The Future Talent Programme was first launched by UK-China Film Collab back in September 2020. Here is a review of what the first cohort achieved. 

Functioning as a not-for-profit organisation since its genesis, UCFC has been limited in its growth of staff and contributors, but not in its zeal and vision. Not only does the programme gives students the opportunity to accomplish dream projects they might not have had the confidence to attempt on their own, but it also gives them real work experience; from marketing to public speaking, or to the finetuning of general skills, such as communication, paramount to a successful career in the world of film and business.

Us at UCFC serve as the guide to their projects: offering our expertise in the fields of business and creativity, while also granting them access to an expansive network of professionals working in film, business, the arts, etc. As these highly competitive memberships are unpaid, students on the programme are not expected to contribute to the day-to-day activities of UCFC, but are simply encouraged and aided on their personal projects that they have chosen to embark on.

2020-21 FTP Cohort – Successful Outcomes

There were several great panels and Q&As organised by the 2020-21 cohort as part of the Chinese Cinema Season, all of which have been uploaded to our Youtube channel. Panel one was hosted by FTP members Curtis Weir and Giulia D’Aquila, and it was of course personal to their experience with Chinese film. In it they discuss the reception of Chinese language films among post-millennials. The post-millennial generation has the power to tackle the stigma that surrounds watching foreign language films, and it starts simply with dialogue and discussion. We hope to see Curtis and Giulia continue to take this challenge on for the foreseeable.

The panel events curated by the FTP members covered various topics; from female representation in Chinese cinema, to film data and policy, to tradition in its animation and even co-production. Each event was a resounding success in terms of attendees, but the most popular was panel seven. Personally, this was one of the most notable events undertaken for the Chinese Cinema Season, and it was curated and hosted by FTP members Louise Hossien and Cara Cox, both of which are Oxford University graduates of Chinese Studies. For many, creativity was stifled because of the pandemic, but the era of Zoom meetings had its benefits. The event was part discussion panel, part sneak peek at “The Six” (2020), a documentary by British director Arthur Jones and his team Los Pensivos Films, based in Shanghai. Since the panel the film has had toured cinemas in China and is set to come to screens in the UK later this year. The general discussion fell around opportunities for documentary filmmakers in China, and the normalities and difficulties of making a film on the mainland, one of the guests being historian and writer Michael Wood, OBE. The thought, preparation and organisation gone into curating an event like this, made all the more challenging when multiple speakers and guests are tuning in from around the globe, is no walk in the park. Such an invaluable experience is likely to have given Louise and Cara the confidence, network, and skill to organise similar events for the future, as well as bolstering their CVs in regard to their employability into the world of documentary and storytelling.

Likewise, all those who curated and hosted panels or Q&As have gained vital work experience in communication and negotiation. This cohort will be lifetime affiliates of UCFC, and we are excited to see what they get up to in the future.

Their profiles are all available through the ‘People’ link on the drop-down menu of our website.

The Future

With the announcement of the line-up for the 2021-22 FTP just few days away now, we are waiting eagerly to see what the rest of this year, and the next, has to offer. We hope to expect more panels, academic and journalistic articles, special film screenings and even a potential film or two. Suffice to say, we have a roster of very ambitious members lined up for the new cohort, and we cannot wait to see how they use their time with us at UCFC.

Due to public demand, we have also started to run a placement and volunteer scheme in parallel, but their operation is very different from FTP.