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October 19, 2019

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TV show shines light on China’s industrial might

A three-episode documentary series “Top Facility,” featuring China’s new and advanced industrial equipment, will start to air on CCTV 9 at 10pm on October 23.

Invested by CCTV documentary channel and co-produced by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, it took the crew almost three years to produce the series which has been condensed into 150 minutes of viewing time from 8,000 or so shots and dozens of hours of materials.

The series focuses on the most sophisticated equipment in China today, including artificial intelligence, from the mechanical giants that dominate mines, underground and water, to the core ones known as the “Heart of Nuclear Power” and the “Core of Giant Ship.” All is documented in the series.

These facilities have helped resolve an electricity supply problem for 1.4 billion people in the country. The West-East Power Transmission Project is truly a great human feat.

They have largely helped shorten China’s subway construction cycle thanks to generations of engineers’ efforts.

The crew traveled tens of thousands of kilometers in 38 cities and regions around China for the shooting.

The production team entered the factories and workshops, climbed towers, went down the pits and shouldered heavy cinematographic equipment to board 100-meter-high ship hoisting machines, so they could capture the magnificent scene of industrial construction.

The cameramen even descended into underground mines, hundreds of meters deep, and filmed intelligent coal mining machines working against coal seams.

Chief Director Han Jing revealed the documentary is about the remarkable progress and achievements of industrial technology of China. All technological terms will be interpreted in a vivid and explicit way to cater for the taste of a general audience.

“The series not only shows the shocking scenes that are difficult to reproduce in the construction of equipment, but also reveals that these high-end facilities are precisely related to the most common daily life of people,” Han said. “They bring positive changes to the quality of our lives.”

Han is known for the documentary series “Imperial Examination” and the history documentary film “The Scapegoat.”

“The Scapegoat,” which is about Wang Yaqiao’s failed assassination of Soong Tse-ven — a prominent early 20th century businessman and politician — at a railway station in Shanghai in 1931, received wide acclaim from critics and audiences when it premiered at last year’s Shanghai International Film Festival.

Compared with her former shooting experience, the production of “Top Facility” required her to be a science and technology student for the first time.

She and her team spent a lot of time learning the profound principles of hi-tech equipment and breaking them down into easy-to-understand visual language.

With government support and the increasing number of documentary enthusiasts, Han is optimistic about the future development of the domestic documentary industry. A second series of “Top Facility” is already in the planning stage.


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