Find Chinese Films on 74th Cannes Film Festival


Director: Na Jiazuo

Protagonist: Li Jiuxiao / Yu Ailei / Sha Baoliang / Yao Lu / Huang Miyi

Production Country / Region: Chinese Mainland

Section: Un Certain Regard


Remainder tells a story that happened in Chinese Mainland, and its producing team and protagonists are all from Chinese Mainland. The movie is set in the migration of people in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, focuses on a crowd of youths who want to leave their hometown in early 2000, and tells a story of human nature that happened in cities.

Supervised by Guan Hu, the movie is directed and written by Na Jiazuo, who graduated from the Department of Photography, Beijing Film Academy. Protagonists include Li Jiuxiao, who has played in “The Eight Hundred” and “Sacrifice” and Yu Ailei, who is famous for its supporting actor in “Black Coal, Thin Ice” and “Cliff Walkers”.

Actually, this movie started to enter the Project Market of major film festivals in 2017. In the same year, it was shortlisted for “SIFF YOUNG X Project” of Shanghai International Film Festival. In 2020, it was also shortlisted for “Work-In-Progress Lab” of the 4th Pingyao Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon International Film Festival and won the Wishart Award, and in the same year, it was also shortlisted for H! Action Project Market of Hainan Island International Film Festival and selected as the film project of the year.

Therefore, it was not easy for this film to be selected in Cannes Film Festival and shortlisted for “A Certain Regard” after heavy competition.

Money boys      

Director: C. B. Yilin

Protagonist: Kai Ko / Bai Yufan / JC Lin / Zeng Meihuizi / Sun Qiheng

Production Country / Region: Austria / France / Belgium

Section: Un Certain Regard


Money boys is a gay theme movie with complex production background which is invested by Austria, France, Belgium and other countries and regions. The protagonists are Taiwan actor Kai Ko and mainland actor Bai Yufan (who played Debao in the TV series “Minning Town”). This film is about a love story between two boys. Press reports said that it has been shot in Taipei which is one of the allowance projects of the Taipei International Film and Television Production Investment Programme.

The film was written and directed by Chen Yilin, an ethnic Chinese who has lived in Vienna since 1994 and took out the Austrian citizenship. In 2004, he received the Bachelor of Sinology, University of Vienna and was admitted to the Film Academy Vienna. In addition, he also studied film directing with Michael Haneke and film photography with Christian Berger (Michael Haneke’s cinematographer). In 2011, his short film “Little Precious” has been selected in many international film festivals. Up to now, his two plays have been funded by the film academy Vienna.

Ripples of Life    

Director: Wei Shujun

Writer: Kang Chunlei / Wei Shujun

Protagonist: Yang Zishan / Huang Miyi / Liu Yang / Kang Chunlei / Liang Ming

Genre: Drama

Production Country / Region: Chinese Mainland

Section: The Directors’ Fortnight


Director Wei Shujun is shortlisted for Cannes Film Festival for the third time, and his previous two shortlisted films of Cannes Film Festival are “On the Border” and “Striding into the Wind. Consequently, he became the first post-90s Chinese director selected to Cannes Film Festival for three times. It was finished early this year telling a story that the cast of Ripples of Life shot a film in the Yongan Town sending waves through this tranquil town and the town returned to stillness later.

Yang Zishan, Huang Miyi, Liu Yang, and Kang Chunlei starred in Ripples of Life with Liang Ming, Yang Jin, Yang Pingdao, Song Chuan, Zhai Yixiang, Geng Jun, Wu Zhongtian and Huang Xufeng as guest appearance and other actors like Wang Jiajia, Luo Kang, Wang Chen, Cui Nan, and Zhou Meng. Some lines of the film were improvised.

Among twenty-four films in “The Directors’ Fortnight”, Ripples of Life is the only Chinese one. The jury commented, “Chinese director Wei Shujun’s Ripples of Life is about an interesting story that a film crew went to make a film in a small town. Three parts of the film depicts a vivid picture of the relationship between people in contemporary Chinese society.”

The Directors’ Fortnight of Cannes Film Festival has a long history. It was founded in 1969 by SRF (founded in 1968 by 180 directors like Jean-Luc Godard, François Truffaut, etc) and was regarded as the purest, most innovative and exploratory section in Cannes Film Festival. This section has scouted out many famous directors including Spike Lee, the jury chairman of In Competition, Ken Loach, Dardenne brothers, and Michael Haneke who got the Golden Palm Award.

In the past few days, Wei Shujun registered an account and logged in sharing the video link of his short film “On the Border” with his followers.

I Am So Sorr

Director: Zhao Liang

Production Country / Region: Chinese Mainland / Chinese Taiwan / The Netherlands

Genre: Documentary

Section: Cinema for the Climate


Renowned Chinese documentary director Zhao Liang’s latest work didn’t appear in the first shortlist, while it was released in the second supplemental shortlist.

