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Top micro movies screened online

(Shanghai Daily)

08:35, May 17, 2013

MICRO movies are booming, providing an online platform for young directors telling strong, original stories.

A recent micro movies competition by Channel Young about youthful memories drew more than 800 entries. The top 52 are available at

Many films are thoughtful, heartwarming, funny and nostalgic, reflecting Chinese young people's memories of childhood and youth.

They're about dreams, love, friendship and the meaning of life. There's plenty of confusion, recklessness and passion.

Zhao Wei, now a motion graphics artist, received the best director award for "Shark Stronghold," a graduation project two years ago.

Made with a budget of only 10,000 yuan (US$1,613), it depicts an intense live-action "gunfight" scene involving weapons such as bamboo poles, pineapples and corn cobs. It's inspired by a video game.

Zhao says that micro movies mean that making film is no longer a dream for ordinary people who can make short and easy pictures.

"The flexible genre will become more popular for people in a fast-paced modern society who don't have much time to watch full-length films," he says.

The award for best micro film went to "Dream on the Fields," a six-minute clip about Zhuo Jun, the 2011 winner of China's Got Talent, who taught himself hip-hop popping dance. He is the only university student in his village in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. He learned dancing on TV and through the Internet and practiced while helping his parents do farm work.

Huang Canming, president of Huangpin Micro-film and producer of the film, says micro movies have bright prospects because of the huge number of Internet users, filmmaking talents and potential investors in China. His company produces 50 to 100 micro films a year.

"A lot of brands have also approached us to produce micro movies," he says. "Compared with TV ads, micro movies are considered a better medium to convey their concepts and company culture."

Famous cartoonist Xiao Yanzhong, a judge of the competition, says the boom in micro movies will benefit the domestic film industry by increasing diversity and fostering originality.

"A lot of untapped new talent will be discovered," he says. "It will also attract viewers through good story lines and content, not visual stunts."

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