The article was originally posted on Parallax Films with 596 views.
Written by Jiexiao Vivian Ying 2018.11.05
Translate by Lingjia Xu, 2019.06.03
The Los Angeles Chinese Film Festival showcased excellent Chinese-language films from November 1st to November 4th, which were selected according to the principal of “avant-garde, independence, freedom, and diversity.” I‘ve Got a Little Problem and Girls Always Happy presented by the film festival and international sales company Parallax Films, stood out from the 255 films and entered the competition unit.
At the awards ceremony, Girls Always Happy has won the Best Feature Film of the film festival.
The judge of the film festival appreciated the film and wrote: “The film brought a distant Beijing close to the audiences, and the sense of humor in the film successfully broke the national boundaries. The director accurately shows the survival and psychological predicament of ordinary Chinese women through delineating the daily life of a mother and daughter, which is very typical of contemporary China.”
Although the film director Yang Mingming was not there to receive the prize in person, she wrote a paragraph expressing her gratitude for the organizing committee and her feelings for the city of Los Angeles: “When I was walking around in Los Angeles, I found the only people on the street are the homeless and myself. It was later on that I discovered that everyone was sitting in their cars. This feels so wonderful. I think Los Angeles is a city for exploration. I love the sunshine here and the desert and cactus are not far away. Thank you for coming to see my movie… This is the place to give birth to miracles. Thank you!”
(Director Li Ruijun presented the award, and the agent of Parallax Films Jiexiao Ying received the award on behalf of the filmmaker.)
Girls Always Happy is the first feature film directed by Yang Mingming. The film faces contemporary urban life with a new perspective. It depicts the spectacle of a pair of mother and daughter in a single-parent family and daughter in Beijing Hutong with “stunning accuracy”. They reject, hate and hurt each other. Their despair reflects the power of tenderness. However, the director emphasized that this was not a movie that promoted the warmth of the family. This is a film dissected by a surgical scalpel, starting with a cross-section of life in a mother-daughter relationship in contemporary Beijing, with both grimness and parody.
Before the Los Angeles Chinese Film Festival, Yang Mingming’s Girls Always Happy has achieved brilliant results in major film festivals. The film premiered and was nominated for the “GWFF Best First Feature Award” at the 68th Berlinale. Followed are various awards, including “the Firebird Award” in the Young Cinema Competition and the FIPRESCI Prize at the 42nd Hong Kong International Film Festival，”the Best Director Award” at the 20th Seoul International Women’s Film Festival, the “China Stars Award” for Best New Talent at the 44th Seattle International Film Festival, and ”Media Spotlight Award for Filmmakers“ in “A Belt and Road Week“ at the 21st Shanghai International Film Festival, the Jury Award for Feature Films at the 3rd New Era Film Festival.
Girls Always Happy is screened at film festivals around the world, bringing the contemporary life of Beijing Hutong to the world audience. The film was shown at the following film festivals: Beyond Frozen Point, Edinburgh International Film Festival International competition unit, Xining FIRST International Film Festival Competition feature film, EURASIA International Film Festival main competition unit, Melbourne International Film Festival, Made by Women Program at Mulan International Film Festival , Feature Competition at World Cinema Amsterdam Film, Jameson CineFest Miskolc International Film Festival in Hungary, and Five Flavors International Film Festival in Warsaw, Vancouver International Film Festival, China Screen Biennale, Beijing Contemporary Art Foundation and so on. The prestigious American film scholar (Film Art: An Introduction textbook author) David Bordwell watched the film at the Vancouver International Film Festival. He liked Yang Mingming’s precise control of composition and focus. He wrote on his blog that “With the two of them jammed together in a hutong, a neighborhood of cramped old ground-floor apartments, their jousts take on an intensity captured by Yang’s exceptionally tight framings and rapid cutting.”
I’ve Got A Little Problem, Zhang Ximing’s first documentary film, is also selected to the film festival. It records the daily work of photographer and poet Ren Hang, his pursuit of freedom, and the feeling of depression. The film revolves around Ren Hang’s plan to shoot nude models on Gulou Street. This seems to be an impossible thing. Since the beginning of shooting nudes, he has been facing many obstacles, from nowhere to be defrauded by the printing house owner, to being reported naked and arrested by the police… Since high school, Ren Hang has shown signs of depression. When Ren Hang, who was suffering from depression, was determined to complete a very difficult work, he seemed to encounter a dilemma of personal life and creation.
Director Zhang Ximing feels that in the modern world, almost everyone has some mental problems, more or less. Depression appears more frequently in some ambiguous and casual articles that express one’s emotion. However, you would never know that the kindest one would finish his life in a rush with his smile after telling some wired jokes. He was infected by the pure and energetic working status of Ren Hang and took this documentary. The film was selected to the FIRST Film Festival in Xining. This 44-minute middle length film made it to the Busan International Film Festival-Wide Angle documentary competition. It was screened at the Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival and the Mulan International Film Festival. It was recently awarded the Story That Matters Award at the Washington Chinese Film Festival.
The Los Angeles Chinese Film Festival focuses on supporting new directors, in addition to screening a series of narratives or experimental short films, as well as the live Q&A of Wu Hao’s documentary People’s Republic of Desire, Zhang Linzi’s Transcendent, and the premiere of Zhang Xingsha’s E.T. Made in China. The opening film is Li Ruijun’s Walking Past the Future, which has been selected to Un Certain Regard at Cannes. The closing film is the documentary Linsanity. There is also a film industry forum on Thursday. Both Chinese and American guests look forward to the co-production and distribution of China and Hollywood, explore the differences between Chinese and American in scriptwriting writing, and bring new insights to industry professionals.
Based in China, PARALLAX Films is an international film distribution company, a subsidiary of Midnight Blur Films, specializing in the worldwide promotion and distribution of high-quality Chinese and Asian films in film festivals and the film market. Its services include the strategic planning of international film festivals submissions, publicity at film festivals, distributions at local theaters and streaming media platforms. PARALLAX Films has agents in Paris, Tokyo, New York, Beijing, and Shanghai, working closely with filmmakers, and providing them with international market exposure and festival opportunities.
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