That’s Me is a documentary about Li Na, a renowned tennis player, and this is the first documentary about her five years after her retirement. In this period, she became a mother of two children. And her life is still connected with the tennis world: during the 2018 Wimbledon Championships, Li Na participated in the veterans’ event; in 2019 during the Australian Open, she was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame as the first Asian.
Recently the producer and director of the documentary That’s Me shared the story behind the documentary.
Hope audiences to seek individuality from their inner heart.
Reporter ("R"): What impressed you the most during the filming and production?
Director Liu Hongtao ("Liu"): The most impressive is Li Na's persistence.
In the few years after her retirement, Li Na has been working hard to start a non-profit tennis school. For the tennis school, she has her own "standard", and therefore gave up many opportunities. Her tennis school is not to cultivate world champions, or make profit, but for the 99% of children who will not take on the path of professional tennis players.
In her dream, children in the tennis school can play tennis and study. They can choose whether to be a professional player or go to college when they are 18. There are still hurdles in realizing this dream, but Li Na has not given up.
How can Li Na be herself and become the idol of so many people? This attempt shows Li Na has never deviated from her original aspiration, and forged ahead bravely. I think this is also one of the reasons why she could succeed.
R: Which clip of this film is the most satisfactory for yourself and why?
Liu: The most satisfying clips are those of Li Na and her husband. In one, they sit on a bench and talking to each other; in the other, they are dancing at a private party. In these two clips, they are very relaxed and real, which is also one of the goals of our documentary.
For the outside world, Li Na seems to be more dominant. But in life, as Li Na said, her husband Jiang Shan is more like her guide, and she is a "little woman".
The clips of their daily life run through the whole film. In fact, how they support each other emotionally all the way is the theme of the documentary.
R: What do you want to express most when shooting this documentary, and what do you most want to convey to audiences?
Liu: On the tennis court or in life, Li Na has always had goals and followed her heart, and finally became the best version of herself. I hope that after watching this film, audiences reserve a little space for themselves in the bustling world, and seek individuality following their inner thoughts.
Hope audiences can feel the power of sports from the film
Reporter ("R"): For what reason did you present the film That’s Me to the Beijing International Sports Film Week? What do you want to bring to the audiences?
Producer Jia Wenxiu ("Jia"): I really appreciate the opportunity provided by Beijing International Sports Film Week so that the documentary That’s Me can be compared with outstanding sports films across the world.
We hope that through this film, audiences can see a more real Li Na, and feel the power of sports. As the immortal poem "Ode to Sports" goes: "O Sports, delight of the Gods, distillation of life! You are Justice, you are Daring, you are Honor, you are Joy, you are Fecundity ..."
R: As director of the original planning team of Tencent Sports, you previously served as the producer of the documentary talk show "More than Champions". You have paid great attention to national heroic sports figures, and you have close contact and understanding of them. How do you personally view the significance of heroic sports figures in sports film and TV?
Jia: "More than Champions" tells the true stories of the Chinese women's volleyball team in the form of documentary interviews. It breaks the limitations of space and performance forms of traditional talk show studios, and records their charm as real individuals with a large number of outdoor shots and on-site scenes. The program aims to interpret "Limited Life, Infinite Possibilities".
In fact, the Chinese women's volleyball team, Li Na, and other heroic sports figures all reached the pinnacle of their careers through hard work. Along the way, they had losses and gains but also unlimited possibilities in life.
From these films, audiences can see not only champions, but also themselves. This may be the greatest significance and value of heroic sports figures in films and TVs.
© Copyright 2020. All rights reserved
Beijing Olympic City Development Association.All rights reserved.Beijing ICP 11016671 No.