“The Storms in Our Blood”: She Goes to Cannes at Age 24 for Her Short Film

Parallax Films

The article was originally posted on Parallax Films with 2574 views.

Written by Jiexiao Ying 2018.05.05
Translated by Tian Meng 2019.06.16

Chinese director Di Shen’s The Storms in Our Blood was selected to the “La Sélection de la Cinéfondation” at Cannes this year.

Di Shen graduated from Shanghai Theatre Academy. Her work stood out from the other 2,426 film schools around the world and became one of the 17 finalists (14 live short films and 3 animated short films), bringing the freshest blood to Cannes. The jury of the Short Film Palme d’Or will give out the first, second and third prizes from these short films. Many winners usually have their debut feature film selected to the Cannes Film Festival later, no wonder this short film Golden Palm Award is regarded as a training ground for Cannes masters. 

The Storms in Our Blood used to be called Uma. The film tells the story of a 22-year-old Ghanaian girl Uma, on a drunken night, had sex with a man who feels like a dolphin. She is sure from memory that the “dolphin man” must be one of the two Chinese sailors, who were stationed at the port of Ghana a few months ago. Only Chinese men feel like a dolphin among all the men in the whole port.

Hence Uma travels thousands of miles to the countryside in the northeast of China, embarking on a journey to look for her baby’s father. Whereas it is not only a journey but also a debate about seeking the path to happiness. It is grand animal migration. But it is also a beautiful night with the vagrant spring breeze. In Shen’s view, animal migration refers to a certain distance migration of animals due to breeding, feeding, climate change and so on. Animals daring to migrate are fierce ones. We are all animals. We are all fierce. We are all migrating constantly, not necessarily physical movement, but also heart changes. It has nothing to do with the beginning point or end. Neither God nor Buddha can make a difference.

The Storms in Our Blood is Di Shen’s short film debut, and her being the finalist in the La Sélection de la Cinéfondation confirms her potential and shows expectations for her future works. The previous award-winning Chinese directors included Chao Yang, Tao Chen, Fang Song, and Yang Qiu. Many directors returned to Cannes with more mature works in the future. Chao Yang, who graduated from the director department of the Beijing Film Academy, won the third prize of the 54th “La Sélection de la Cinéfondation” short film competition with his short film debut Run Away. In the following year, his feature film Journey has won the Golden Camera that year. Tao Chen, graduated from the literature department of Beijing Film Academy, won the second prize of the 60th “La Sélection de la Cinéfondation” with Way Out; Fang Song from the director department of Beijing Film Academy has won the second prize of the 62nd edition with his graduation work Goodbye in 2009. Last year, Yang Qiu, the director who won the short film Golden Palm Award for his short A Gentle Night, also appeared in the 68th “La Sélection de la Cinéfondation” short film competition unit with his film Under the Sun.

“La Sélection de la Cinéfondation” consists of three parts. In addition to the earliest La Sélection founded in 1998, there are La Résidence and  L’Atelier. 

La Résidence was established in 2000, focusing on the first or second feature film of new directors. Each year, Cannes selects 12 new directors from around the world to provide them with a four-and-a-half-month stay in Paris, offering screenwriters and production courses to industry professionals and help them improve their feature films.

L’Atelier was established in 2005 to provide young filmmakers with access to professional filmmakers. Every year, 20 young filmmakers will be selected and funded by international capital, and they will also get the chance to interview producers, distributors and film festival representatives. Crosscurrent of Chao Yang, selected to 2005 Berlin International Film Festival, The Ditch of Bing Wang, selected to 2010 Venice Film Festival, Face of Ming-liang Tsai at 2009 Cannes Film Festival, Love and Bruises of Ye Lou, The Road to Mandalay of Midi Z, Underground Fragrance of Pengfei Song, and Qiao Qiao of Chuan Song are also produced by this workshop.

