Submarine · Cross-Media Production Studio


I Wanna be Boss... reports on how the next generation of Chinese leaders is being molded. In this documentary we follow five very smart Chinese students through their final high-pressure year at an elite high school in Chongqing, a megalopolis in central China. They are competing, together with 10,5 million students all over the country, for a limited amount of spots at Beijing's top two universities. Studying from 7.10 AM till 10.30 PM, 6 days a week, the students' lives are regimented almost every minute of the day as they prepare for the end-of-year exam that can determine their fate. For many students from poor or rural backgrounds, a strong performance on the test is the only way to climb the social ladder and excel without connections.

We meet Zhang Lie, who wants to study law and become a Chinese Communist Party member like her father; Mei Jiacheng, a genius mathematician from a farming family; Chen Zhibo, a misfit science student with big plans to become China's Bill Gates; Gao Mengjia, a dedicated student who loves money and aspires to be a hedge fund manager and Peng Kun... who has her doubts on being called the future of China.

Nicknamed the 'I want' generation by the Chinese press, these only children - the sole focus of their parents' and grandparents' nurturing under China's one-child policy - will be the new class of corporate managers, lawyers and civil servants who are expected to propel 21st-century China to surpass the United States as the largest economy in the world.