‘Beijing Stories’ Documentary Shorts – Exclusive Online Screening & Panel Discussion

Venue online
Date 20 September
Time 19:30pm
UK Nation Scotland
Beautiful Dreams
Buddhist Girl
Cloing the Gap
The Garden That Leads to Heaven
When Spring Comes

The 5 short documentary films shown here is part of Stories – an intensive filmmaking laboratory run by Scottish Documentary Institute (SDI) supported by and in collaboration with British Council, during which emerging filmmakers are empowered with the creative and practical tools to examine their sense of identity and nationality through film.

‘Beijing Stories’ was launched in early 2020 with support by key local partners in China – Post Wave Film and I Love Documentary and the equipment provider – Canon.

‘Beijing Stories’ Online Panel Discussion:

20 September 19:30 (Beijing time)

A chance to learn more about the project – its structure, the process of remote mentoring from both the filmmakers and mentors perspective, and the themes that were explored in the films.


Noémie Mendelle, Director, Scottish Documentary Institute

Gary Thomas, Film Advisor, British Council

ZHANG Anning, Editor-in-Chief, I Love Documentary

The ‘Beijing Stories’ film makers

Please scan the QR code and submit your application before the event.

Closing the Gap (2021)

Li Ran’s grandparents brought him up while his parents were working, but as a young millennial filmmaker, he fears that he has nothing in common with them and that their lives along with their history are a closed book. He turns his camera towards them, hoping it will reveal something he doesn’t already know. Does the camera bring them closer, or does it push them apart?

The Spring Comes (2021)

A FILM BY: Sally Chen & Peiyan Xia
Juanjuan is a blind massage therapist, a single parent, who moved to the city and runs her own business there. Her life revolves around the massage parlor, she lives there, she works there. While she loves her job and her family, she longs for freedom, the freedom of running outside. But how can a blind person run?

The Garden That Leads To Heaven (2021)

A FILM BY: Xiu Xiaoping & Qiu Danqin
Beijing’s housing crisis is explored through the lives of a cast of characters, living in Tiantongyuan, one of the city’s rapidly expanding suburbs. From a retiree and zealous building representative, relishing the pace of life out of the city centre, to a hardware worker separated from his family and tasked with dividing flat for sub-letters, and a young estate agent desperate to return to his hometown, we learn how they all grapple with the allure of China’s capital city.

Beautiful Dreams (2021)

A FILM BY: Zhang Yihuan & Zhou You
Meihao is an ambitious young woman, a wheelchair user, living an independent life, alone in Beijing. Although passionate about her work and popular with clients, she still faces the same discrimination she has endured throughout her studies. She continues to face physical barriers and struggles with the expectations of others as she navigates her life and her future career.

Buddhist Girl (2021)

A FILM BY: Li Mengjiao & Qin Xiaoyue
An inquisitive young woman struggles to find contentment in secular life and looks towards philosophy and religion to find her place in the world. She has been drawn to monastic practice and becoming a monk since she was a child, yet she is reluctant to give up her comfortable material life.