Among the fifteen projects in this year’s “L’Atelier”, Chinese director Tao Chen’s The Summer Factory is selected. Tao Chen has won the second prize in the “La Sélection de la Cinéfondation” short film competition in 2007. This year, his first feature film project was selected to Cannes once again. His film was selected to “L’Atelier”. In addition, The Summer Factory was also selected as the PPP “Asian Project Market” at the Busan Film Festival and won the HBF (Hubert Bals Fund) Script Development Award at the Rotterdam International Film Festival.

The Summer Factory tells the story of the three protagonists’ unique and resonating stories in the 1990s. In Chen’s view, Gaokao (the college entrance examination) is the only way for Chinese people to get a higher education, and it has also been the door of changing the fate of many people. This exam connects too many emotions and stories. Tao Chen kept asking himself during the creation of this script with this question, why an exam will have such a profound and lasting impact on the life of people who had experienced it.

The Summer Factory was produced by Midnight Blur Films (Hangzhou) and Huang Yuan Film (Beijing). MIDNIGHT BLUR is a global production and service brand that integrates all aspects of the industry, focusing on creating quality commercial and artistic film projects with international market prospects and author attributes. HUANGYUAN FILMS is focused on film creation and production with an independent and free attitude and is dedicated to depicting contemporary China.
PARALLAX FILMS (Shanghai) is responsible for the public relations and overseas sales of both The Storms in Our Blood and The Summer Factory during the Cannes Film Festival. PARALLAX FILMS is committed to producing high-quality film projects with international market prospects and author attributes, and to accompany new directors to start from the platform of the Cannes International Film Festival “La Sélection de la Cinéfondation” and gain global attention.


| 应婕晓
| parallel

在今年戛纳国际电影节电影基石短片竞赛(La Sélection de la Cinéfondation)的入围名单中,中国导演申迪的作品《动物凶猛》(The Storms in Our Blood)赫然在列。





电影基石一共有三个部分,除了始于1998年的最早的短片竞赛单元La Sélection,还有电影写作工坊La Résidence,以及创投工坊L’Atelier。电影写作工坊成立于2000年,关注新人导演的首部或第二部长片。戛纳国际电影节每年会从全球选拔十二位新人导演,为他们提供巴黎为期四个半月的住宿,提供业内人士开设的编剧和制片课程,帮助他们完善自己的长片。

电影创投工坊成立于2005年,目的是为年轻影人提供接触专业影人的渠道。每年都有20位年轻影人入围,获得国际资本资助,面见制片人、发行商和电影节代表。中国导演杨超入围2015年柏林国际电影节的《长江图》,王兵2010年入围威尼斯主竞赛的《夹边沟》,蔡明亮2009年入围戛纳主竞赛的《脸》,娄烨《花》、赵德胤《再见瓦城》、 宋鹏飞《地下香》、 宋川《巧巧》也都是这一工坊出品的电影。

今年的电影基石创投工坊的十五个项目中,中国导演陈涛凭借《夏日天长》(The Summer Factory)入围。陈涛曾于2007年获得电影基石短片竞赛单元二等奖,今年他的首部长片项目再次入围戛纳,进入电影基石创投工坊单元。此外《夏日天长》还入选釜山电影节的PPP“亚洲电影资助计划,并荣获鹿特丹国际电影节的休伯巴尔斯基金”HBF剧本发展奖。


 《夏日天长》由午夜失焦(杭州)和荒原影视(北京)携手制片。午夜失焦 MIDNIGHT BLUR 是一个布局全球、整合行业各个环节的电影内容生产和服务品牌,专注于打造具有国际市场前景、作者属性的优质商业和艺术电影项目。荒原影视 WASTELAND FILMS则以独立、自由的态度作为电影创作和制作的出发点,致力于对中国当下时代的表达。 


视幻文化PARALLAX FILM致力于为最优质的华语电影提供国际发行、电影节推广和海外销售服务,铺展优质华语电影走向世界的通路。合作过项目包括《不成问题的问题》《八月》《村戏》《柔情史》《我有一个忧郁的,小问题》等等。


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