A documentary short film made by JMSC students has been selected to be shown at the Hangzhou Asian Film Festival.

Still from The Last Villagers

The film is one of 15 selected from 242 submissions for the Short Documentary category at the festival which runs from October 14 – 20, 2011.

The Last Villagers tells the tale of the two last residents of Fung Hang, a remote fishing village in Hong Kong.

It was made by four MJs who took Associate Professor Nancy Tong’s Documentary Film Production class last year.

Vincent Du, Dan Goodman, Natalie Deng Ning (all MJ 2011) and Julian Gaertner (BJ 2011) used a video journal style to focus on the lives of the remaining villagers.

“By examining the daily life of the last two residents of a remote fishing village in Hong Kong, we hoped to explore the simplicity and quietude of village life and contrast it with the hustle and bustle of the city,” said Goodman.

“However, we also hoped viewers would appreciate the way that city people now use the village and surrounding county park as an area for relaxation and leisure. Over all, we hoped that viewers would gain a sense of what life in the contemporary village is like.”

“This was our first time to experience the process of documentary production,” said Du, who is from Tianjin.

“Nancy gave us great help in different aspects, previous research/interview, proposal writing, shooting technique and editing methods and so on. Also, based on her rich experience, Nancy introduced the documentary industry to us. It is important and useful that she shared lots of good documentaries in the class, which broadened our horizons.”

Left to right: Julian Gaertner, Dan Goodman, Natalie Deng Ning and Vincent Du

The team, who come from the mainland, Germany and the United States, submitted the documentary in July.

“It is the first time our short documentary will be shown in the mainland and it is a good opportunity for mainland audiences to see the other side of Hong Kong, not the hustle and bustle of urban life but the quiet and peace of village life,” said Du.

Du hopes to make documentary his future career and is going to London to study a Master of Arts in Screen Documentary at Goldsmiths College from next month.

Goodman will attend the festival. He also hopes to make more documentaries future, possibly in collaboration with Du.

In the meantime, he is working as a photo intern at Business Insider.

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