​Beijing 2022 documentary opens Beijing International Film Festival

By Zhang Rui
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, April 23, 2023
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The official film of the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games, directed by award-winning Chinese filmmaker Lu Chuan, was chosen as the opening film for the 13th Beijing International Film Festival (BJIFF). The documentary delivers an up-close and inspirational experience that will leave a lasting impression.

Winter Olympic champions Wu Dajing, Ren Ziwei, associate director of the Olympic Foundation for Culture and Heritage Yasmin Meichtry, Olympic champion Su Yiming, and director Lu Chuan walk the red carpet with Beijing 2022 mascot Bing Dwen Dwen, a cheerful panda, to promote "Beijing 2022" at the opening ceremony of the 13th Beijing International Film Festival in Beijing on April 21, 2023. [Photo by Lun Xiaoxuan/China.org.cn]

"Initially, our goal was to tell an exciting story about heroes, but as we filmed, we realized that when delving into the lives of these sporting heroes, we began to see them as ordinary people just like us. Conversely, when exploring the stories of those working behind the scenes, we started to view them as heroes," Lu Chuan revealed during the special screening of BJIFF's opening film on April 22 at a Beijing cinema. "Through this experience, I witnessed the light of humanity shining in all of them."

He also stressed that the film transcends being merely a story about Beijing, stating, "This film belongs to the world, to all of humanity, and to both cinematic and sports history."

"Beijing 2022" unveils behind-the-scenes stories, fresh details, challenges, and triumphant moments of international athletes, Olympic staff, venue construction workers, technicians, volunteers, medical personnel, officials, and performers of the opening and closing ceremonies. 

The film's conclusion brought numerous audience members to tears. The movie interweaves diverse stories, from sports stars to volunteers, and masterfully integrates emotions, glorious and heartbreaking moments, struggles, and poetic cinematography into a compelling narrative. The film also highlights the impact, stress, and difficulties arising from COVID-19, which serves as a haunting memory and a challenge everyone involved had to surmount.

"The film shows that the Olympics is not just a competition. The Olympics is a philosophy," said Yasmin Meichtry, associate director of the Olympic Foundation for Culture and Heritage. "The film truly captures the Olympic values and spirit behind the Games. It showcases all humanity, friendship, and solidarity. It includes the human stories, those of the athletes – sometimes good ones, sometimes hard ones – and the stories of the volunteers. These human stories are at the core of the Olympics, and the film wonderfully showcases them."

A poster for "Beijing 2022." [Image courtesy of BOCOG]

The film's production spanned over two and a half years, with Lu and his team shooting the film in various locations worldwide, including the U.S., France, Belgium and Austria, accumulating more than 1,200 hours of footage. Esteemed Chinese film director Zhang Yimou, who directed Beijing 2022's opening and closing ceremonies, served as the film's executive producer. China's cultural guru Zhang Heping served as the film's general consultant to guide production. 

"Beijing 2022" is scheduled for nationwide release on May 19.

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