Henry Lystad, director of Mountainfilm on Tour, has put together a multi-day show in China. Here are some photos and a dispatch from him:
Through Mountainfilm's connection to folks at Outside magazine, I was put in touch with the editor and a contributor for Outside magazine - China back in November 2011. Over the course of the next several months, hundreds of emails were exchanged, hours of Skype sessions took place, all culminating in convincing my contact, Xinmin Yan, to attend Mountainfilm in Telluride 2012. Between films and other events, we refined the plans and budget that has led me to be sitting here at the Olympic Sailing Center in Qingdao, China preparing for a long week of film screenings and ceremonial events. Qingdao is called the "Sailing City" and was the site of the Sailing competition for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Located five hours (by bullet train) south of Beijing, Qingdao sits on the Yellow Sea, and is a mix of old and new. In the early part of the last century, during the German occupation of the city, many churches, government offices and hotels were built, lending a distinct European flair to the "Old Town". One of the more notable landmarks is the Tsing Tao brewery, built by the Germans in the early 1900's to satisfy their need for a European lager.
Our host in Qingdao, the QDYA (Qingdao Yachting Association), is organizer and owner of International Sailing Week. There are many social, cultural, musical, athletic and sailing events scheduled while I am here, and the hospitality they have shown me is outstanding. Since we are playing films as part of the 4th Annual International Sailing Week, the hosts requested that we show mainly adventure films - with an emphasis on water! So we emptied the archives to bring as many kayaking and surfing films, as well as new stuff from the 2012 festival, as possible to this event. In total, we will play five nights of films at a beautiful outdoor plaza. QDYA truly went over the top with their marketing, as nearly every film is represented by a very large, high resolution banner, creating a "gallery" that rings the plaza.
After a series of meetings and informal discussions, I was invited to a formal lunch to discuss the future of Mountainfilm on Tour in China with the head of the QDYA, city officials, and government sports dignitaries. At this luncheon, we toasted one another (many times) on the success of this event, and our pledge to continue for many years. Although Qingdao is a city of over eight million people, they are interested in a cultural and sports exchange with Telluride youth.