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Documentaries draw long attention spans for making sense of things: jury president

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Documentaries draw long attention spans for making sense of things: jury president

2024-06-18 19:15 Last Updated At:19:37

In a world filled with short videos, documentaries matter as they draw long attention spans so that people can better make sense of things, said Bill Nichols, one of the most influential contemporary documentary theorists from the West.

Nichols is now the Jury President for the Documentary Unit of the Golden Goblet Award at the ongoing 26th Shanghai International Film Festival.

Nichols said he is expecting some challenges as the jury president.

"I'm expecting there will be some, because there usually are, because you have... we have four people, all accomplished and creative individuals. And I found from other juries that even though we have a lot of background in film and a lot of knowledge, our responses to particular films vary quite a bit," he said.

"I think a mistaken notion of documentaries is that they provide information. News does, and newspapers and ... documentaries to a degree. But I think what makes documentaries different from journalism or from reports and essays is that they are more personal, more subjective and more emotional. So a good documentary doesn't just tell us what could be in the news. They are a way of moving into and entering into a particular reality that is real but presented in a way that draws us and engages us. So the 'draw and engage us' part is like fiction, and documentary films use now many of the techniques that used to be more unique to fiction," he continued.

He said people need time to make sense of things, and documentaries contribute to that.

"I think what we need to make sense of things is time. It's part of understanding history. Where we have been and how that affects where we're going now? And to do that, we need the time to process and bring back alive where we have been in the past, and how that affects where we are in the present, and how that might shape where we want to go in the future. So I think documentaries contribute to that in a way that things that have a shorter attention span don't," he said.

Documentaries draw long attention spans for making sense of things: jury president

Documentaries draw long attention spans for making sense of things: jury president

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Cargo throughput surges as China's ports streamline customs clearance

2024-07-20 07:14 Last Updated At:08:27

China's border ports have been implementing a range of cargo facilitation policies, leading to a surge in cargo throughput, with a nearly 57 percent year-on-year increase in the inspection of transportation vehicles in the first half of 2024.

According to the data recently released by the National Immigration Administration, China's ports inspected about 15.42 million vehicle, vessel, and train trips in the first six months of this year, a 56.9 percent jump from the same period last year.

The border ports have rolled out a series of measures to streamline customs clearance for cargo. At major land ports, fast lanes have been set up for the rapid release of critical supplies. At major seaports, online declaration has been enabled for border inspection boarding. In international shipping, arriving vessels can have much faster departures thanks to the efficient inspections.

The combined sea-rail transport model, utilizing maritime routes and the China-Europe freight train service, has made the port of Lianyungang in east China's Jiangsu Province one of the most convenient and economical gateways to the sea. It handles more than 80 percent of Kazakhstan's transit cargo to China.

At the port, containers carrying with auto parts, home appliances, and other products are offloaded, hoisted onto trucks, and then loaded onto China-Europe freight trains bound for destinations like Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

"From unloading to boarding the freight train, the entire process can now be completed in as little as eight minutes. These containers are expected to reach the border ports within six days, greatly reducing transportation time and cost," said a logistics company employee.

The Youyi Pass in the southern Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, also known as Friendship Pass, on the China-Vietnam border is an important cross-national trade channel. To enhance the clearance efficiency of imported fruits, the port has established "durian-only" channels and green channels for agricultural products, as well as an intelligent inspection assistance system. A Chinese cargo truck can now clear customs in just 15 seconds.

As the country's largest land port for fruit imports and exports, the Youyi Pass saw fruit imports worth 23.92 billion yuan (about 3.3 billion U.S. dollars) in 2023, a 262.9-percent surge year on year.

Pattama Narmwong, chairman of the Thai Mangosteen Association, noted that the greatly improved clearance efficiency has considerably cut down on transportation time and costs, supporting the burgeoning development of fruit trade between China and Southeast Asian nations.

Cargo throughput surges as China's ports streamline customs clearance

Cargo throughput surges as China's ports streamline customs clearance

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