Director Zhao has long been concerned about the contemporary energy industry chain. His first full-length film “Behemoth”, as the only Chinese film, has been shortlisted for the Competition of the Venice International Film Festival. After directing “Behemoth” he made a short documentary “Lonely Voices” about a victim in the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in which the director quoted and reorganized the interview of the documentary film “Voices from Chernobyl” by Svetlana Alexandravna Alexievich, the Nobel Prize winner in literature.

I Am So Sorry is Zhao Liang’s first International Production Project and the eighth full-length film, shot in Ukraine, Finland, Japan, Kazakhstan, Germany, and Belarus. In I Am So Sorry, director Zhao continued to use the artistic expression of victims and the nuclear disaster in “Lonely Voices” and showed the scarred and shocking “doomsday” with futuristic style and alternation of fiction and reality. It is not only the transmission of current disputes, but also a prospect of the near future.

Films in the Special Presentation of Cannes Film Festival are usually the works directed by the authors that the jury consider to be of unique value or the masterpieces of documentaries. Recently, films of famous directors Werner Herzog, Claude Lanzmann and Hong Sang-soo have been shortlisted in the Special Presentation. Zhao Liang ‘s I Am So Sorry was chosen for its unique value by the jury of the Cannes Film Festival. It is reported that it was produced by Zhao’s Image Production Limited, Arte France, and Les Films d’Ici, was co-produced by CNEX and Muyi Film, and released abroad by Rediance.

Are You Lonesome Tonight?  

Director: Wen Shipei

Writer: Zhao Binghao / Wang Yinuo / Wen Shipei / Noé Dodson

Protagonist: Eddie Peng / Sylvia Chang / Wang Yanhui / Zhang Yu / Jiang Peiyao

Genre: Drama / Mystery / Crime

Section: Special Screenings


It is a crime and drama-themed film supervised by Ning Hao, and directed by Wen Shipei, which Eddie Peng, Sylvia Chang and Wang Yanhui starred in, Zhang Yu guest-played and Jiang Peiyao, Chen Yongzhong, and Deng Fei feathered in.

Are You Lonesome Tonight? is about a murder in southern China in the late 1990s which was hidden by darkness due to the power failure. On a hot summer night in the south, young Wang Xueming (Eddie Peng) met with an accident. Mother Liang (Sylvia Chang)’s husband was missing suddenly, so she asked officer Chen for help. However, she didn’t know she has become the “next target”. Officer Chen (Wang Yanhui) worked on this missing case, but he found the progress of it was beyond his control. These people who don’t know their fate has been quietly changed were all trying to get a glimpse of the truth about that night, but the memory of that summer night was gradually complicated and confusing like a chaotic jigsaw.

Are You Lonesome Tonight? is a product of the “Dirty Monkey 72 Transformations Film Project” and it is also director Wen Shipei’s first feature film. It has won the VFF Talent Highlight Award of Talent Project Market in the 68th Berlin International Film Festival which has run on 12 June  this year in the Chinese mainland.


Director: Wu Lang

Protagonist: Li Meng / Li Kangsheng

Genre: Drama / Short

Production Country / Region: Chinese Mainland

Section: The Short Films Competition


Absence is a 15-minute short film directed by Hainan director Wu Lang, produced by Dun He, and starred by Li Meng and Li Kangsheng. It is a romantic movie about a story happened in Hainan that a pair of former lovers didn’t ask each other too much about how everything was and both had a tacit understanding in looking at everything in front of them on the way back to Yinggehai Town. The past and present are intertwined in this film to show the process of remaking a former intimate relationship, and explore how to face life with past thoughts and emotions.

It was shot in Hainan with exquisite and beautiful scenes and easeful narration. This 15-minute short film shows mature image style and photographic ability. In 2019, the film was awarded the “Jury Prix” of Shanghai International Film Festival. The official organizing committee of the 74th Cannes Film Festival used the word “Beautiful” to describe the charming impression of the film in the invitation letter for shortlist. It’s reported that “Absence” will compete with nine short films for the 74th Cannes Film Festival Golden Palm.


The Break Away (from The Year of The Everlasting Storm    

Director: Jafar Panahi / Anthony Chen / Malik Vitthal / Laura Poitras / David Lowery / Dominga Sotomayor Castillo / Apichatpong Weerasethakul

Protagonist: Zhou Dongyu / Zhang Yu

Genre: Drama / Short

Production Country / Region: The United States

Section: Special Screenings


The Year of The Everlasting Storm shot by Neon is special, and actually it is a collection of COVID-19 epidemic-themed short films co-directed by seven international directors. Among these seven short films, one is directed by Singapore director Anthony Chen and starred by Chinese Mainland actors Zhou Dongyu and Zhang Yu. Based in Beijing, it tells a “marriage story” that happened in the COVID-19 epidemic. It is reported that this collection will be released in North America this year.