A new documentary showcasing Chinas profound love of wedding photography will premiere at the Sydney Film Festival on Wednesday evening, with audiences buzzing about the behind-the-scenes look into the multi-billion dollar industry.
Directed by Shanghai-based, Australian director, Olivia Martin-McGuire, the film captures the real-life journey some couples are willing to take in order to get their perfect wedding shot.
"It's called China Love and really by the end of it you do kind of love China," Martin-McGuire told Xinhua.
The film is about people and it's about contemporary China through this window of love, marriage and dreams, because the pre-wedding industry is all about dreams and hopes.
Described as a national ritual, photo shoots can take place up to a year in advance of the wedding and often involve professionally staged scenes of romance, complete with elaborate outfits and world class backdrops.
According to Martin-McGuire, some couples even travel as far as Australia, Europe or Antarctica.
"The wedding as I understand it, is for the family, its very traditional," she said.
"The photos are just for this individual dream and they are not based in reality at all."
"You can use fake sets and you can dress up to be whatever you want to be, it's about a dream."
The inspiration for Martin-McGuires documentary came several years ago, when she was working as a photojournalist in shanghai.
By chance, the Australian happened to come across 15 brides posing for photos in front of a sandstone wall.
"I think it's the shoes that capture me," she said.
"Because they all had amazing dresses, these elaborate gowns and then theyve got these white sneakers and they start running because they have to do so many shoots in one day."
"But I didn't know all of this, all I knew was there were all these fantastic outfits and they were all around this corner and then they were running somewhere, so thats what sort of sparked my curiosity."