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WINNER - SXSW - Special Jury Award for Excellence in Observational Cinema
WINNER - Independent Film Festival of Boston - Special Jury Award

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Style and Point of View


Shot on cinematic HD on location in Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Hong Kong, and Fryeburg, Maine, Maineland juxtaposes the bustling cityscapes of a fast developing China with the quiet small town landscapes of Maine and a slice of Main street America in recession. The crowded streets of the Chinese cities and frenzy of development has a more handheld and gritty feel. The soundscape is layered and rich. There is a sense of dizzying claustrophobia. The colors of China are more saturated and rich, through a hazy filter of the omnipresent smog that fills each city sky in China. Each frame seems to not be able to contain enough, with elements and action on the fringe and falling outside the frame. The style in Maine is somewhat different. The shots are more static and expansive. Each tableau of the town and surrounding environment shows more negative space. The color palette is predominantly blue, green, gray, and (snow) white in the winter. The sound of nature and quietness is heightened in the soundscape of Maine.

The film paints a lyrical portrait of adolescents searching, adjusting, and straddling different worlds, internal and external conflicts. Verité and candid moments interplay with moments of visual poetry. Many of the interviews are filmed over the shoulder, often when the students are speaking to someone – the admissions officer, the teacher, the parents. Much of the film is about perceptions, often distorted perceptions. The shooting style will accentuate perceptions and point of view – mostly from the POV of the students. In the foreground and tight in the frame is the POV of the Chinese students, a close up of their face, expressions, or the back of their head, and layered or intercut in the background is be China and Maine seen and experienced from their perspective.




 





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