The Beijing Film Academy, cradle of the country’s top filmmaking talent, last week opened a major new campus in the capital’s northern Huairou district, an hour’s drive outside the urban center. At an outdoor opening ceremony, more than 1,000 new students sat in socially distanced rows to hear speeches from local government officials, administrators and notable alumni.
The school, which last year celebrated its 70th anniversary with a splashy party, has a deserved reputation for selecting and honing some of China’s foremost directing, performing and craft talent. Past alumni include Zhang Yimou, Chen Kaige, Jia Zhangke, Huang Xiaoming, Zhou Dongyu, Zhao Wei and Ai Weiwei.
The overall message, hammered home repeatedly,