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July 26, 2017

The Global Exchange Program

By Sabrina Malekzadah

Each summer since 2006 film students from the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) and Communication University of China team up to create documentaries as part of the Global Exchange Program, which was created by SCA professors Marsha Kinder and Mark Jonathan as a partnership between the twoEach summer since 2006 film students from the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) and Communication University of China team up to create documentaries as part of the Global Exchange Program, which was created by SCA professors Marsha Kinder and Mark Jonathan as a partnership between the two schools. schools. The programs alternates between the two campuses and this year the students from the Communication University of China came to spend the summer and collaborate at SCA. Each student was partnered with a USC student they’ve never met, and the teams worked intensively over six weeks to produce work on various topics.

This year the film topics included: Chinese culture in Los Angeles, communal living, traditional Chinese medicine, female poets, rideshares, and the life of a San Joaquin Valley farmworker. Here is a bit about each film, and where you can see them:

Primetime, directed by Dagmawi Abebe and Yilu Li, is a documentary on rideshare applications like Uber and Lyft. Two Lyft drivers share their experiences and how addicting these apps are. Both drivers agree that being a driver for these companies can be enjoyable for short periods of time, however over time it can be a stressful job.

Felicitas is the story of a Mexican female farmworker in California and the sacrifices she made to create a life for herself in the USA. Directors Denise and Emilia Yang highlight her journey from immigrating to the USA to fighting to create a better life her family. Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2vTjEiavVmU

Touch of Trauma, directed by Mark Vinzant and Gavin Xil, follows the story of a man using Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to deal with the pain from a multi-collision car accident. Since the structure and placement of the bones are more difficult to change, TCM changes the environment around the bones such as blood circulation and nerve conduction by using techniques like acupuncture. Link: https://youtu.be/taOwV6Wxyc8

Technicolor Tree Tribe is a documentary about a small group of men and women who live together and share money, food, and even clothing. The group came together in 2007 when the students participated in a sit in at USC. Directors Adam Kunsberg and Perry Piu show how these students came together and made a home full of caring, open-minded people.

Successors, directed by Ruifeng Lan and Shuai Zhao, show the history of Chinese Kung Fu and how it has evolved in modern times. Shi Yanxi, a Kungfu teacher, explains how although Shaolin Kung Fu has been lost in generations, people who practice it today find that they are stronger both mentally and physically.