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Shangri-la, Paradise Under Construction

Directors: Mirka Duijn & Nina Spiering

Feature documentary / 94 minuten

A Tibetan tourist spot in China claims to be Shangri-La, the paradise from the 1933 novel Lost Horizon. But Shangri-La is a fiction, how can this place be real? This question sets of a rollercoaster-ride along layers of facts, fictions, and tales of Shangri-La. 


In this essayistic travelogue Mirka Duijn traces the history of the image of Shangri-La, the famous imaginary paradise from the novel Lost Horizon (1933). Two decades ago Deqin, a Tibetan region in China, uncovered evidence proving that it was the original Shangri-La of legend. This is quite impossible because Shangri-La is a fiction, made up by British novelist James Hilton. Is this fairy tale what it seems to be?

Her curiosity aroused, the filmmaker travels to the mountains of Tibetan-China with the intention to uncover the truth behind this evidence. But instead of getting answers, the maker gets entangled in a web of facts and fictions, truths and lies about the place and its colonial past. By picking apart the many strands to this surprisingly rich and complex story, this film trains a critical eye on tourism, media, and even documentary filmmaking itself.


A story of Mirka Duijn & Nina Spiering
Music By: Rutger Hoedemakers
Edited by: Mirka Duijn
Additional editing: Michel Wenzer, Paul de Heer
Assistant Editor: Bobbie Wagenaar
Camera: Mirka Duijn
Sound Design and Mix: Hein Verhoeven
Sound Recording: Shark @Haai Faai Deluxe, Tommy Spaanheden, Wieke Kapteijns
Foley: Merten Duijn
Colorist and Online Edit: Barend Onneweer
Animations: Nina Spiering
Titles:Dave Haverkort
Field work consultant: Bo Wang, Apu Fei Sun
Clearances archive: Wieke Kapteijns
Translations:  Ming Translation, Annie Zheng Yi, Turtle Mountain Gear, Nathan Richmont
Productie Assistent: Madison Baker
Script Coach: Eyal Sivan, Emilie Dudognon, Peter Delpeut
Insurance: Aon Risk Insurance, Monique Rooseman
Produced by: De Productie, René Goossens, Annemiek van Gorp
Co-produced by: Filmkreatörerna, Klara Björk
Studio Kimmo, Nina Spiering, Mirka Duijn
Written and Directed by:Mirka Duijn & Nina Spiering

Individual Pieces of Music ℗ and ® info:
Original Music: Rutger Hoedemaekers
Harp: Margaret Hermant
Flute, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet: Tomasz Duda
Marimba, Vibraphone: Ramon Lormans
Percussion: Nicky Hustinx
Piano: Rutger Hoedemaekers
Recording Engineer: Fabien Leseure
Harp Recorded at La Savonnerie, Brussels
Additional Orchestration: Fabien Leseure
Orchestra: Budapest Art Orchestra
Conductor: Arthur Grosz
Orchestra Contractor: Miklós Lukács
Recording Engineer: Gábor Buczkó
Pro Tools Engineer: David Lukács
Orchestra Recorded at East Connection Music Recording, Studio 22, Budapest
Composer Management: Rosalie Vos
Additional Music:Haaiwaai by Sharkee
Distribution NL: Mokum Film Distributie, Rieks Hadders
Marketing and  Publicity : Film Incompany, Petra van Horssen, Saskia Libbinga
Poster Design: Dave Haverkort
Sales: Journeyman Pictures




PAROOL recensie

PAROOL Artikel


FILMKRANT – recensie Elise van Dam

FILMKRANT – interview Omar larabi

Friesch Dagblad

Shangri-La: Paradise Under Construction is now available for pre-order on iTunes. Link here.