CHINA | 2021 | 27min | SHORT | DOCUMENTARY
Director: Charles Xiuzhi Dong
Producer: Branton Choi; Charles Xiuzhi Dong
Cinematographer: Charles Xiuzhi Dong
Editor: Bowei Yue; Charles Xiuzhi Dong
Sound Designer: Biwan Cai
Music: Alexander Symcox
Anshan Diaries uses a real family's life as its backdrop. Director Charles Xiuzhi Dong casts his grandpa, the revolutionaries of the left wing, as the film's lead, investigating and retracing his family saga spanning three decades of Chinese post-cultural revolution history.
As the grandson of the subjects, I felt an innate responsibility to make this film.
When I recorded the first shot, which incidentally is the beginning of the film, the thought of making this into a film never crossed my mind. A year later, I got bored and looked over the hours of random footage I shot at my grandparent’s home.
It moved me to tears. It was then that I decided I could make this into a film, forming a storyline that would tell my grandparent’s story, from their poor upbringings to their glory days to their eventual downfall. I see light in their eyes every time they talk about the past.
Charles Dong is an award-winning director, based in Los Angeles. He received his BFA in Film & TV Production at the New York University, Tisch School of the Arts and received a directing fellowship from the American Film Institute in 2020. His short films screened at numerous film festivals. Namely, Anshan Diaries (2021) was in the finalists for the Student Academy Awards 2021. His latest documentary short film Langue was premiere at Palm Springs ShortFest 2022 and was in the semifinalist documentary for the Student Academy Awards 2022.