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Xiaoyue Qin

My little story...

It all starts with the Mayan doom’s day tale. According to the Mayan calendar, the world ends on December 21, 2012. So on this day, I interviewed some strangers on the streets in Shanghai about whether they had any regrets in life. What do they wish they had done before the world ends and what prevented them from doing so? 

This was my first experiment of using the camera as a cover to communicate with strangers. At the time, I was still not ready to enter the real world after college graduation. I didn’t know about the world yet. Filming and talking to strangers seems to be a relief and gives me the strength to have belief in this world. 

To my surprise, the people I interviewed were all honest and genuine in front of the camera. So my experiment developed into a long-term filming project. The next summer, I crossed China by train and talked to the people along the way about their dreams. Among those, there are backpackers, massage workers, beggars, sales on the train, hostel owners, etc. My world had totally changed after that trip. I wasn’t afraid of the real world anymore, I wanted to make films about real stories. That experience turned out to be my first film called “Being in the World.” 

Later, at a screening event of this film in Shanghai, a young man in the audience became the protagonist of my first feature-length film called Nest, which I have spent 6 years working on. Now it is in the process of applying to film festivals. 

Last year, one of the cheapest cities in China called Hegang caught my eye. Many young people struggling in big cities have moved there. This became sensational on social media. I went there and made a short documentary on this issue. The film was widely-spread due to the hot topic. There are about 200k views on YouTube now. As a result, I am making a documentary series called Living In China, focusing on more places that are suitable for people to settle down. This project will further explore the reasons people move and what real life is like after moving to a new place. It certainly will show different sceneries in four seasons on this vast land. I wish that this project will inspire people to introspect about their lifestyles.

As an independent documentary filmmaker, it can be difficult. You may seem invisible a lot of the time. This website is for those who want to know about me or to have a glimpse of real China. It is also for myself. For all these years, I might not be successful, but these works are my achievements. So don’t give up and keep working!

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