Studio Hits New Heights with Its Film Himalaya Ladder to Paradise

(The documentary film Himalaya Ladder to Paradise, made by a production team from the Tsinghua School of Journalism and Communication, has been selected as one of the “Five Films of the Year” by People’s Daily. It tells the story of a group of Tibetan students’ adventure in the Himalayas as mountaineering guides.)

A documentary produced by the Qingying Film Studio, based in the School of Journalism and Communication at Tsinghua University, has been chosen as one of the “Five Films of the Year” by People’s Daily.

The film, Himalaya Ladder to Paradise, has been warmly received by the public and was one of the biggest box office successes among documentaries released in 2015. Professor Yin Hong,Executive Dean of the School of Journalism and Communication plotted the documentary, Dr. Lei Jianjun was producer and Dr. Liang Junjian was the co-director. A large number of Tsinghua students and graduates participated in the production and shooting of the film.

Himalaya Ladder to Paradise tells the story of how a team of Tibetan students from a mountaineering school climbed to the top of the Himalayas as mountaineering guides after years of training. The name of the documentary originates from the little white ladders drawn on the rocks in the Qinghai-Tibet plateau by the Tibetans. They are known as the ladders to paradise in the hope that they can lead human souls to the sacred heaven. The young guides in the film were figurative ladders to paradise for mountain climbers. While ordinary climbers view the peak as the end of their expedition, the young guides regard it only as a starting point of maturity and a threshold of life.

The idea of the film came from a trip by Dr. Lei to Tibet in 2010, with the crew starting a one-year continuous shoot in 2013. The team faced significant challenges in shooting the documentary, yet the production team managed to fully record the arduous process of climbing in the Himalayas. It was the first time a film camera tripod had stood at the summit of Mount Everest, and the first time a drone had captured images and filmed at 6,500 meters above sea level. With a vivid, true-to-life presentation of the image of the brave young Tibetans, the film won many national and international awards and recognitions.

The film has been described as a combination of academic soul, professional execution and commercial operation. Creation, education and research are merged into the process of making the film, with an integration of daily life experience with extreme adventure. The way the film reflects on the growth of Tibetan teenagers and of modern life in Tibet gives a better understanding of Tibet’s mysteries for people across the world.

The Qingying film studio has for many years endeavored to promote academic research and the growth of students through hands-on practice and creation.In this way, it also hasbeen a ladder leading many young journalists and film makers at Tsinghua to find the best in themselves.