Odyssey: a Chinese cinema season – 60+ films in 8 curated sections, 10 discussion panels, exclusive Q&As and 4 awards. A not-to-be-missed festival in the UK to celebrate international cinema!

Showcasing the diversity of Chinese aesthetics to British audiences, Odyssey focuses on contemporary Chinese film talent emerging on both the feature and short film scenes. Our short film programme “An Exploration” highlights the different genres, themes, and aesthetics of 21st-century Chinese cinema, ranging from atmospheric shorts to incisive documentaries. Taking a more avant-garde approach, The Galaxy: Artists’ Moving Image” is a must-watch experimental  film programme  spotlighting innovations in the moving image. Breaking the boundaries between film text and art creation, these pioneering shorts roam in their own artistic galaxy – and are all at the cutting-edge of Chinese experimental art cinema. “An Exploration” launches on our streaming service, Shift 72, on 10th May, while “The Galaxy” will be available on Shift 72 from 11th May.

“An Exploration” begins with a slice of contemporary Chinese sci-fi before delving into musical productions, inventive animations, and comedy-dramas about cross-cultural misunderstandings. The section features a schoolgirl with a genius IQ, a drummer who finds inspiration in an ancient bathhouse, and a hard of hearing boy desperate to pursue his dancing dreams. The directors deftly tackle serious social issues, including sex trafficking and the SARS outbreak, alongside subtle character studies. The abstract concepts that drive “The Galaxy” are no less exciting, as the  creators channel questions of cognition and perception through images of war, blindness, and light itself. These selected moving images represent the thrilling point at which film and visual art meet, creating a groundbreaking medium for authorial expression.

 

An Exploration (29 films)

1. Double Helix

UK PREMIERE

Director: Sheng Qiu

Genre: Drama

Year of Production: 2021

Production Country: China

Duration: 26mins

Festivals & Awards:

The 24th Shanghai International Film Festival

The 48th Film Festival Gent – Best International Short Film Award

2021 China Science Fiction Convention – Best Science Fiction Short Film Immortality Award

Synopsis:

Will the awakening intelligence lead to destruction or rebirth?

 

2. The Cuckoos

Director: Marhaba Israyil

Genre: Drama

Year of Production: 2021

Production Country: China

Duration: 27 mins

Festivals & Awards:

The 15th FIRST International Film Festival nominated for the Best Short Fiction

2021 IM Cross Strait Film Festival Nomination

Synopsis:

In the woods, there are sounds made by the cuckoos everywhere, but Ekper is nowhere to be seen.

 

3. Strange

UK PREMIERE

Director: Ling Zhu

Genre: Fantasy/Musical

Year of Production: 2020

Production Country: USA

Duration: 15 mins

Festivals & Awards:

2021 International New York Film Festival – Best Picture

2021 International Independent Film Festival – Best Film

Synopsis:

To help Carrie overcome her social phobia, they step on a meaningful and fantasy journey about love and friendship.

 

4. Paper Airplane

UK PREMIERE

Director: Mingjie Tang

Genre: Drama

Year of Production: 2021

Production Country: USA

Duration:  20 mins

Festivals & Awards:

2021 Studio City Film Festival Official Selection

2021 Lift-Off Global Network Los Angeles Official Selection

2021 Los Angeles Independent Film Festival Awards – Winner

Synopsis:

A love story between a homeless musician and a self-abandoned school girl.

 

5. All the Crows in the World

Director: Yi Tang

Genre: Drama/Dark Comedy

Year of Production: 2021

Production Country: Hong Kong SAR of China

Duration: 14 mins

Festivals & Awards:

2021 Cannes Film Festival Palme d’Or – Short Film Winner

2021 Fresh Wave International Short Film Festival – Best Screenplay, Best Director

Synopsis:

An 18-year-old school girl is invited to attend a mysterious dinner party that is full of greasy middle-aged men.

 

6. Hair Tie, Egg, Homework Books

UK PREMIERE

Director: Runxiao Luo

Genre: Drama

Year of Production: 2021

Production Country: China

Duration: 15 mins

Festivals & Awards:

The 78th Venezia, Mostra Internazionale d’Arte Cinematografica – Orizzonti Short Films Competition 2021

2021 Fabrique Du Cinéma Awards, Best International Short Film Award

Synopsis:

Yuqi is about to give a speech at her elementary school until she finds out a shared secret with a classmate.

