Short Film Showcase: 36,000 Kids You Don’t Want to Mess With

The Shaolin Temple Kung Fu Academy is the largest school of its kind in China. Get a glimpse of the hard work required to master the Chinese martial art in this impressive collaboration between DJ Ben Surkin (represented by Savoir Faire) and filmmaker Inigo Westmeier. Footage was adapted from Westmeier’s 2012 documentary Dragon Girls with music from Gener8tio featuring M.I.A. I spoke with Westmeier about the process of creating the original documentary and adapting it into a music video.

How did you first learn about the Shaolin Tagou Kung Fu School?

I actually first learned about the Shaolin Tagou Kung Fu School by practicing kung fu with my son at a Shaolin temple in Berlin. It was there that I saw a child seem to effortlessly defy gravity and literally run up and down a wall with extreme grace. As a cinematographer and director, I was instantly attracted to the power of the individual and the image, achieving this [feat] without the use of any props or digital special effects. I spoke with some of the children and the monk and heard about an exclusively female kung-fu school in China that sounded extraordinary. I went in search of this monastery and a story, visiting this school of training for young female warriors only to find it defunct and in ruins. As soon as I thought the concept had reached a dead end, the Shaolin Tagou Kung Fu School lay waiting on the horizon.

What was it about the place that inspired you to make a film?

At first I thought that it was really not that interesting to focus on the Shaolin Tagou Kung Fu School because of its being already so well known and its massive size. I wasn’t sure there was a —> Read More