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French film student focuses on Chongqing

China Daily | Updated: 2021-12-29 08:47
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CHONGQING-Romain Auger, a French student studying in Southwest China's Chongqing, has recently received the highest award in the global short video contest China in My Eyes-Beautiful Countryside for his unique recording of rural villages.

The contest was held jointly by the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries and Kuaishou, an online video platform.

Foreign participants from more than 40 countries submitted over 360 short videos to the competition, drawing nearly 80 million views online. Auger was among the 40 winners selected after fierce competition.

The Frenchman's camera was focused on Fengjie county, which has an ancient history of poetry and is the home of navel oranges in Chongqing. While shooting his film, Auger was amazed to find the changes the fruit industry had brought to the villages.

"I've been to some villages in China before, but none are as developed as those in Fengjie. Flat roads, huge swathes of navel oranges and gorgeous local scenery, way beyond my expectations," the young man says.

"Fengjie is rich in traditional culture. Famous poets like Li Bai and Du Fu, whose works I often see in my textbooks, wrote poems there," he says.

Auger's fluent Chinese and his confidence also helped his video to stand out.

He often posts videos in Chinese on Douyin, another videosharing platform in China, as he has mastered the language after three years of study at the Sichuan International Studies University.

He did not originally plan to stay in China for more than a year, but he changed his mind after learning more about the country.

"I learned about the 'Chinese Dream' here. The more I study in the country, the more I understand the phrase. China really has lots of opportunities in store for me and I could achieve my 'Chinese Dream' here," he says.

In order to gain his parents' support, he took them on a two-week tour of Chongqing and Beijing in 2019. They were surprised to explore a China that was very different from what they had imagined.

"In metro stations in France, we don't have any security checks, which could make crimes more likely. But in China, it is quite the opposite. The country is so safe that you can even be out after midnight," says Auger, explaining that the fact had impressed his parents.

With experience in design, video making and other related work, the French student is eyeing a future career for himself as a content creator in China.

"I plan to open a company in China in the future, focusing on making videos about the country. Maybe I will expand my focus to other cities and show people the real China through my own eyes."


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