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Cash needed to complete film on China

PUBLISHED: 17:12 08 April 2009 | UPDATED: 11:05 12 August 2010

TWO young documentary makers filmed poverty amongst the streets of China for a new project they are hoping to get sponsorship for. Simon James, 23, of Kechill Gardens, Hayes, and his wife Lucy Lu, 26, spent six months in the country s largest city filmi

TWO young documentary makers filmed poverty amongst the streets of China for a new project they are hoping to get sponsorship for.

Simon James, 23, of Kechill Gardens, Hayes, and his wife Lucy Lu, 26, spent six months in the country's largest city filming their production Shanghai: Below the Highrise, which focuses on the wealth gap in China.

They returned in February last year and have been editing the film, but they desperately need sponsorship of around £5,000 to fund the post production costs such as music composition, narration and sound editing.

Former Hayes Secondary pupil Simon said: "I have always been fascinated by China and had wanted to make a film about the country for quite some time. Lucy grew up in Shanghai and came up with the idea for a documentary about the impoverished backstreets.

"The film raises some really important issues. China is at the forefront of the economy and we hope that businesses will want to get involved in this film.

"One of our main subjects was a rubbish collector Guang Tian Zhang whose son died working on a highly unsafe building site. He has no rights at all in the courts which are basically corrupt.

"The backstreet residents have been the victims of some of the Communist Party's most devastating and dramatic policy changes over the last 60 years.

"As teenagers, millions were banished from the city, forced to move to the harsh countryside to live and work with peasant communities.

"Although many have returned, their mentality is skewed and they don't know if they are countryside people as the Shanghainese put it, or native citizens."

Simon said they came up against hostility while they were filming because of the sensitive nature of the project.

He said: "The authorities put pressure on us to stop and we would receive quite a lot of probing phone calls. But we also came under attack from disgruntled middle-class residents who saw the media coverage of the city's underclass as an insult to their new found status."

The couple are hoping to premiere their production at the Venice Film Festival before taking it to the Sundance Film Festival in the hope of getting television sponsorship.

For more information, call Simon James on 07947180747 or e-mail sjamesuk@hotmail.com.

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