观音山 | Buddha Mountain

Buddha Mountain

Three 20-something buddies drift like free-spirits through Chengdu, Sichuan: Nan Feng, a gorgeous and fearlessly feisty bar singer, and her two admirers, bike delivery guy Ding Bo and roly-poly Fei Zao. When Nan Feng accidentally assaults a well-connected bar patron, the three need to find not only compensation money but also a new place to live. They find the apartment of Chang Yueqin, a retired but agelessly elegant Beijing opera performer. Life styles and generations clash: Yueqin tries to impose discipline on the youths, and they in turn mock her old-fashioned harshness. When their reckless violation of her privacy exposes Yueqin’s hidden sorrows, the four learn to accommodate their differences, then how to offer emotional and ultimately spiritual support.

Directed by Yu Li | Starring : Bingbing Fan, Sylvia Chang, Bo-lin Chen, Yue Guan, Li Fang | Presented at Tokyo Film Festival, Vancouver Film Festival, Chicago Film Festival, Thessaloniki Film Festival, Cleveland Film Festival

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二十四城记 | 24 City

24 City

A masterful film from Jia Zhang-ke, the renowned director chronicles the dramatic closing of a once-prosperous state-owned aeronautics factory in Chengdu, a city in Southwest China, and its conversion into a sprawling luxury apartment complex. Bursting with poetry, pop songs and striking visual detail, the film weaves together unforgettable stories from three generations of workers – some real, some played by actors – into a vivid portrait of the human struggle behind China’s economic miracle.

Directed by Zhang Ke Jia | Starring : Tao Zhao, Joan Chen, Jianbin Chen, Liping Lü | Presented at Cannes Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, New York Film Festival, Sao Paulo Film Festival, Chicago Film Festival, London Film Festival, Mar del Plata Film Festival, Torino Film Festival, Rotterdam Film Festival, Glasgow Film Festival, Cleveland Film Festival, Wisconsin Film Festival, Hong Kong Film Festival, Rio de Janeiro Film Festival, St. Louis Film Festival

文雀 | Sparrow

Sparrow

From the acclaimed director of The Mission, Election, and Exiled, Johnnie To. “Sparrow’ is a common word used in Hong Kong street slang for pickpocket. The term refers to the special dexterity needed to pluck people’s wallets from their pockets… and possibly also to the necessity of having to flutter away quickly should one be discovered. Kei is one such ‘sparrow’ – and a very professional one at that. He and his three partners earn a good living from digging deep into the pockets of oblivious passers-by moving along the crowded urban canyons of Hong Kong. As far as Kei’s concerned, it’s all he needs to live a carefree life. Whenever he is not going about his business he loves to ride about the city on his bicycle photographing street scenes with his Rolleiflex camera. One day the gorgeous Chun Lei comes into his sights. Kei is fascinated. But behind Chun Lei’s good looks lurks a mysterious past. Kei falls in love with her – and he is not the only one. After having managed to turn the heads of his three colleagues, she reveals her true intentions: the sparrows must steal something of great importance to her.

Directed by Johnnie To | Starring : Simon Yam, Kelly Lin, Ka Tung Lam, Hoi-Pang Lo, Suet Lam | Presented at Berlin Film Festival, Fantasia Film Festival, Cinemanila Film Festival, Chicago Film Festival, Cleveland Film Festival, Wisconsin Film Festival, Mill Valley Film Festival

鬼域 | Re-Cycle

Re-Cycle

The first novel of a young woman writer, Ting-yin, pen-named Chu Xun, has become the bestseller in South East Asia. Her novel is a love story that touches the hearts of all her readers. Her manager, Abby announces her next title in her autograph party. The Recycle, it deals with the supernatural forces. Her readers eagerly await the release of her new book with high expectations of her fictional work to be true to life. The film opens with Ting-yin starting work on the Recycle. After drafting a chapter, she stops. She even deletes the file which contains the draft from her computer. Later, she begins to see weird things. Some of the phenomenon cannot be explained. Ting-yin feels that the supernatural events depicted in her fictional work begin to unfold in the real world! Ting-yin finds it increasingly hard to tell what is real and what is imaginary… But she soon learns that perhaps she should follow the mysterious hints into the other world. Isn’t it exactly the subject matter that she’s working on in the Recycle? By having the experience herself, wouldn’t it be the best way to learn of the inexplicable? One night, Ting-yin decides to follow the hints into the other world, in which she has the experience of real and pure horror!

Directed by Oxide Pang Chun, Danny Pang | Starring : Angelica Lee, Lawrence Chou, Siu-Ming Lau, Rain Li, Zeng Qi Qi | Presented at Cannes Film Festival, Helsinki Film Festival, Cleveland Film Festival

背鸭子的男孩 | Taking Father Home

Taking Father Home

Traveling with no money and only two ducks as collateral, Xu Yun walks into an urban jungle of gangsters and thieves, throwing his life into danger. He earns the sympathy and support of streetwise hustler Scar and a cynical policeman. Both help Xu Yun find clues to the whereabouts of his father, but their efforts are dashed by a 24-hour flood warning forcing the sudden evacuation of the entire city. Will Xu Yun find his father in time, and if so, will he bring his father back home? Winner of several international festival awards, Taking Father Home is the debut feature of radical independent filmmaker Ying Liang, who borrowed equipment and recruited friends and family to realize his fierce vision of an emotionaly scarred society. The film presents “a side of China that is rarely, if ever, seen on film.

Directed by Liang Ying | Starring : Yun Xu, Xiaopei Liu, Jie Wang, Cijun Song | Presented at Rotterdam Film Festival, Fribourg Film Festival, Hong Kong Film Festival, Singapore Film Festival, San Francisco Film Festival, Chicago Film Festival, London Film Festival, Cleveland Film Festival

美人依旧 | The Beauty Remains

Beauty Remains2

Set in 1948 against the backdrop of Communism’s rise, “Fei” is the story of two sisters, Fei and Ying, bound together by the will of their late father, a legendary business entrepreneur, and their shared love for a charismatic ex-boxer, Huang. They are two women whose paths have been dictated by the often cruel decrees of the men their lives–two women who must somehow transcend that influence…or lose everything.

Directed by Ann Hu | Starring : Xun Zhou, Vivian Wu, Zhiwen Wang, Lisa Lu, Lixin Yang | Presented at Cleveland Film Festival

青少年哪吒 | Rebels of the Neon God

Rebels of the Neon God

The Taiwanese title refers to Nezha, a powerful child god in Chinese classical mythology who was born into a human family. Nezha is impulsive and disobedient. He tries to kill his father, but is brought under control when a Taoist immortal (Nezha’s spiritual mentor) gives the father a miniature pagoda that enables him to control his rebellious son. This resonates in the film a number of ways: Lee’s mother believes that he is Nezha reincarnated, and Tze and Bing try to pawn off some stolen goods to an arcade proprieter named Nezha. Before the pawning of the stolen goods, Lee vandalizes Tze’s motorcycle, including graffiti stating “Here is Nezha.”

Directed by Ming-liang Tsai | Starring : Kang-sheng Lee, Chao-jung Chen, Yi-Ching Lu, Tien Miao, Yu-wen Wang | Presented at Taipei Film Festival, Berlin Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, Chicago Film Festival, Tokyo Film Festival, Torino Film Festival, Cleveland Film Festival, Thessaloniki Film Festival, Buenos Aires Film Festival, Febio Film Festival