AUG 14 2018

Food Unwrapped is a long-running popular Channel 4 TV show that travels the world exploring the industry secrets behind our favourite foods.

From tins of bamboo shoots and cloves of garlic to noodles and tea, in this food unwrapped China special Ricochet wanted to explore the origins of China’s  amazing foods.

Food safety can be a sensitive subject in China so we had to navigate those sensitivities whilst dealing with complicated visas and permitting, always with an eye on researching great stories that would chime with a UK audience.  Without giving too much away we found some incredibly entertaining and yet informative stories across China, filming simultaneously with two separate crews in 8 different cities across Beijing, Sichuan, Yunnan, Jiangxi, and Jiangsu Provinces over 10 days.

Highlights of the shoot included capturing Matt Tebutt opening a freshly fished clam to discover dozens of pearls inside. Other great moments were host Jimmy Doherty making traditional soy sauce at a picturesque riverside with 3000 pots of fermenting soy beans and later foraging bamboo shoots on the film set of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

(Jimmy’s team filming at the traditional soy sauce factory)

Mandarin Film provided full production services from research, location scouting, logistics and official permissions, to crew, equipment and production staff on the shoots.

“Thank you Yuyu and team for looking after everyone so well, especially in some challenging situations!” Hannah Lamb, Ricochet

“When I first arrived in China it was a bit of a culture shock, the hustle and bustle, the food, the driving, the no holding doors! But after a day or so I got into it and within not long loved it. That’s largely down to Yuyu not only being an ace location producer but also such a great on and off camera translator and guide. Made the whole experience really smooth and efficient. From sourcing new crew at very short notice and going the extra mile to make sure we got the shots we needed and seeing all the interesting sights we could in our limited time.” Joss Cubitt, Ricochet

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MAY 09 2018

“For thousands of years, Chinese dragons have been symbols of power and auspiciousness. This is what marks them apart from dragons in the West.” In a quiet exhibit room of National Museum of China, world famous art director John Howe stands in front of the six thousand year old Dragon and Tiger tomb. He talks animatedly with Chinese experts about the dragon culture which he sees it as his one true passion in life.

Mandarin Film collaborated with Cerigo Films on their new landmark documentary “Dragon!”, a 4 episodes series commissioned by ARTE featuring John Howe, who was the concept artist for the movie trilogies “Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit”.

In this series, John Howe takes his sketch book to in a journey across space and time to get to the heart of dragon legends and myths around the world. This time, he set foot on an ancient soil, China, to discover hidden secrets among the descendants of the dragon.

John Howe has a keen interest in and deep relations with Chinese culture. He first came to China over twenty years ago and has developed life-long friendships with a range of the most well known Chinese artists. No wonder he’s adored by a huge Chinese fan-base. He’s treated like a superstar wherever we go. Shan-Shan Wang, – Mandarin Film Producer.

Key challenges for the production were obtaining the permissions to access some of the most closely guarded national cultural relics at the Great Wall and China’s National Museum. Working closely with CARFTE (The Chinese Association for Radio, Film and Television Exchange), Mandarin Film was able to obtain permissions for all of the filming sites and appropriate visas for the foreign crew.

Cerigo Films is a respected production company with more than 10 years of experience making high-quality television series as well as fictions such as, “The Lord of the Castle”(commissioned by ARTE, France 3 Alsace), “Looking for the Hobbit”(commissioned by ARTE), “Paroles de Vitrail”(France Televisions)

"Dragon!" documentary series is now in post-production stage, and aims to be released winter 2018 on ARTE TV. Created by Yannis Metzinger and Alexis Metzinger. Directed by Rüdiger Mörsdorf, featuering John Howe and presented by Nicolas Mezzalira.

Photo credit Mandarin Film

Photo credit Cerigo Films

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APR 23 2018

In early 2018 US news site Upworthy,  “covering current events in a way that elevates the shared conversation and ourselves.” Commissioned Mandarin Film to produce a short video as part of a global series about long term change-makers, entitled ‘the Long Game’. 

The Nature Conservancy has been involved in environmental protection all over the world for seventy years now, and in China for almost thirty. 

The Nature Conservancy is enhancing the quality of life in China by using science supported by international and local expertise to ensure that China can solve its most pressing environmental challenges—like the threats linked with rapid urbanization and climate change.’

The concept behind the series is that change doesn’t happen overnight, real change only occurs with many years, decades even, of solid application.  With more than a decade of producing experience in China, Mandarin Film couldn’t agree more!

We arranged to go to Heqing, Yunnan Province in China’s far South-West corner, to film TNC’s work around Plateau Wetland and Bird Habitat Conservation.  We were blown away by what we witnessed.  Amongst the rapid development of the area what we found was a quiet, clean haven for birds of every stripe, and a paradise for bird watchers and nature-lovers.

Looking deeper we discovered a great example of how NGOs can collaborate with government and the community to effect change and make everyone’s lives better – people and wildlife too, and hopefully create a better future for our kids and their kids.  The Long Game indeed!

During our two day shoot we filmed a number of incredible sequences, kids in the local middle school getting a lesson in what part they could play; a temple right on the wetland where the abbot is working with TNC to make sure that when pilgrims release fish in the lake (to gain good karma) it’s a non-invasive species that they release.  Finally we were blown away by the sheer number and diversity of the birds we filmed.  [Ruddy Shelduck,Purple Swamphen,Common Coot,Greylag Goose,Common Merganser,Great Egret,Northern Pintail,Northern Shoveler]

Filming using the latest DJI drone ‘Inspire 2’, Amira with long lens monoscope for close up wildlife shots, and Sony A7s with Gimbal, we hope you will agree we were able to capture everything from breathtaking aerials to close ups of rare bird species, from the clear limpid depths of the wetland to the colorful local people that have worked alongside and in harmony with nature for thousands of years.

A rare ray of sunlight in an often unremittingly dark news cycle, Mandarin Film is proud to have played its part in bringing TNC’s work in the wetlands to a wider audience.

You can find out more and donate to the TNC here 

Mandarin Film has long been a supporter and passionate advocate for environmental causes, producing everything from a Oscar nominated ‘Before the Flood’ with Leonardo Dicaprio, ground-breaking documentary ‘Green China Rising’ for National Geographic in 2011, to short ‘micro films’ for a Chinese audience like ‘Thirsty Earth’.

Mandarin Film recently launched a new initiative called ‘Fresh Start’ whereby it donates its time and resources to help NGO’s and charities hone and market their vision using the power of the video.  We do this work completely for free.  If you know of a worthy beneficiary of this, let us know at info [at]

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