A former student of Nanjing International School (NIS) has been selected as one of 25 finalists, out of over 300,000 entries, to a world-wide competition that has been seeking out the best videos made about China by foreigners.
Launched late last year, entries to the competition “Foreigners on China” have poured in from all over the world, no doubt partially spurred on by considerable prize money, but also by the weight of visitor numbers to China of late, the availability of cheap and accessible video-making technology and the sheer magical cinematic potential of the Middle Kingdom.
The competition has the aim of encouraging people from around the world who are interested in China to share their unique perspectives about China and tell their stories, including thoughts on modern China, its people and society.
Erika Felton was Class of 2016 at NIS, and is now in her third and final year at the Australian Film Television and Radio School in Sydney, one of the top film schools in the world.
Felton’s video “This is Nanjing” is a romantic reflection of her life in Nanjing as a soon-to-graduate, international high schooler, and as someone who later returned to ponder over their third-culture, childhood home.
The video is available on YouTube, while the slightly modified competition-entry version, including English and Chinese subtitles, can be watched below and be accessed via China’s “Watermelon Eaters” APP, that has been utilised to solicit votes from the general public as part of the judging process.
Middle School & Upper School Drama Teacher at NIS, Annie Philip, told The Nanjinger, “Erika was an outstanding student. She was passionate about the Arts and, as well as playing lead roles in all our productions, she directed plays and helped organise our extra-curricular Drama Programme. It was a privilege to teach her and I’m delighted that she is being acknowledged for her talents and skills in film making”.
At this stage, Felton has won US$800 in prize money, as well as travel, accommodation and meals to the competition finals to be held in Beijing from 16-20, June.
As she prepares to head to the competition finals, Felton spoke with The Nanjinger, saying, “Being a finalist is genuinely insane, I made the film after returning home and realising I finally had something to say from a different perspective. It going from YouTube to being a finalist in this competition is something I’m still shocked by, but so incredibly honoured”.
Suppose Felton pulls it off to go on to win the overall competition? “If I win, I’d love to use the money to help put towards the micro-budget feature film I’m in the process of creating!”