GZDOC 2020 Pitching Session Goes Online

GZDOC 2020 Pitching Sessions will go online, with pre-recorded pitches, training short videos, online Q+A and digital hangouts. It will be the first time the GZDOC holds digital pitching, due to the coronavirus. So far, 22 international decision makers have jumped on board and the Chinese decision makers’ list will be released soon.

Started in 2004, the GZDOC Pitch Sessions have helped many projects obtain funds or production supports. We interviewed 4 finalists of GZDOC 2019 and share their extraordinary journey with the projects and with GZDOC.

The Fresco Catcher in Pingyao

Logline | As rural towns lose population to urbans, a Pingyao young man leaves his well-paid job in city for his ancient fresco dream only to be realized in village.

Directors | Li Zhe / Monica Zhu

Producer | Clarissa Zhang

Production Status | shooting

Production Information

Shortlisted as a finalist of 2020 Pitching du Réel.

Cooperating with Bilibili

Clarissa Zhang (Producer):

GZDOC 2020 is the first pitching session we’ve ever attended. It was also the first time the two directors in the team got pitch trainings. As a producer, I felt like they have gradually evolved in the process, especially in terms of what they want to express.

The pitching session is very helpful. I am a newbie transitioning from photographing to documentary filming. I started filming just because I thought the character Ji Yiqing and his story is worth recording. After attending GZDOC, we suddenly received a lot of recognition and feedback from the market immediately.

During the festival, we met Gudula Meinzolt, the head of industry for the Visions du Réel in Switzerland. She was also the judge of last year's Pitching du Réel. After chatting with her, we learned more about European audiences’ interest in Chinese stories. We felt it is such a good opportunity for us in Switzerland, so we submit our project to Pitching du Réel.

Monica Zhu (Director): I think it was a very rewarding journey for us. We could quickly know our position in the market. In the pitching session, I also started thinking what could be the topic for my next documentary, and how could I present it in the pitching.

Mom of the Ring

Logline | A Chinese professional female boxer struggles to keep her career on track while raising her son and confronting to social expectations.

Director | Wu Yue

Producer | Vincent Du

Production Status | Shooting

Production Information

Shortlisted as a finalist of Korean EIDF Pitching Session and was currently applying for the American Chicken & Egg Pictures support.

Seeking financial and broadcasting support.

In 2020, we arranged two shoots, one during the Spring Festival and one in June. But the pandemic has disrupted the protagonist’s original training plan. The production then got delayed inevitably. During the 2019 GZDOC, we met the French producer Laurent Mini, we are now still in touch and see if we could work together on this project.

The Last Tribe in China

Logline | The film chronicles the challenging decisions of an ethnic minority with its disappearing tribal culture in present-day China, setting the camera as close as possible, to bear witness to the advancement of a particular culture, and to experience the death of another.

Director | Liu Chunyu

Production Status | Post-production

Production Information

Shortlisted in the 2020 Hot Docs Deal Maker, 2020 CNEX Doc Forum and 2020 FreshPitch.

Seeking financial, distribution and broadcasting support.

The project has been in the post-production for a while now. The impact of the Pandemic is not significant, except that some international film festivals we were planning to attend went online. I hope that the industry will be restored as soon as possible, at home and abroad. Comparing with streaming website, the experience in theaters is still irreplaceable.

The year 2020 is a big challenge for documentary filmmakers. Some of my friends’ projects have been greatly affected. Some got interrupted. I’m very grateful to our team. We have been working together to overcome difficulties. I hope all these efforts will lead to a high-quality documentary in the end.”

The Dimension of Civilization

Logline | The history of art can also tell us a lot about the way civilization develops. The world does not exist for isolated individuals, but exists for mutual communication.

Director | Liu Ningning

Producers | Liu Gang / Zhang Ran

Production Status | shooting (in cooperation with Bilibili)

Production Information

Shortlisted as a finalist of 30th Sunny Side of the Doc pitching selection and 3rd West Lake International Documentary Festival pitching forum.

Seeking financial, international co-production, distribution and broadcasting support.

The documentary is not only made for Chinese audiences, but for the global views. Participating in the GZDOC International Pitching Session is a great way to communicate with international documentary filmmakers. GZDOC International Pitching Session is a very valuable platform. We have indeed obtained very precious information through the DMs’ feedbacks, which affect the distribution of the film.

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