Guanqiao Fan is a 22 year old film student at Beijing Film Academy. He is currently in the process of editing his fourth short film 南方 (The South), which he wrote, directed and starred in. The film explores a love triangle in a coastal Chinese town set against the rising tide of materialism.
We sat down with him in his dorm room to learn about his interest in film and what he hopes to accomplish. The trailer for his short film can be found at the end of this article, which also includes a number of stills from the film.
Film student Guanqiao Fan in his dorm room
Tell me about your childhood.
I was born in a small fishing village near Zhuhai, in Guangdong province. The village I am from has only one street and is surrounded by two big mountains. I had an idyllic childhood – no worries. There wasn’t much to do, so I played soccer. I was quite happy when a typhoon would pass, because I could climb into the mountains and catch tadpoles in the pools of water left behind by the storm.
What do your parents do?
They own a steel parts factory.
Do you remember the first movie you ever saw?
Yes, it was the Hong Kong film 大話西遊, starring Steven Chow (this film is commonly known as “The Monkey King” in English).
UIBE movie club members Viola and Moon, on the left
During a rainy April morning in Beijing, a quartet of female college students are in costume and on a mission. The students, dressed like characters from the iconic 1971 film A Clockwork Orange, are on a recruitment drive for their school’s movie club. The University of International Business and Economics doesn’t exactly seem like a hotspot for ultraviolence or nihilistic shenanigans, but their choice of costume has clearly paid off, as evidenced by the crowd gathering around their information booth. The term “droog”, referenced in the title of this article, means “friend” and was coined by Anthony Burgess, author of A Clockwork Orange.
Viola is the spokesperson for the group. 21 years old, her choice of English name came from a character in the 1998 Oscar winning film Shakespeare in Love. She and fellow club member Moon shared their thoughts on their club activities and taste in film:
When did you first develop in interest in movies?
After I graduated from high school. At that point, I was no longer under so much academic pressure, so I started watching a lot of movies. I watched nearly 100 movies during that time, which opened a fresh new world, full of excitement.
Can you name some of the movies you watched during that time?
Casablanca, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Dead Poet’s Society.