Jamshed Arshad, hailing from a small village near Faisalabad, is impressed by the revitalizing rural culture in China. As a participant in the “Looking China” Youth Film Project, he made his first attempt as a film director for the short documentary “Living on the Loess Plateau”.
In the province-categorized project, Jamshed’s work falls under the unit of “Shaanxi Trip”, which constitutes part of the project by focusing on the culture of Shaanxi, a province in northwestern China.
During Jamshed’s journey, he not only experienced the lifestyle of cave dwelling on the Loess Plateau in the province, but also got acquaintance with locals who have been living there for generations.
“Cave dwelling represents a tranquil and comfortable lifestyle and the plain and tenacious character of Chinese peasants”, he said.
He was also inspired to carry forward the folk culture of Pakistan. “As a multicultural country, Pakistan has a unique and diverse rural culture that is largely under-developed. We can use a camera to record Pakistan’s magnificent mountains, special architectural styles, traditional handicrafts and people’s daily life in the countryside and provide the outside world with a lens to understand the culture and society of Pakistan”, he noted.
Azeem, an international student representative of Heilongjiang University in northeastern China also took part in the project.
The project Azeem has been working on is about Tin Ka Ping schools, named after the renowned figure known as “the father of hundreds of schools in China.” In Harbin, the capital city of Heilongjiang Province, many schools were donated and built by Mr. Tin, and Azeem aims to establish a link between these educational institutions and honor Mr. Tin’s legacy.
“It is a privilege to capture the essence of these remarkable schools and share their stories with the world. It highlights the education quality and spirit of contemporary China and fosters cross-cultural understanding and appreciation”, he said.
Founded in 2011, “Looking China” is a cultural experience program sponsored by Beijing Normal University. The project aims to strengthen cross-cultural communication, exchange and cooperation between Chinese and international youth through the unique perspectives of international young filmmakers, each of whom shoots a 10-minute short documentary on Chinese culture.
“My participation in the ‘Looking China’ project has broadened my horizons and allowed me to witness firsthand the transformative power of cultural exchange and mutual respect through exploring the vibrant cities, picturesque landscapes, and historical landmarks,” said Azeem.