Mission Shanghai

08:39, August 12, 2010      

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Dr Kuhn presenting in front of the China Pavillion.

A five-part documentary produced by CCTV News about 2010 World Expo in Shanghai is currently screening and is a culmination of ideas and production input from across the globe.

Expo's Meaning, Shanghai's Mission is hosted by American author, corporate strategist and China expert, Robert Lawrence Kuhn. Kuhn is widely known for the book The Man Who Changed China: The Life and Legacy of Jiang Zemin.

The CCTV documentary was directed by Emmy Award-winning American director Peter Getzels and the crew included Chinesecamera operators, three assistant directors from China and one from Britain. Pang Xinhua was the series producer.

Shanghai is currently hosting thousands of people from across the world at Expo with the theme Better City, Better life. The documentary crew under Wang Feizhou embarked on a five-part series on Expo, with the episodes: Better City, Better Life, The World Comes to Shanghai, Shanghai's Epic Story, China Goes to the World and New Shanghai, New World.

Shooting the series began at the end of March and saw up to 16 people collaborating at the one time. Kuhn met with each interviewee and most on-camera interviews were held at Expo itself.

A favorite incident of the shoot was an interview with an Expo engineer about an innovative solar roof of a pavilion. The interview was conducted on the roof, a first for Expo and resulting in visually stunning scenes.

It was generally felt by the production team that Better City, Better Life represented Shanghai's vision of a grand future, where human diversity is celebrated, where cross-cultural communication leads to common understanding and where the city of Shanghai itself signals to the world the progress that can be made when there is a will to succeed and a willingness to change.

Kuhn said that in his opinion 2010 World Expo in Shanghai exemplifies China's peaceful rise and foreigners who seek to understand China and to assess China's position in the world, can do no better than to visit the event.

Expo is a window through which one can see the future and it allows visitors to see China as it is today.

Zhou Hanmin, deputy director of Expo's executive committee, said in an interview with Kuhn that Expo showcases, "China and the world coming together for the benefit of all humankind."

Yu Zhengsheng, Shanghai Party Secretary, told Kuhn that Expo would help to overcome the global financial crisis.

"To solve the financial crisis, consumption has to be stimulated. Investment is also needed. The most important task is to develop industry. This relates directly to consumption and investment. For industry to develop, we must have low-carbon technology and environmental-friendly technology. This is a pressing task for all humanity, if we're to live in harmony with nature."

The CCTV documentary demonstrates that opening-up is still very important for China, 30 years after China's official reform and opening-up policies came into place.

"We have to change ourselves to embrace globalization. If we fail to do so, we will not update to globalization. That's the secret of China's success. We have to continue this path. The world is advancing. It's part of human civilization. The Chinese are not close-minded. They have to learn from other civilizations, but we don't copy others. We have to learn from others and adapt what we've learned to the Chinese reality," said Wu Jianmin, honorary president of the Bureau of International Exhibition, in an inter-view with Kuhn.

Other highlights of the CCTV documentary included interviewing Zhao Qizheng, the former minister of State Council Information Office. He is the man behind much of Shanghai's development over the last 15 years. He was interviewed on a boat traveling down the river in front of Shanghai's famous skyline.

Another highlight in making the documentary was interviewing Quincy Jones, the world famous music producer who produced Michael Jackson's Thriller and who wrote Expo's theme song "Better City, Better Life."

Expo's Meaning, Shanghai's Missionbegan screening Tuesday and will be broadcast until Saturday on CCTV News.

Source: Global Times


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