Tian Wen shows Ya’an earthquake recovery in award-winning film: “There is no boundary in beauty.”
“There is no boundary in beauty,” states filmmaker, Tian Wen, when discussing his award-winning film The Beautiful YA’AN. Tian took on the challenge of preparing a film focusing on the beauty of a culture that was almost wiped away by an earthquake in 2013. With 27 years of filmmaking experience, Tian not only created a film that was technically sound, but a film that genuinely touched those impacted by the earthquake.
An educated filmmaker who expresses art through “Image Films”
Being drawn towards the art of film at a young age, Tian graduated with a Directing Degree from the Beijing Broadcasting Institute, now known as the Communication University of China. He has shown great talent in creating “Image Films” focusing on the beauty of a culture or city, such as Ya’an, without use of words or subtitles.
“I love to touch audiences through the power of images. Not through accessories like lines and subtitles,” states Wen about the lack of speaking in his films. His ability to express deep emotion without the use of words is only one of the many factors that make his work unique and award-winning.
Tian’s focus on the beauty of specific cultures and cities has painted the path for his staple series of films. Examples of films in this series are The Beautiful Ya’an, The Beautiful Guang Xi, The Beautiful Yi Bin and The Beautiful Xuan Cheng – all focusing on the beauty of Chinese provinces and cities.
The Beautiful Ya’an represents hope and healing after a deadly earthquake
“Sichuan province is my mother’s hometown. I was shocked by the news of the earthquake,” Tian explains regarding the devastating incident. “When I had the chance to shoot Ya’an’s story, I put all other work behind me to focus on Ya’an.” His personal connection to the city gave Tian the powerful push he needed to create a film that would touch the hearts of many. The film gave the local people a sense of honor and belonging towards their hometown, something Tian found extremely valuable.
The element of music was also key in creating the successful “Image Film”. Shen An (the composer of the 2018 Olympic games theme song) was invited to compose music for the film, giving the film an uplifting, empowering touch that is obvious to viewers.
Tian incorporated many repetitive elements of beauty into his film that represent Ya’an’s unique culture. He represented the “nature and humanity of the city” through expressive dance, colorful foliage, sunsets, moving water, shifting clouds and impressive architecture.
“The moving clouds represent change of time after the earthquake, dance represents faith and happiness as well as the relationship between people and nature and the sunrise represents hope,” Tian explains. A ‘Woman in Red’ is also viewed numerous times throughout the film who Tian says, “brings life into the landscape” and is a representation of hope and life in Ya’an.
Filmmaking crew pushed themselves to capture Ya’an’s beauty
Tian pushed his team to the limit when filming The Beautiful Ya’an. He and his team had to climb dangerous mountains (one being the 4,000 meter high ‘Ox Back Mountain’), drive on ice-ridden roads atop cliffs and film in the freezing cold to grasp the elements he hoped to capture.
“Only man with integrity is able to see the sunrise,” said the local Ya’an people about the crew spending hours upon hours capturing specific elements of Ya’an’s beauty. Tian and his team worked 20 hours a day, at times, for six months overcoming numerous obstacles to prepare the film. Tian was very clear when discussing the project with his crew that working with him meant sleepless nights if they were going to have a worthwhile end-product.
Tian Wen has numerous recognitions for his unique form of filmmaking
Tian currently resides in New York City and will be attending the ceremony of Hollywood International Moving Pictures Film Festival in Los Angeles. He recently received two awards at the 2017 Boston Film Festival: Experimental Film Award and Indie Spec. Best Cinematography Award.
“This is a recognition to my innovation in this type of film,” Tian states. Being he originally started “Image Films”, also knowns as “Presentation Films”, in China, he has been recognized numerous times in the United States for his Beautiful series – specifically The Beautiful Ya’an.
On top of his recent awards at the 2017 Boston Film Festival, Tian has received the following for his tremendous talent in the filmmaking industry: Best Documentary (2017 New York Film Awards), Best Documentary (2017 Festigious International Film Festival), Best Documentary (2017 Los Angeles Film Awards) and Award of Recognition (2017 Nature, Environment, Wildlife of Hollywood International Moving Pictures Film Festival).
The Beautiful YA'AN
Best Documentary of New York Film Awards 2017.12
Best Documentary of Festigious International Film Festival 2017.11
Best Documentary of Los Angeles Film Awards 2017.11
Award of Recognition Nature Environment Wild Life of Hollywood International Moving Pictures Film Festival 2017.11
Experimental Film Award of Boston film festival 2017
Indie Spec Best Cinematography Award of Boston Film Festival 2017