Best Year Ever for JMSC Student Internships
7 July 2013
JMSC Alum Teaches Media Skills to Refugees on Thailand-Burma Border
22 July 2013

JMSC Alum’s New Documentary to Air on Al Jazeera

Deqi's parents watch Deqi practice at Nine Beats.

Deqi's parents watch Deqi practice at Nine Beats.

Deqi’s parents watch her practice at Nine Beats music school in Tianjin, China, in a scene from Vincent Du’s documentary.

China’s Little Rock Star, a documentary by JMSC alumnus Vincent Du, will be aired on Al Jazeera English starting Tuesday, July 16, as the first film of the network’s Viewfinder Asia series.

The show will premier at 6:30 a.m. Hong Kong time on the 16th, and will air again at 5:30 that afternoon.  It will also air at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday the 17th, and at 12:30 a.m. on Friday the 19th. (The times are shown in Greenwich Mean Time on the Al Jazeera website.)

The documentary tells the story of Deqi, a seven-year-old Chinese girl who is learning how to drum and play the guitar at the prestigious Nine Beats music school in Tianjin, China.

The film follows Deqi and her family from the school, where she practices 10 hours a day on Saturdays and Sundays, to an international percussion competition in Italy.

Viewfinder is a new documentary series that aims to promote independent filmmakers who “focus on the power of storytelling to bring about a deeper insight into the impact of global events on local communities.” China’s Little Rock Star is the first film of the program’s eight-part Asia series.

Vincent Du worked as a freelance photographer in China prior to joining the JMSC’s Master of Journalism programme, which he completed in 2011. His photographs have appeared in Time, Fortune, the New York Times, the Wall Street JournalMetro Express, and the Bohai Morning Post. At the JMSC, he started filmmaking in the documentary courses taught by noted filmmaker Nancy Tong. After graduating from the JMSC, he went on to obtain a master’s degree in screen documentary from Goldsmiths College, University of London, in 2012.

[Click on the video below to watch a trailer for the film.]

[Click on the video below to watch Vincent Du (MJ, 2011) discuss his new documentary.]