The Best Movie and Best Actor Award at the 14th Changchun Film Festival

At the end of the 14th Changchun Film Festival, the film “Dying to Survive” which is directed by Wen Muye won the Golden Deer Award for Best Movie. This film is a 2018 Chinese comedy-drama film. The film is based on the real-life story of Lu Yong who suffered from leukaemia. Lu Yong smuggled cheap but unproven cancer medicine from India for 1000 Chinese cancer patients in 2004, because the legal medicine is too expensive to afford among cancer sufferers. This movie has had a positive impact on the society. The lead role Xu Zheng is also the co-producer with Ning Hao. This movie has already triggered the discussion about the cost of medical care among Chinese people. Even Chinese Premier Li Keqiang cited the movie to appeal regulators to cut down the price of cancer drugs and reduce the burden on families.

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Dying to Survive won seven nominations at 14th Changchun Film Festival The lead role Xu Zheng won the Golden Deer Award for Best Actor. During his award speech, he said that the award does not only encourage himself, but also allows the entire film industry to see more hopes and possibilities. In addition, he expressed his gratitude to all the staff and co-actors of Dying to Survive. He also expressed that he would try his best to make more works which is responsible for society. Finally, he used his phrase “The spring of good actors has already arrived” to express his expectations of Chinese filming industry.

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The Golden Deer Award of the Changchun Film Festival gives me a chance to think about the meaning of the rating of films. And I also thinking of what is good movie like and who can be a good actor. Before the 14th Changchun Film Festival, I thought that the Best Movie Awards are just based on the box office and reputations of the movies. But now I realized that one movie which can won the Best Movie Awards is based on what significance it can bring to audiences and society. Dying to Survive let me know that a good movie has important impact on society. For example, it can trigger discussion about a social phenomenon among public. Sometimes, it also can speed up social society. Dying to Survive focuses on the medicine care among Chinese people and its meaning is more than the movie itself. Besides, the Golden Deer Award for Best Actor let me think about what kind of actors are needed in the Chinese film industry. The Chinese film industry needs actors who can perform the character from different perspective. The Best Actor Award provides a role model among Chinese actors, and also encourages all professionals in Chinese film industry. Plus, these awards provide a development direction of Chinese film industry.

 

The impact of Changchun Film Festival on Chinese film industry

The 14th Changchun Film Festival China held in Changchun on 1st – 8th September in the city Changchun, Jilin province, China. The theme of the Film Festival is “New Era, New Cradle, New Power”. This film festival is not only a party of professionals in Chinese filming industry, but it represents the beginning of a new era of Chinese films and professionals in Chinese filming industry. The Film Festival focused on Chinese movie’s  generation and building Chinese movie’s new stDPPbp1hlQjKtBSrGKmIUGQrength.

In my opinion, the meaning of the 14th Changchun Film Festival is more than normal film festival. It means that the related government departments pay attention to the development of Chinese filming industry. I am very glad to see that the 14th Changchun Film Festival focuses on creation among the young generation in the filming industry. Moreover, the aesthetics of Chinese films were discussed during the film festival. Instead of focusing on the achievement has been made in Chinese filming industry, the Changchun Film Festival pay attention to the development of Chinese movie in the new era.

During the 14th Changchun Film Festival, the 1st annual meeting on the aesthetics of Chinese films was held. About 20 scholars and specialists have already attended in the meeting. And they expressed their perspectives about how to present Chinese film on screen. Lu Liang (2018), the chief of the Arts Division of National Film Bureau, said that they are searching for the combination of classic western style and distinctive Chinese culture (ejilin.gov, 2018). In this way, he thinks that story telling in the films based on Chinese realities can be promoted to a more advanced level (ejilin.gov, 2018). The aesthetics of realistic films were discussed during the meeting. Ding yapping (2018), a researcher at the Chinese National Academy od Arts, believes that Chinese film makers should try their best to meet the latest demands of Chinese audiences and they should also recognize the significance of Chinese culture when they produce a realistic film aesthetic (ejilin.gov, 2018). According to Yu Kailiang (2018), a professor of the Renmin University of China, mature and realistic films should use multiple artistic skills. For example, audiences can not only obtain sensational pleasures, but also humanity interpretations and moral reflections. Furthermore, the meeting also discussed the importance of the transformation of aesthetic ideas in commercial films.

From my personal perspective, the film festival on the filming industry does not just provide audiences chances to meet celebrities or watching films, but provide an opportunity to discuss how can film maker can produce more good work in the filming industry. The 14th Changchun Film Festival did it. It is very important for film makers and audiences to learn about the opinions of specialists and scholars. In this way, film makers can film more works which can really meet the demand of audiences, and audiences can understand the films deeply.

