Promoting National Treasures to the World

 September 24, 2019
Promoting National Treasures to the World
Yu Lei, a National March 8th Red-banner Holder Award winner, is a TV-program director who works for China Central Television (CCTV). [For Women of China]


Yu Lei, a National March 8th Red-banner Holder Award winner, is a TV-program director who works for China Central Television (CCTV). During the past 17 years, Yu has progressed from an intern reporter to an experienced director and producer. As chief director and producer of CCTV's cultural-exploration program, National Treasure, Yu has dedicated herself to a career that has allowed her to introduce the charm of China's cultural relics to viewers, from home and abroad.

Taking Root

Yu says she was lucky to have had the opportunity to begin working at CCTV, right after she graduated from university, in 2002. She has devoted her youth to the production of TV programs that have shown Chinese people's cultural confidence to the world. One of her most unforgettable work experiences was her participation in the launch of the program, National Treasure.

In answering General Secretary Xi Jinping's call for Chinese people to enhance their sense of pride and confidence in the Chinese nation, Yu began leading her team, in 2015, in producing a program, which aimed at making national treasures come "alive."

Yu and her team spent two years and seven months producing the program. They studied more than five million words of archeological reports, documents and other reference materials. They visited the Palace Museum, Shanghai Museum, Nanjing Museum, Hunan Provincial Museum, Henan Museum, Shaanxi History Museum, Hubei Provincial Museum, Zhejiang Provincial Museum and Liaoning Provincial Museum. Yu's team held 4,000-plus hours of meetings with the employees of those museums, during which they discussed how  to present selected cultural relics on the show. "We are astonished, affected and moved by the great civilization of our country. We feel it is our holy mission to help promote Chinese culture, and Chinese spirit, to the world," Yu recalled, excitedly.

Yu and her colleagues wrote draft plans, which they revised and polished — again and again. They invited thousands of experts and scholars to read the plans and give feedback. During the busiest preparation period, Yu slept a mere two to three hours a day. In  daytime, she watched rehearsals at the television studio. Late in the evening, she supervised the editing of films in the computer room.

Given the great efforts made by Yu and her team, National Treasure became popular soon after it debuted, on CCTV Channel 3, on December 3, 2017. Through the dramatic narrations of the "national treasures' guardians," viewers learned about both the historical background and the protection and inheritance of the cultural relics. Many of the viewers have since developed a great interest in the cultural relics, and they have paid visits to the museums where the national treasures are exhibited.

Applause on Global Stage

National Treasure has attracted young viewers, many of whom were born after 1990, and some after 2000. The program is regarded, by the public, as a "unique TV show that can only be produced by Chinese people." Every time Yu receives positive, and touching, feedback from viewers, she feels all of the efforts made by her team — and all of the hardships — have paid off.

"To arouse Chinese people's passion about the great civilization of our country, and to enhance their willingness to promote splendid culture of our country, that is the most important significance of producing such a program," Yu explains.

In April 2018, Yu attended a recommendation event of China-produced programs, which was held during the annual MIPTV (Marché International des Programmes de Télévision, or Market International of Programs of Television), in Cannes, France. It was the first time MIPTV hosted an event particularly to promote programs produced in China. National Treasure was the first TV program recommended during the event. Yu explained, in English, National Treasure to the participants.

"What is history? The spelling of the word 'history' can be split into two parts — 'hi' and 'story.' Through this program (National Treasure), we say 'hi' to the splendid history of our nation, and we turn cultural relics, which reflect our history, into 'high' stories and interesting stories. We tell those stories to the world. National Treasure provides one of the best platforms, for us, to tell stories about China to the world," she said.

After Yu's introduction, many of the participants, including workers of media outlets from around the world, remembered Yu's comments about "hi, story" and "high story." They gave Yu and her team their thumbs up. Yu was happy to see stories about China receive applause on the global stage.

In Yu's opinion, the new era provides everyone with opportunities to fulfill his/her dreams, as long as he/ she works hard. Looking into the future, she says, "I will work with my colleagues to help inherit and promote the splendid culture of our nation. We will stick to our original aspirations, safeguard the history and civilization of our country, and make our glories shine. We are determined to pursue and fulfill our dreams in the new era."


(Women of China)


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