2022-03-11 19:30:11

Registration for Magnolia Awards in Progress to Witness the Ordinary Yet Great Life


The ordinary often brings more soul-stirring sensations that have people overwhelmed instantly. This spring, we’ve witnessed how the athletes of the Winter Paralympic Games worked hard and shone through on the field. Among the entries for the Documentary Unit of this year’s Magnolia Awards, there are also a group of protagonists who are ordinary but shining. They strive with all efforts in their respective fields, regardless of age or gender, to tell together the story of this era.


Among this year's entries, TOUGH OUT, the episode version, is about the story of a group of impoverished teenagers who "changed their destiny" through baseball practice; HOOP GIRLS!  depicts the tough spirit of a group of "post-05" ordinary high school girls; DARE TO GROW UP casts spotlight on the experience of three "post-95s" teenagers who try to get out of "the troubles of growing up"; BORDERS reveals Liu Xiaodong's meditation on art and life; A LONG CHERISHED DREAM records the impressive stories of the Chinese strugglers from an international perspective; MY LEGACY AND I SEASON 2 shows the outstanding Chinese from all walks of life who face adversity boldly to lead the era... There is no innate greatness in this world, but the aspiration to be extraordinary, which inspires one to move forward bravely.


TOUGH OUT (Episode, China)


The film tells the true story of a group of grassroots poor teenagers who, from all over the country, gathered at the PB Angels Base initiated and built by the former Olympic national player and a 70-year-old legendary coach, learned to play baseball from scratch and finally went to compete in the United States. In 2020, the documentary TOUGH OUT had scooped a bunch of honors at home and abroad, and is worthy of the title of "Dark Horse of the Year". Compared with the succinct language of films, the documentary episode opens up a different perspective to show the little things the baseball teenagers harvest in their life and training with more refined and full-scale strokes to truly initiate the audience into their growth process.




Set in the Chinese High School Basketball League, the film zooms in on the journey of chasing dreams and the women's basketball team championship in the High School Affiliated to Xi'an Jiaotong University, which has been established for only 4 years. The protagonists in the film are a group of post-05 girls in their adolescence. Led by the head coach Shi Jing, they embark on the way to competing in the season 2020-2021 of the Chinese High School Basketball League. The troubles of youth, the confusion of life, the bewilderment of growth, and the tension of competition... HOOP GIRLS! vividly restores the daily routine of training, competition, study and life of these girls with faithful and delicate touches, showing the vigorous beauty of youth and the power of high-spirited role models with their dedication to the field and persevering sportsmanship.




This work tracks the rich and interesting high school campus life of three "post-95" teenagers, Zhou Ziqi, Li Wenting and Chen Chuqiao, in Beijing National Day School through the prolonged shoot. The three protagonists are totally different in personality, and their different families of origin have led to three completely different growth paths for them - an atypical scholar, an unconventional literary girl, and a "good girl" who has independent ideas despite her efforts to study. The creative team recorded the transformation process of how the three teenagers get rid of the shackles of their families of origin, realize their personal ideals and find their self-worth in a discreet way.


BORDERS (China and Italy)


In 2019, Chinese painter Liu Xiaodong accepted the invitation of the Dallas Museum of Art to start his creative journey on the US-Mexico border, while the documentary director Yang Bo recorded the entire creative process in the work BORDERS. The whole work focuses on the changes in Liu Xiaodong's personal insights and thinking from the beginning to the end, showing how he understands the complex local social background, integrates into it, and establishes a simple and pure friendship with strangers. Through the lens, the audience can not only feel the artist's innate innocence and romance, but also be impressed by his wisdom in understanding human nature and worldly affairs. In addition, the reflections on art and life in the work are also quite thought-provoking.




The documentary A LONG CHERISHED DREAM is shot and produced by China Foreign Languages Publishing Administration in cooperation with the two-time Oscar winner and British director Malcolm Clarke. The film focuses the lens on the ordinary people to truly record the stories of the ordinary Chinese people who are pursuing a better life and the huge changes in China. In the frames, they are confident, strong and kind. With wisdom, hard work and sweat, they’ve not only changed their own fates, but also injected endless vitality into China's rapid rise. To shoot this work, Malcolm Clarke's team spent 8 months in investigation and collection of materials, and they’d visited hundreds of households. The vivid characters, delicate emotions, and rich details in the film all give a glimpse into the ultimate pursuit and skilled methods of the team.




The documentary MY LEGACY AND I SEASON 2 brings together 9 outstanding Chinese who have struggled in different industries and fields. Starting from the relationship between individuals and the era, the work sketches the profile of the era through the stories of Wu Lei, Lang Lang, Gu Ailing, Wang Yibo, Huang Chengxi, Tan Yuanyuan, Cui Baoqiu, Fu Houmin and Xu Bing. From athletes to performers, from designers to artists, the protagonists from different fields such as sports, film and television, art, technology, etc., unveil to the audience their daily life and spiritual world, and demonstrate unreservedly their choice and persistence, growth and transformation in the tide of the era to interpret the spirit of the era and personal values from multiple dimensions.


From little things, big things grow. The protagonists in the above works are not only the witnesses of the story of China, but also the creators of the spirit of China. And these documentary works, through the profound observation of individual lives, have composed the spiritual epics of contemporary Chinese people, recorded every facet of Chinese society, and enriched our understanding of the world, the life and ourselves.


Which works can stand out in this year's selection of Magnolia Awards and win the recognition of the audience and jury members? Let’s wait and see!

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