 

Sources:

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/m/2016jilin/2018-09/09/content_36880622.htm

http://en.chinaccff.com/news/126.html

A Chinese film on MIFF–AN ELEPHANT SITTING STILL

As an international student, I was so glad to see that there are some Chinese films were selected at MIFF, and audiences could learn about Chinese films and talented filmmakers. Today I will highlight this Chinese film An Elephant Sitting Still. I heard of the name of this film for the first time when it was mentioned on Chinese social media after its debut at the Berlinale 2018.

An Elephant Sitting Still is directed by Hu Bo who is a young Chinese talented filmmaker. Hu Bo killed himself on his 29’s years old when the film was edited after filming, and this film has become his first film and also last one. There are so many conjectures for the reason of suicide of Hu Bo, but on one knows the real reason. When I watched this film at MIFF, all audiences enjoyed the almost 4-hour-long film with no one leaving in the middle of the movie.

The film starts with a man telling a tale about an elephant in one of circuses in Manzhouli (a city in Inner Mongolia, China) just sitting there all day long. This film uses parallel narratives to unfold a normal day of four protagonists: a man who watches his best friend jumping off the building; a teenage boy who is mistrusted by his family and friend; a young lady who has bad relationship with her mother and has affair with vice chief of the high school; an old man who is a decrepit soldier and about to be sent to nursing home by his children. It seems that these four people shouldn’t have connections in the real world, but they meet and all want to go to Manzhouli to see the elephant in the film. These four people have similar bad experiences of loneliness and wretchedness. and they all think that they want to escape the life. For them, where the elephant sits is regarded as a Utopian place that might change their wretched life.

Hu uses bluish-grey color in the whole movie, which means the down moods of four protagonists and also gives audiences the feeling of loneliness and depression. “The sun does not come out from behind the smog; and the world is a barren field but there is no place for them to escape.” In my opinion, the director Hu wants to present the ruthless world which four protagonists lives in and he lives in as well. There is no place for anyone to escape. I think “elephant” is the loneliness and wretchedness. Although people try their best to escape and change the wretched society, it still sits there.

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Rethinking films after watching Under the Cover of Cloud on MIFF

 

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I went to watch the film Under the Cover of Cloud which premiered at the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF). Under the Cover of Cloud is filmed by Tasmanian director Ted Wilson, and it described as “a feel-good film of family, cricket and one man’s hunt for David Boon”. The reason why I chose this film is that I want to learn about Australian films and filmmakers.

Before I went inside the cinema, I noticed that most audiences of this film are Australian-based. To be honest, I felt a little bit bored during watching this film, although I could understand the dialogue in the film. I didn’t know any of actors and actresses in the movie, and I thought it was so slow and uneventful, and it is just about a man who lost his job and the story of his family.

2 However, I found that some audiences (especially Australian-based audiences) burst into laughter when they were watching some simple scenes, such as the scene of picking lemons from the tree’s high branches. Then I realized the importance of the culture background on understanding a film deeply. Because of different culture background, I couldn’t understand how important cricket is for Tasmanian and who David Boon is. When the film was over, I saw that some people hugged each other.

After watching the film, I kept thinking the whole movie and this different experience.  I did some research about this film and the film director Ted Wilson and started rethinking films, then I knew why this film could be selected to screen at the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) alongside Cannes award winners and major Hollywood productions. This movie has been only filmed for about 20 days. “The film is about people, not landscape like many Aussie films. Commonly, Aussie films show landscape when they don’t have enough story, I had story”, says Wilson.

“Ted Wilson produced this film without money and a skeleton crew, and he filmed his own family and scripting nothing” (Cox, 2018). It is not easy to make a successful feature film with no money and plot, but Wilson succeeded.

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“I don’t believe you have to do much to make a family engaging on screen,” says Wilson. “Families are inherently dramatic because there’s history and different power relationships. I just wanted to capture that.”

I really appreciate that I can watch this film on MIFF. When I understand the culture behind the film, I think this is a good film. This film let me rethinking what films are. A successful film can be natural, slow and uneventful instead of costing millions of dollars and involving hundreds of people. A good move can make audience relaxed and empathetic. Under the Cover of Cloud means more than a movie to audiences, especially Australian-based audiences. This movie maybe reminded them of some similar experiences, family stories, and even memories of childhood.

Sources:

https://www.broadsheet.com.au/melbourne/entertainment/article/under-cover-cloud-australian-film-masterpiece

https://www.filmink.com.au/brief-innings-ted-wilson-cover-cloud/