addition, CICC also runs several businesses including translation and dubbing services as well as communications and distributions.
As the organizer of the China Pavilion, CICC actively promotes Chinese film and television institutions to participate in Sunny Side of the Doc, promoting high-quality Chinese documentaries, and pooling excellent pitches and ideas from China, so as to explore broader cooperation with international film and television institutions.
Documentary producers, broadcasters and distributors are venturing into a largely disrupted period as the COVID-19 pandemic upends production activities across the globe. How are you impacted?
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected countries worldwide hard, and the film and television industries have not been spared. Accordingly, CICC is adjusting some of our international film and television cooperation, with special needs to rearrange filming plans. With difficulties ahead, the understanding and trust between CICC and our global partners shines through more than ever in the face of the coronavirus, a common enemy of mankind.
As an international concern, the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted producers and broadcasters from many countries to contact CICC to seek cooperation in the filming of related documentaries. It is fair to say that in this global fight against the pandemic, documentary makers across China and the world have always been on the front lines, taking up their responsibilities to record authentic, touching stories.
Have you identified opportunities or online solutions to innovate and create new relevant factual content in the changing landscape?
China saw its concentrated outbreak of the coronavirus disease in February, at which time CICC joined forces with Discovery Channel and Bilibili to coproduce the documentary “COVID-19: BATTLING THE DEVIL”. In April, the documentary went on air for a global audience, telling China’s stories against the coronavirus pandemic, through which we hope people would realize that although the pandemic broke in fiercely, we should build confidence that the transmission of the virus can be effectively contained at the end of the day as long as we make united efforts with one heart.
Featuring remarkable deeds, the special documentary COVID-19: BATTLING THE DEVIL came out at a challenging time. On account of epidemic prevention and control, we could not set up an international joint filming team having all the staff gathering on-site as before, so we collaborated remotely via the Internet. Based on the geographical locations of the stories, we commissioned different production teams from the UK, Japan, Israel, Singapore, and the US and five Chinese provinces and cities to complete the documentary. The collaboration went well in general, yet difficulties and challenges along the way were also unprecedented. However, it was at this very special time that the advantages of international cooperation stand out — shortening production cycles, while also bringing rich, global content with international perspectives.
This attempt gives us greater confidence in multinational and cross-regional cooperation, which may become a new mode in the future where following common ideas and standards, producers from different countries, with a deeper understanding of their own culture, can provide richer perspectives with more diversity and multiple dimensions for the co-production concerning global topics.
How can the international marketplace Sunny Side of the Doc help you come out stronger on the other side?
CICC has been cooperating with Sunny Side of the Doc for more than a decade. In the past four years, CICC and the country’s film and television distributors and producers, television stations, and academic research institutions attended the international marketplace as China Pavilion, to promote the exchanges between Chinese and international film and television professionals and to facilitate international cooperation among us.
We hope this year’s Connected Edition of Sunny Side of the Doc will provide a broad platform for China Pavilion to expand exchanges and cooperation between Chinese and international film and television industries against the backdrop of the pandemic, enhancing mutual understanding and discussion, and giving birth to new and creative ideas, so that after the pandemic ends, more wonderful stories can go global.
To conclude, with the platform provided by Sunny Side of the Doc, we also would like to propose strengthened trust, cooperation and mutual assistance among documentary makers and the international media, as “viruses know no borders, but countries sail together in fair weather or foul”. Facing the coronavirus, a “common enemy of mankind”, media professionals worldwide bear a “shared responsibility” of recording what is exactly taking place. Even more importantly, we must “cooperate with one another” so as to secure a better future. The fight against the pandemic requires joint efforts across borders, only through which can our lives after the pandemic be back on upward track.