Between the last minute details of putting together the 2009 Shanghai Student Film Festival, finishing up the Rotoball Project, and welcoming Scott McCloud to our campus, last week was a very busy week indeed!  I'm fully backlogged on this blog (or is it backblogged?) and I've still got some work ahead of me wrapping up other aspects of the festival and getting the Rotoball video online (its finished, the students blew my mind with it this year, I just have to fix some issues with the sound).   There is far too much for one blog post- the festival was a huge success, the Rotoball project debuted to rave reviews,  and Scott McCloud electrified five schools with his amazing presentations and classroom visits. We'll be covering all that here this week. 

However, if I don't start catching up with all the great things that have been happening here, I never will.  The festival was a huge success.  Over 400 people were in attendance from 10 schools in the Shanghai area.  After a week of working with our students in their classes, and presenting to our schools, Scott McCloud gave the opening remarks at our festival- reminding the students that they have the gift of a creative voice and an infinite venue through online publishing.   With that in mind, he also reminded them that quality matters.   

Although I've spent the last two weeks authoring the DVD of the show, I can share now that the student work truly amazed me.  This list of our winners is now posted, and that list will be updated with links to online videos once they are posted.   I'm especially proud of my students who took home a number of trophies, including awards for Best Narrative, Best Editing, Best Script, and Best Film of 2009 - as well as a number of Runner Up awards (Editing, and two Music Videos).  

However, some of my favorite moments of the evening were seeing the overjoyed faces of some students I'd never met before.   A young boy named Tien from the newly established Y.K. Pao school won "Best Video Art" in the elementary division.  Dressed in a suit and tie, he stared at his trophy in wide-eyed disbelief as his mother and teacher looked on proudly.  This picture of the students from SMIC's MVC video club says it all... or if it doesn't the blog post from "Best Director" Justine does:
Anyways, I guess all I’m trying to say is that, this would never be possible without any of you. I don’t think that’s grammatically correct but I don’t care. You guys are truly the greatest friends one can ever ask for, and the best crew a director can ever ask for. If I can choose again, I’d still choose you guys.  This award is dedicated to all of you.
The evening also provided solid confirmation for me in something that I have truly believed- that the presence of  the film festival drives the students to do better work. This, I believe, happens for two reasons- they are motivated by the spirit of friendly competition, and they learn by watching each other.  In looking at films from last year from all around the city, students are able to break out of cultures established by their own classes and think more independently.  

For more on the festival, do check out the reflections by Andy Torris, Amanda DeCardy, and the SMIC students.   More photos of the can be found in my S2F2 flickr set, David Larson's S2F2 Picasa album, and Scott McCloud's Shanghai Schools and Sites pictures. 

Tomorrow in Part II: (working backwards) Scott McCloud comes to SAS!


  1. Olman Feelyus said...
    Wow! Really impressive. Sounds like you are kicking ass up there, Mr. Gran.
    S2F2 said...
    Well, that's one way of putting it! And I have lots of help- its been a really amazing week, I'll be posting the video of Scott talking to my students tonight, I hope!
    frank@learningIT said...
    welcome back David! resurrection at last.
    am looking forward to the other posts and especially the links.
    take a rest next week.
    testintestin123 said...
    Shanghai has a heritage/legacy of ground breaking cinema ~S2F2 here we all now stand as a like minded group of educators of a global community ............thinking about next year
    Peter Zhang said...
    Awesome post! I really enjoyed the festival last Friday. Kudos to all that have contributed to it =)

    Hope to see you all next year!

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