A feature documentary film on living the American dream in China's Wild West
Hidden among the mountains north of Beijing, a Wild West themed community promises to deliver the American dream to its several thousand Chinese residents. In Americaville, Annie Liu escapes China’s increasingly uninhabitable capital city to pursue happiness, freedom, romance, and spiritual fulfillment in the town; only to find the American idyll harder to attain than what was promised to her.
HD Video, 80 Minutes, 2020
Director, co-producer, and editor: Adam James Smith
Co-producers: Qi Zhang, Wang Qihan, Wei Guang, Song Ke, Tang Yi
Music composer: Rob Scales
Advisor: Rupert Stasch
ABOUT THE DIRECTOR
Adam James Smith is a British filmmaker based in New York. His filmmaking practice spans rural and urban environments across China, Japan, and the United States. His first feature film, The Land of Many Palaces, on the Chinese "ghost city" of Ordos, participated in the Sundance Institute workshop and premiered at the 2015 Santa Barbara International Film Festival. The film then went on to screen at festivals and on television around the world, picking up awards in Moscow, Rome, and Kyoto. His follow-up film, Americaville, on the Chinese replica of Jackson Hole, Wyoming was sponsored by the Whicker's Foundation and the Asian Cinema Fund. The film was released in 2020 and has since been screened around the world at festivals and universities. Adam is currently working on a series of films documenting the diversity of the rural experience throughout the American Heartland, including the country’s oldest Black rodeo in Okmulgee Invitational, the oil boom awakening the abandoned homesteads of North Dakota in Frontier Phantom, and Native American cowboys in Arapaho Pasture. Adam was educated in film at Stanford and anthropology at Cambridge, the latter of which he is currently an Affiliated Filmmaker at the university’s Visual Anthropology Lab.