This month saw me travel to Mexico City and Beijing.
The Mexico City visit was in conjunction with the La Gran Expo Cine Video Televisión trade show. It offered me an opportunity to meet with Carlos R. Diazmuñoz Cerdan, president of the AMC (Mexican Society of Cinematographers) and a few of their members, as well as various vendors and supporters of the ASC. It always strikes me how deep our influence has been over the years through our American Cinematographer magazine. We seem to have left an indelible imprint around the world with younger and older cinematographers alike. We are now discussing reaching out directly to the Latin American cinematographers and students. We were already able to invite some with scholarships to attend our ASC Master Class in Los Angeles, and we are investigating the possibility of publishing our magazine in Spanish in the near future. During a celebratory dinner party, I was able to honor our member Henner Hofmann, ASC, AMC with our Certificate of Recognition, but more about that in a separate article.
My trip to China started out with a peculiar observation. From my hotel, I had a clear view of the CCTV building, designed by the internationally renowned architect Rem Koolhaas. Because of its revolutionary and peculiar design, as well as its likeness, it is also known as the “pants” of Koolhaas.
What makes this even more peculiar is that when I was a student at the Dutch film school, Anton Koolhaas, Rem’s father was the director. One day, I was asked to photograph a woven tapestry by Rem’s mother at their house. A pair of pants was casually dropped on the staircase, and the parents were apologizing for the messiness of their son — Rem’s pants.
Anyway, 107Cine.com, our publishers of the Chinese edition of AC magazine and also called CineHello.com, organized a China-American collaboration conference, attended by about 2,000 participants, where, besides myself, Mu De Yuan, president of the CSC (Chinese Society of Cinematographers), and Ke Xing Pei, president of the HKSC (Hong Kong Society of Cinematographers), were able to speak to each other’s ambitions and goals for the immediate future. Again, I was struck by the tremendous respect and interest into our present and past endeavors.
Both societies fondly remembered their participation in the International Cinematography Summit in 2016 and are looking forward to attending next year. There was also interest from some of their celebrated members to join the ASC. In short, we can expect a closer relationship and exchange between our societies and cultural exchange as an immediate result.
Kees van Oostrum