 

7. Day is Done 

UK PREMIERE

Director: Dalei Zhang

Genre: Drama

Year of Production: 2021

Production Country: China

Duration: 24 mins

Festivals & Awards:

71st Berlin International Film Festival – Silver Bear Award Jury Prize for Short Film

Synopsis:

Life in the grandfather’s small courtyard stretches out calmly, and the daily minutiae flow between the family members.

 

8. Together Apart

UK PREMIERE 

Director: Youjia Qu

Genre: Drama

Year of Production: 2019

Production Country: China

Duration: 52 mins

Festivals & Awards:

2020 International Film Festival Rotterdam

2019 FIRST International Film Festival – Best Short Film

Synopsis:

It is getting late and the reunion and the parting are somehow merging to become the same occasion.

 

9. The Secret

UK PREMIERE 

Director: Yige Meng

Genre: Drama

Year of Production: 2019

Production Country: China

Duration: 20 mins

Synopsis:

After Huang spends a long time knitting a special gift for Yu, Huang notices that Yu’s reaction is not so satisfying.

 

10. 200 Cigarettes from Now

UK PREMIERE

Director: Tianyu Ma

Genre: Drama/Comedy

Year of Production: 2020

Production Country: USA

Duration: 45 mins

Festivals & Awards:

2021 International Film Festival Rotterdam – Short & Mid-length Selection

2021 Women Make Waves International Film Festival

2021 San Diego Asian Film Festival – Asian American Panorama Section

2021 Hong Kong Arthouse Film Festival

Synopsis:

Xia puts all her efforts to retain the summer while vainly looking for her disappeared crush.

 

11. Birth Permit

Director: Yu Zhang

Genre: Drama

Year of Production: 2017

Production Country: China

Duration: 17 mins

Festivals & Awards:

2017 Short Film Corner of Festival de Cannes

European Independent Film Festival – Short Film Competition

Rome Independent Prisma Awards – Short Film Competition

Synopsis:

The end of the ‘One-Child Policy’ is a solution for this couple but just the beginning of their problems.

 

12. Christmas

Director: Fengrui Zhang

Genre: Drama

Year of Production: 2021

Production Country: China/USA

Duration: 19 mins

Festivals & Awards:

2021 the International Short Film Competition at the Locarno Film Festival

Synopsis:

Under the double whammy of unforgiving reality and the glamorous ‘American Dream’, the fishing village boy chooses to disappear.

 

13. In the Dusk

UK PREMIERE

Director: Zhuolan

Genre: Drama

Year of Production: 2020

Production Country: China

Duration: 18 mins

Festivals & Awards:

2020 Golden Coconut Hainan Island International Film Festival

2021 Atlanta Film Festival

2021 Mongolia JingEr International Film Festival

Synopsis:

Deep in the grassland of Inner Mongolia, a white-haired granny is looking for a pony, the reincarnation of her late grandson.

 

14. The Thorn Birds

Director: Qiannan Fang / Yingying Pan / Jingxiong Zhang

Genre: Animation

Year of Production: 2020

Production Country: China

Duration: 9 mins

Festivals & Awards:

Berlin Short Film Festival – “China New Talents” Special Screening Section

KUKI Short Film Festival – CCAERM unit

The 20th Beijing Film Academy Animation Academy Award – “Best Sound Effect Award”

Synopsis:

There is one type of bird that spends its whole life searching for a thorn tree just to complete a great song.

 

15. Red Bean

Director: Yu Chen

Genre: Sci-Fi

Year of Production: 2020

Production Country: China

Duration: 10 mins

Festivals & Awards:

The 24th Shanghai International Film Festival Nominee

2021 Festival Cinema e Ambiente Avezzano – Best Short Film

2021 Venice Film Award – Best Sci-Fi

2021 London Climate Change Festival Nominee

Synopsis:

An individual who is suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder and forced to migrate to outer space.

 

16. Modern Babel

UK PREMIERE

Director: Lin Zhao

Genre: Animation

Year of Production: 2019

Production Country: China

Duration: 11 mins

Festivals & Awards:

2019 Feinaki Beijing Animation Week Nominee

2019 Cannes Film Festival Short Film Corner Nominee

2019 Venice Biennale Finalist

Synopsis:

A housewife loses her mind when shopping, degenerates into an animal.

 

17. New Year’s Eve

UK PREMIERE

Director: Hao Zheng

Genre: Drama

Year of Production: 2018

Production Country: USA

Duration: 22 mins

Festivals & Awards:

The 16th Provinziale Filmfest Eberswalde – Short Film Jury Prize

2019 Peak City International Film Festival – Best Foreign Language Film

2019 Student Academy Awards – Semi-Finalist

Synopsis:

A life-time decision to be made for a 19-year-old, between Kung Fu school and college.

