Calling for a nation-wide civic participation in documentary making to record the history of coronavirus outbreak , Shanghai based company Elemeet launches a new project One More Day.

It’s a critical time for all, not only for those in the country but also for those who care about its people. The sadness and pressure are beyond words. This deep sorrow and frustration can only be understood by people who are currently in China, and those who have lived or travelled there before.

On February 5, Qin Xiaoyu, co-founder of Elemeet (also a documentary filmmaker) published an announcement via the company’s WeChat account. He wrote:

A weird virus was born, and its outbreak, isolation, panic and anxiety swept across China. As filmmakers, we are eager to shoot a panoramic documentary about this situation. But the reality is: in addition to the long quarantine, the vortex of both news and fake news, donation, we cannot do anything more.

After worrying for many days, we suddenly thought that we could invite every one of “you” affected by the epidemic to work with us to complete a documentary, by using your mobile phone to record your life within a day. Today, we are launching a nation-wide programme.

On February 9, 2020 (yes, a common day), please pick up a device (mobile phone, camera, camcorder), and shoot yourself at any time. You can be alone, or with family, loved ones or colleagues. Your footage can be raw materials or an edited piece. It is best to be within 2 minutes and 5 minutes maximum. Please send your footage to us on February 10 (* the deadline was then extended to midnight, February 12).

We will start editing the materials and put them together chronologically. By putting all these footages together, we hope this film will represent a very special “one day”, 24 hours, during the coronavirus outbreak in China, with all different experience and emotion recorded by you.

After the announcement was released, it has to date been read by over 100K WeChat users. According to the project’s latest update, the team has now received more than 3,000 submissions.

One More Day will be produced under the documentary production brand of MeDoc, a brother company of Elemeet. Elemeet is an on-demand cinema platform in China (similar to Our Screen in the UK), set out to promote specialised and arthouse films as an alternative distribution model. It is currently working with 124 distributors and 2,639 cinemas across the country.

This is not the first time that Qin Xiaoyu has launched a documentary project which involves civic participation. Previously, he also directed Verses of Us (2015), a documentary where it involved migrant worker poets in China. The project team repeatedly emphasise in their publicities for One More Day, that all citizen are considered as main filmmakers for this documentary and will be credited properly.

While all international medias are currently struggling to get footages out on the ground for their coverages about the outbreak, One More Day will become an important record of history, made by the people.

The company is currently in discussion with several distributors about a potential release in the UK.

Knowing how the Shanghai’s film community adores Les Miserables, I am going to take a risk here to interpret the title for this new coming documentary. Is there a chance, that its title being inspired by the famous track “One Day More”?

Stay strong Wuhan, Stay strong China!

For more information, please visit Elemeet’s official announcement  or contact onemoreday2020@126.com.


Disclosure: UK-China Film Collab does not receive any funding from Elemeet for writing this article.