Director Chen Maolin planned to stay in Beijing for around three
weeks to supervise post-production of his latest feature-length film,
However, Chen－from Shandong province－was forced to leave merely five days after he arrived in the Chinese capital on June 7.
After reading the news that Xinfadi－the city's largest wholesale
market for agricultural and seafood products－was linked to a new cluster
of COVID-19 cases, Chen quickly decided to purchase a train ticket to
return to Qingdao.
Chen had lived in a neighborhood near the Xinfadi market for a period
after he graduated as a literature major from Beijing Film Academy in
2012. "It is a sprawling market that is very densely populated, so I
could imagine how serious the situation might become," he says.
Now relying on the internet to remotely guide the Beijing film
editors, Chen says he has kept a close eye on the COVID-19 news, and
feels inspired by Beijing's swift response and its all-out effort to
combat the pandemic.
Unlike some of his fellow filmmakers, Chen－who was born in the
1990s－says he has long been interested in adapting real life events for
screen productions which reflect the country's development or look back
at the history of the Communist Party of China.
Great Things is a perfect example.
A highlighted project backed by Anhui provincial government to mark
China' s commitment to building a moderately prosperous society in all
respects, the film turns the lens to the grassroots efforts of cadres to
help locals escape poverty.
Starring veteran actor Zhang Guangbei, known for hits such as Romance
of the Three Kingdoms and Drawing Sword, Great Things recounts a simple
yet heartwarming story.