Macau (or Macau, 澳門) is the world's biggest gambling city. It is "the Monte Carlo of the Orient" or the "Asian Las Vegas". One half of Macau's economy depends on gambling tourism from mainland China and Hong Kong. Exotic Macau and its gambling-saturated urban culture has inspired film-makers and television producers but mostly in the areas of fiction (e.g. Macao 1952 or 007 Skyfall 2012) or travel programs (e.g. World Travels: Hong Kong & Macau 2008). One significant documentary film about Macau and gambling is High/Low (2011) which portrays the stories of four Macanese gamblers. However, ethnographic film documentaries about Macau are non-existent.

The purpose of our project is to make a full-length (approx. 1h 10m) film ethnography about Macau as a gambling city. The film will serve academic purposes but at the same time will attract general audiences in our homeland as well as abroad. The film will use various elements such as archival material (pictures, film and newspapers), interviews of gambling specialist in the industry and the academia, and our own participatory observations in situ. The main question of our project is:

What is the significance of gambling for Macau 
historically, culturally, socially and symbolically?

For us, the ten-day preliminary stage of our project in October 2013 will be an exploration of an unknown territory. We aim to familiarize ourselves with Macao's urban space and the gambling venue as well as interview ordinary Macanese people as well as those employed within the gambling industry. We will also interview Macau-based academics, and start gathering archival materials. And of course, shoot a lot of footage and take pictures.

The main stage of our project sometime in 2014 will take us back to Macau for at least a month, during which we will continue filming Macau and its gambling-related activities, events and symbolism, gather more archival material as well as focus on a few key persons whose lives in Macau we follow for some time.

If you became interested in our project, feel free to contact us for more information.

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