From Thomas Frickel's message
Dear festival visitors, dear readers of this catalogue,
A new documentary film festival ？
Yes. And a very special one too!
Not just because it was initiated by a Chinese enterprise not in China, but right here, in the middle of Europe. That the organizers picked the international city of Frankfurt as the location to hold their event is an honor as well as an obligation for us. After all, this city is home to the great German documentary film association AG DOK and thus a small hub of German documentary film work.
The Beijing HuaYun-ShangDe International Cultural Exchange Co., Ltd as host of the festival seems to have seen the signs of the times: it relies on the power of documentaries as a forward-looking instrument of international understanding, on the natural curiosity for strange people and strange worlds, on the only seemingly banal but really crucially important question: what do others do when they have similar problems to me?
It is exactly these films that we as jury members of the Golden Tree Festival are looking for – and I am sure you are just as excited as we are to find out who emerge victorious from this competition.
From Jean Claude Carrière speech
First of all, I would like to talk about the topic “The relationship between images and their meaning". Images have been an issue that we put forward for the Golden Tree International Documentary Film Festival. For example, if we examine the history of mankind’s first picture, we cannot fully understand the contents of the picture, nor can we understand the creative purpose of the work. The creative origin of the picture stems from the idea of imitation an object, but copying it would “distort” the original object. People’s misunderstandings of still pictures have over the centuries always been with us. This kind of misunderstanding was especially embodied in the interpretation of film images. The conveyed meaning of film images usually results in different interpretations across different audiences. But also across people with similar understandings, every person exhibits differences related to the movement and the rhythm of the film. For an example of the effect: the impact a Chinese movie has on a Chinese audience and the reaction it elicits may not necessarily be the same as the reaction of a western audience to the same movie. The meeting, taking place here in Frankfurt, carries huge significance. The Golden Tree International Documentary Film Festival helps to dispel misunderstandings between different cultures. We should have an inclusive and accepting stance towards different cultures. In films, we have to look past the superficial appearance of the pictures in films, to analyze the hidden and deep-seated meaning and idea behind them.