Asian Network of Documentary(AND) Fund
2016 Asian Network of Documentary (AND) Fund
||BIFF Mecenat Fund
||ZHANG Qi / Adam James Smith
||China / UK
||ZHANG Qi is a Chinese citizen who has previously worked with creative teams on large national events and campaigns, including working with director Zhang Yimou on several projects. She managed the creative teams on the Beijing Winter Olympics bid, Guangzhou Asia Games, and the Shenzhen Universiade.
Adam James Smith is a British citizen who has been collaborating with Chinese filmmakers and organizations for several years. Most recently he co-directed The Land of Many Palaces (2014) about the ‘ghost city’ of Ordos in Inner Mongolia with Chinese filmmaker, Song Ting. Adam holds degrees from Stanford University and Cambridge University, and currently teaches Communication Arts at the New York Institute of Technology.
Hidden among mountains, seemingly far from the crowds, pollution and bureaucracy of Beijing, a replica of the Wyoming town of Jackson Hole promises to provide “an American utopia of freedom, happiness and prosperity” to its 4,000 Chinese residents. In Americaville, we spend an eventful year in Jackson Hole with characters who set out to live their interpretation of the American dream, only to find it fraught with unexpected complications. After widespread criticism from the Chinese media and feeling pressure from a new breed of government-led nationalism, the community becomes split between those who cling to the American dream and those who seek to reclaim their Chinese national identity within this idyll.
As well as providing a unique look into one of China’s strangest contemporary phenomena, the move to create replica communities inspired by Hollywood films, Americaville highlights the country’s clash of globalizing and nationalistic forces and what it means to be Chinese caught between the two. The film also holds themes familiar to all of us, especially the search for meaning, identity, freedom, and happiness, and sometimes how reality can puncture our dreams.
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