Boomtown Beijing showing in Suzhou – Tonight!

Boomtown BeijingAlright, in the truest of “better late than never” fashions, here’s a bit of an urgent announcement that my friend Tan Siok Siok’s film Boomtown Beijing is showing tonight at the Suzhou Bookworm.

I did a bit of an interview with Siok Siok a few weeks back over at Lost Laowai, and it’s a good read to get a sense of the film and what went into making it. Being that played a bit of matchmaker with Siok Siok and the Suzhou Bookworm, I’ve known this was coming for a while and meant to write about it sooner – but the day completely snuck up on me.

Anyway, if you’re in town – don’t miss this excellent opportunity to catch an interesting independent film that captures a unique and untold side of the Olympic frenzy that has engulfed China.

7:30pm – Number 77 Gunxiu lane, corner of Shiquan Street and Ping Qiao Zhijie. 30 RMB gets you in and a glass of wine/soft drink.

NOTE: Proceeds from the showing go to benefit the Library Project Earthquake Relief Program – a charity run by another friend of mine (man do I feel well connected – China has a way about that).

Real brief:

The Film: Boomtown Beijing is a film about the city of Beijing, its people and their dreams the summer before the Olympics. The 2008 Olympics Games is China’s debutante ball on the world stage. “ Faster. Higher. Stronger” — the preparation for the Games has turned Beijing into a hot spot of frenzied growth. A 11 year old boy wants to beat the odds to become an Olympics torch-bearer. A road sweeper dreams of staging his own mass Olympics countdown performance. An aging blind athlete makes one last stab at a Paralympics medal before he retires from sports. Together, their stories and scenes of everyday life in the city give a snapshot of Beijing the summer before the Olympics.

The Director: Boomtown Beijing is directed by Tan Siok Siok, an award-winning executive producer of international documentaries, focusing on the Greater China region. Her executive producer credits include award winning shows for Discovery Channel and Discovery Travel and Living. “Boomtown Beijing” is her first independent film. She directed the film with the assistance of her students while she was a visiting lecturer at the Beijing Film Academy.

2 Responses

  1. Well done! Obviously the news media here in Canada and in the US don’t report the enthusiasm and sense of pride that the average citizen there in Bejing feels about the Olympics. Nice to see!

  2. @Mom: (did I just ‘at’ my mom…) Exactly. As a bit of a follow up – the film was fantastic. In Siok Siok’s own words, she hoped to capture and display a look at the energy around Beijing and the Olympics that was a little more wide-spanning than a particular angle or agenda, as foreign media/documentaries tend to express.

    For me, the film really pushes you through the emotions. Happy, sad, hopeful, tragic, and ultimately, uplifting – not for the outcome of the characters, but for the sense that China’s come of an age where the common people feel comfortable enough to dream – obtainable or not – dreams none the less. Something that was just not safe to do before this point in their history.

    Had a wonderful and lengthy conversation with Siok Siok after the film. An intelligent and opinionated woman that I should hope to meet again. It’s rare to meet someone who has such a balanced and educated view of China and what it is to both be Chinese and a foreigner in China (she’s Singaporean, but ethnically Chinese).

    And, as Maggie said, “wow, she knows a lot about film.”

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