We encourage you to GET CREATIVE in how you share your interview subject(s)’ recent stories of about LIFE IN MAINLAND CHINA

  • Get inspired by CNN, CNBC by how they do split videos!
  • Consider getting creative with narratives, spoken word, cinema verite/sketches, parodies, to emulating talk show hosts like Jimmy Fallon or other!
  • Please don’t make this a Google research project — tell a story with authenticity and heart.

From our January 10th event, here’s what  our speakers Joan Chen, filmmaker James Q. Chan and Mei Zhang shared with as tips for you and the 140-person audience in attendance:


Joan Chen | filmmaker & YOUTH VOICES Jury President: 
  • CHOOSE A GREAT STORY — Tell the story that wants to be told
  • SILENT FILMS with no dialogue can be moving…forcing the audience to focus on your voice and messaging through subtitles
  • “…Share something from the depths of your soul that you want to tell…There must be things you want to find out. “Whatever I say really, really does not matter – It’s all about what you say… If you don’t want to say it, don’t make it (a video or film)”
  • The power of storytelling is that you bring that SENSE OF WONDER to yourself and to us. Surprise us. Surprise yourself..try to discover… not about yourself, but a whole new world with that sense of wonder…
  • WHAT QUESTION CAN YOU BRING FORTH?” –    And I think that’s what I look for in a film.”
  • “DON’T CENSOR YOURSELF” — “This is an opportunity for young people to actually, to show that wildness from your heart, and do not censor yourself. Because we do, in this society. We censor ourselves. We are imprisoned by this fear that I might say something that might offend someone, somewhere….Don’t lose your voice.”.
  • “DON’T THINK TOO HARD ABOUT POLITICS” –  “Art does not have a political agenda, to achieve some political agenda. It belongs to the humankind, it belongs to the depths of your soul.”


James Q. Chan | filmmaker & co-founder, Good Medicine Pictures

  • GET PERSONAL + HAVE FUN  – “Add in that special quality or personal interest that you have. Add it in. And it only will make your projects that more unique.”
  • “And so what’s important to me as a filmmaker is that you trust your hustle. Meaning that you pull focus on your skills that will ultimately have a sensibility that is your own.”
 Mei Zhang | CEO & Founder, Wild China (Travel)
  • PAY ATTENTION TO DETAILS – “When you are with a task to make a film or write a book, you look for details, and that makes you open your eyes and ears and nose, you have to like, smell it and taste it and describe. And in that process, you really pay attention. And with detail, you actually discover the beauty that touches others as well.”
    “… don’t worry if you don’t have Joan Chen as your aunt. You–every single person, every ordinary person, has a great story, a very special story that is about that one person. And I think the key is really about finding that one person, that one story about that one person.”
  • “And lastly I do want to share a quote. It’s a[sic] author called–named Marcel Proust, and he said, “the real voyage of discovery consists not in seeing new sights, but in looking with new eyes.” And through your eyes, you can really look to the depths of your soul. And through your eyes we want to see the world. And I think that echoes what my premier speakers all talked about.”