 

18. The First Grade

UK PREMIERE

Director: Chunsheng Lin

Genre: Documentary

Year of Production: 2021

Production Country: China

Duration: 30 mins

Festivals & Awards:

2021 Macau International Short Film Festival (Student) Nominee

Synopsis:

A family of medical practitioners face new challenges after the outbreak of the pandemic.

 

19. Marriage On the Border

UK PREMIERE

Director: Weibin Lin

Genre: Drama

Year of Production: 2021

Production Country: China

Duration: 36 mins

Festivals & Awards:

2021 the 20th International Student Film and Video Festival (ISFVF) of Beijing Film Academy – Best Picture

Synopsis:

While everything seems to be going well, a clandestine conspiracy is working against her dreams of a bright future.

 

20. Twilight Zone

UK PREMIERE

Director: Qingxuan Zhong

Genre: Documentary

Year of Production: 2020

Production Country: China

Duration: 39 mins

Festivals & Awards:

2020 Beijing International Short Film Festival – Best Film

The 4th West Lake Youth Documentary Forum – Best Documentary

Synopsis:

Will she choose to gamble on love, or will she start a new life – free?

 

21. An Excessive Day

UK PREMIERE

Director: Danyang Zhao

Genre: Drama

Year of Production: 2021

Production Country: China / Korea

Duration: 26 mins

Festivals & Awards:

1st Minute International Short Film Festival – Eye Fiction Short Film

Synopsis:

A story that consoles the broken hearts of those living in a foreign land.

 

22. A Gentle Night

Director: Yang Qiu

Genre: Drama

Year of Production: 2017

Production Country: China

Duration: 15 mins

Festivals & Awards:

2017 Festival de Cannes Short Film Competition Winner: Palme d’Orr

Synopsis:

In a nameless Chinese city, a mother whose daughter has gone missing refuses to go gently into that good night.

 

23. Spring Fever

Director: Ziyu Wang

Genre: Animation

Year of Production: 2018

Production Country: China

Duration: 7 mins

Festivals & Awards:

2020 Stars of Students of International Animation Festival – Hiroshima

Synopsis:

In her dream, she experiences an incredible journey – but what happens when she wakes up?

 

24. The Speech

UK PREMIERE

Director: Haohao Yan

Genre: Drama

Year of Production: 2020

Production Country:  USA

Duration: 25 mins

Festivals & Awards:

The 68th San Sebastian International Film Festival – Special Mention of the Jury

2020 Rhode Island International Film Festival – Filmmaker of the Future Award

Synopsis:

During the lockdown, three eight-year-old girls inside a private boarding school struggle to make sense of the world.

 

25. Mountain

UK PREMIERE 

Director: Yuwei Du

Genre: Drama

Year of Production: 2021

Production Country: China

Duration: 20 mins

Festivals & Awards:

Hollywood Independent Filmmaker Awards and Festival – Student Film 2021 – Bronze Award

5th Hollywood International Diversity Film Festival – Best Director

Synopsis:

In a mysterious village, the special ceremony gradually pushes a young girl into the abyss.

 

26. Handscape

Director: Yiru Chen

Genre: Drama

Year of Production: 2020

Production Country: China

Duration: 19 mins

Festivals & Awards:

2021 Queer East Film Festival – Shorts: Provocations

2020 Shanghai Pride Film Festival

Synopsis:

A Shanghainese hard of hearing boy attempts to overcome his identity crisis through contemporary dance and sign language.

 

27. Bathhouse Drummer

UK PREMIERE 

Director: Kaiqi Liu

Genre: Drama

Year of Production: 2019

Production Country: China

Duration: 17 mins

Festivals & Awards:

European Independent Film Festival Nominee & Best Editing

Milan International Filmmaker Festival Nominee

Macau International Movie Festival – Best Short Film, Best Director

Synopsis:

A Japanese drummer comes to Beijing for a performance where he finds himself lacking inspiration, until he meets Fushun, the bathhouse master.

 

28. Kid

Director: Yang Yu

Genre: Animation

Year of Production: 2021

Production Country: China

Duration: 6 mins

Festivals & Awards:

2021 Los Angeles Animation Festival – Best International Student Animation

2021 Beijing Film Academy Animation Academy Award – Outstanding Short Film

2022 Dingle Animation Festival –  Ireland Shortlisted

Synopsis:

A mysterious family story involving a new child’s arrival.

