萧红 | Falling Flowers

Falling Flowers

While bombs destroy 1941 Hong Kong, Xiao Hong lays ill in a nearly abandoned hospital recounting her short life to an admirer.  Falling Flowers is the story of China’s Xiao Hong, a writer who is torn apart by societal expectations of women, fickle lovers, and her own complex needs.  As a young woman faced with the prospect of an arranged marriage, Xiao Hong leaves her family and follows her dream of attending university.  Overwhelmed by her financial situation she finds some support from her fiance but it does not last long.  Out of school, unwed, pregnant and trapped in a hotel for bad debt, Xiao Hong begins to crumble until a dashing reporter, Xiao Jun, visits her.  Their passion for art and literary success helps them overcome their poverty but is it enough to overcome the perils of war and his womanizing ways? Directed by Huo Jiangi, Falling Flowers is a beautifully shot period piece that skillfully tells the tragic tale of one of China’s important modern authors.

Directed by Jianqi Huo | Starring : Jia Song, Jue Huang, Renjun Wang, Chao Wu, Zhang Bo | Presented at Shanghai Film Festival, Hawaii Film Festival

秋之白华 | The Seal of Love

The Seal of Love

China, the early 1920s. Following the 4 May Movement in 1919, when students and radicals demontrated against foreign oppression, Yang Zhihua moves from Zhejiang province to Shanghai and ends up studying sociology at Shanghai University, where she becomes friends with Feng Xiaoxuan, a student of English who’s come to the big city to escape a marriage. In class, Yang falls under the spell of radical teacher Qu Qiubai and perseveres with her studies despite the opposition of her husband Shen Jianlong, by whom she has a young daughter, An’er. Yang becomes Secretary of the Women’s Section of the KMT’s Shanghai Executive Branch, where she works with Xiang Jingyu, wife of Communist revolutionary Cai Hesen, at a time when the Communists were planning to unite with the KMT under Sun Yat-sen’s “Three Principles of the People” reform movement. Yang’s husband finally leaves her in Shanghai and she joins the fledgling Chinese Communist Party, working closely alongside Qu. Following the death of Qu’s wife, in summer 1924 Yang and Qu visit her husband and arrange for her divorce. Following demonstrations in Shanghai, Qu, now married to Yang, becomes a wanted man but manages to escape arrest. In 1927 he and Yang are selected for the CCP’s Central Committee, but the Party is torn by in-fighting. In 1928, they move to Moscow as CCP delegates, but in 1930 return to Shanghai, where Qu, ousted form the Central Committee, works as a translator with writer Lu Xun. But by 1933 Qu’s safety is becoming more and more perilous and he’s forced to leave Yang in Shanghai and flee the city.

Directed by Jianqi Huo | Starring : Shawn Dou, Jie Dong, Jiaming Guo, Chunde Yi, Kira Mi | Presented at Shanghai Film Festival

台北飘雪 | Snowfall in Taipei

Snowfall in Taipei2

A romantic story about love lost and found in the peaceful backstreets to the glamorous entertainment scenes of Taipei. Seamus is a young man living in an old Taipei neighborhood. One day, a pop singer May is announced missing in Taipei, and subsequently appears in Seamus’ town. With a voice problem and desperate to hide herself, she seeks help from Seamus, who offers her a place to stay, a job in a local diner, and takes her to a Chinese doctor for treatment. When Seamus finds himself in love with May, he finds her heart, however, belongs to somewhere else. He finally understands; one disappears in order to be found.

Directed by Jianqi Huo | Starring : Bo-lin Chen, Yao Tong, Tony Yang, Tzu-yi Mo, Janel Tsai | Presented at Tokyo Film Festival

情人结 | A Time to Love

A Time to Love

The theme of impossible love is timeless. It is as touching in the Shakespearean era as in the 1980s. A boy and a girl grew up together and fell in love with each other in the early 80s. The strong hatred between their families was an obstacle to their love. Dating would bring disasters while separation would be a torture. Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet inspired them to insist on their love, but that love was still too fragile to resist pressure from their families. He was sent abroad seven years ago and she has waited for seven years until he returns now. Can the love between them be everlasting? A Time to Love, released near Valentine’s Day, is promoted as a modern day Chinese version of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Popular idols Vicky Zhao Wei and Lu Yi both take on new images in this artistic film. Award-winning director Huo Jianqi designs the most aesthetic scenes to convey to his audience the most intense romance.

Directed by Jianqi Huo | Starring : Wei Zhao, Yi Lu, Xiaoying Song, Minjie Cui, Qian Zhang | Presented at Shanghai Film Festival, Changchun Film Festival

暖 | Nuan


Like Huo’s Postmen in the Mountains, Nuan is a rural drama. The film follows Lin Jinghe, a young man who, for the last ten years, has been living in the big city. When he returns home, he runs into his childhood love, Nuan. Years earlier, Nuan and Jinghe had been schoolmates. Nuan, the most popular girl in school, had fallen in love with an acrobat from a traveling troupe. When the acrobat eventually abandons her, Nuan finds herself drawn to Jinghe. One day, while playing with Jinghe, Nuan is permanently injured when she falls off a swing. Jinghe, seeing an opportunity to escape the small village heads to the city, but promises that he will be back for Nuan. Like the acrobat, however, he soon forgets about his childhood love. Now, ten years later, he has finally returned. Nuan, however, has married a local mute.

Directed by Jianqi Huo | Starring : Xiaodong Guo, Jia Li, Teruyuki Kagawa, Xiaotong Guan, Guitian Sun | Presented at Tokyo Film Festival

生活秀 | Life Show

Life Show

With the aftermath of China’s Cultural Revolution as its backdrop, this drama showcases the resilience of a 30-something woman as she tries to pick up the pieces of her family’s life. After her mother’s death, Shuang Yang raises her brother, only to witness him fall into drug addiction, all as she runs a struggling restaurant in Chongqing. She lives day to day until a regular customer asks her out, igniting a spark of love, and hope.

Directed by Jianqi Huo | Starring : Höng Tao, Zeru Tao, Yueming Pan, Yang Yi, Deyuan Luo | Presented at Shanghai Film FestivalMontréal Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, Tokyo Film Festival, Thessaloniki Film Festival

蓝色爱情 | A Love of Blueness

A Love of Blueness2

Rookie policeman Tai Lin yearned to be an artist before he failed an examination and followed in his father’s footsteps. One day he interrupts an apparent suicide attempt by a woman standing on the edge of a bridge. He detains her when she claims to have murdered her husband, despite her protests that it’s all a joke. It turns out that Liu Yun is a performance artist, but Tai Lin is not amused and is glad to be rid of her when she is released.

Directed by Jianqi Huo | Starring : Yueming Pan, Rujun Ten, Quan Yuan, Gang Wang, Yong Dong | Presented at Montréal Film Festival, Cairo Film Festival

那山、那人、那狗 | Postmen in the Mountains

Postmen in the Mountains

An old postman has spent his whole life delivering mail to the mountain of Hunan and is about to retire. His only son is due to take over his duties. As father and son journey through the mountains, the son begins to appreciate the toil and burden his father has to bear as postman for the villagers, and the old postman is also deeply moved as his son relates his mother’s anxiety as she waits for him to return home from every trip.

Directed by Jianqi Huo | Starring : Ye Liu, Rujun Ten, Hao Chen, Hao Dang, Yeheng Gong | Presented at Montréal Film Festival