 

29. Please Do Not Tell Her

UK PREMIERE 

Director: Yunxia Wang

Genre: Drama

Year of Production: 2021

Production Country: China

Duration: 6 mins

Festivals & Awards:

The 15th FIRST International Film Festival Official Selection

Female Feedback Film Festival Official Selection

Synopsis:

Huihui, a genius girl whose IQ is only one point below Stephen Hawking’s, disappears after she is accepted by the best university.

 

The Galaxy: Artists’ Moving Image (5 films)

1. Awake

UK PREMIERE

Director: Vic Guan

Genre: Experimental

Year of Production: 2020

Production Country: China

Duration: 3 mins

Festivals & Awards:

The 24th Shanghai International Film Festival – Short Film Jury Award

Canada Best Short Festival – Best Short Film Nominee

The 3rd Meihodo International Youth Visual Media Festival

Synopsis:

In an absurd world, there is an insurmountable bridge between people, a girl and a boy, “together”.

 

2. Catching Light

Director: Tianhao Xu

Genre: Animation

Year of Production: 2016

Production Country: UK

Duration:  4 mins

Synopsis:

The story follows a girl who, in trying to capture the fleeting image of light, comes to question the reality of her perceptions, volitions, and desires.

 

3. The Honor Among Thieves

UK PREMIERE

Director: Lanhua Ma

Genre: Experimental

Year of Production: 2019

Production Country: China

Duration:  50 mins

Festivals & Awards:

The 13th FIRST International Film Festival Best Experimental Film – Jury Award

The 48th International Film Festival Rotterdam – Award of Excellence 

Synopsis:

The story revolves around four thieves in the Song Dynasty who are up against a wealthy evil miser and the corrupt government.

 

4. 56-75 Decibel

UK PREMIERE

Director: Yujue Liang

Genre: Experimental

Year of Production: 2021

Production Country: China

Duration: 4 mins

Synopsis:

Acoustic Vehicle Alert System (AVAS) is a sound device now commonly installed in alternative fuel vehicles.

 

5. War Story

UK PREMIERE

Director: Yujue Liang

Genre: Experimental

Year of Production: 2020

Production Country: China

Duration:  6 mins

Synopsis:

Until the end of the war, not even one gunshot wound could be found on me physically.


About Odyssey

Odyssey aims to empower a shared appreciation of film, to create an inclusive cinematic experience, and to encourage cross-cultural understanding. From 10th May to 10th June 2022, with more than 40 films in 8 curated sections, 10 panel discussions and many inspiring Q&A sessions, we will bring you a whole month of outstanding and innovative Chinese cinema that promises to illuminate your mind. The festival will not only introduce the latest young Chinese film talents to the UK audience, but also provide forums for professionals to exchange creativity and business ideas.

Odyssey will take place in a hybrid format in 2022. The opening film screening will be hosted in person by our venue partner, the Picturehouse Cinemas, in London and Edinburgh on 10th May with a reception. Most of the programme will be available online for all audiences across the country, and we will also organise several pop-up special cinema screenings throughout. The online festival platform of Odyssey will be powered by Shift 72.

ODYSSEY’S HEADLINE SPONSOR

 

Who is our Headline Sponsor this year? – Your most reliable renting company in London!

Azad Ayub Limited is a multi-national award-winning property management and development company, founded by investor, entrepreneur and philanthropist Azad Ayub who has a background in international civil engineering. The company owns and manages properties in North London and has been providing high-quality houses to its clients for over 30 years. Recently the company’s portfolio has expanded to Spain, Pakistan and the USA.

Apart from his property business, Azad has been generously giving back to society as a reputable philanthropist. He is a keen supporter of some of the most prestigious charities in the UK, including Able Child Africa, Lord Mayor’s Appeal Charity, Television for the Environment (Trustee), Royal Institute (Patron) and many more.

We would like to thank Mr Azad Ayub for his generous support toward our Odyssey journey.

 

Related Information

Keep yourself updated with our upcoming exciting programme announcements by following our social media accounts!

Festival Date: 10th May – 10th June 2022
Format: Offline in London, Edinburgh, and Online via Shift 72
Presented by UK-China Film Collab
Festival Website: odysseychinesecinema.uk
Festival Instagram & Twitter: odysseyccs

For Press Enquiry Please Contact

Liao Zhang

Lead of Public Relations
Email: [email protected]
WeChat: LZ_Gloria