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!

With the aim of promoting more open communication in this turbulent and challenging time, Odyssey showcases Chinese society’s diverse culture and aesthetics to British audiences through a focus on  contemporary Chinese film. From 27th May to 2nd June, our “Women Through the Lens” section spotlights 7 Chinese films exploring the nature of womanhood. The work of these female directors delivers nuanced and delicate portrayals of Chinese women’s plight and struggle in modern society.

Wind portrays a mother and a daughter from Tibet who daringly challenge old traditions; Love Conquers All questions whether love conquers or devours through a tragic love story; Spring Tide explores deeply ambivalent mother-daughter relationships over three generations of women under the same roof; One Summer probes an array of societal issues including intimacy, education, and Chinese medicine from a woman’s perspective; while Chang’E investigates people’s sense of isolation and desperation for love by ironically juxtaposing the image of an ethereal mythical goddess with an exhausted middle-aged factory worker. 

Since the launch of our programme, two new titles have been added to this section. Only You Alone takes us on a journey through the struggles of a young girl with epilepsy trying to realise her dream of dancing. We are also honoured to have Xie Fei’s Girl from Hunan with us, a pioneering work from the 1980s that reflects on and criticises the tragic situation of women trapped in feudal, traditional marriages.

Single film and special passes can now be purchased via the festival’s official website – odysseychinesecinema.uk. The festival offers a range of options, including a festival full pass, a section pass, as well as a standard single film rental to meet different needs. Hosted by Shift 72, the festival’s official platform is now live: users can register an account to preview trailers and access other information about all of the selected films.

 

Wind

UK PREMIERE

Director: Dadren Wanggyal

Genre: Drama

Year of Production: 2020

Production Country: China

Duration: 97 mins

Festival Recommended Rating: 12A

Festivals & Awards:

2021 Busan International Film Festival – A Window on Asian Cinema    

2021 Rome International Film Festival – Best Foreign Feature Film

2021 Hainan International Film Festival – H!Future New Talent Award     Nominee (Photography) 

Synopsis:

Gelak is an illegitimate child living with her mother Samdan in a remote Tibetan village, where women are not allowed to join the Sang Offering to the Sacred Mountain. Samdan has always relied on men for a living, and Gelak has been treated as a vicious witch by the villagers. Fed up with the prejudice she has to face, Gelak decides to challenge the village’s traditions and fight for herself …

 

Love Conquers All

Director: Chui Mui Tan

Genre: Drama

Year of Production: 2006

Production Country: Netherlands/Malaysia

Duration: 90 mins

Festival Recommended Rating: 12A

Festivals & Awards:

Busan International Film Festival-FIPRESCI Prize/New Currents Award

Synopsis:

Ping has come from the northern city of Penang to Kuala Lumpur to work with her aunt. There she meets John, a young man who keeps trying to approach her. Ping feels increasingly attracted to John, and although she has a boyfriend in Penang she is drawn more and more into his world. Ping loses herself in her love and does all she can to keep John.  

 

Spring Tide 

Director: Lina Yang

Genre: Drama

Year of Production: 2019

Production Country: China

Duration: 128 mins

Festival Recommended Rating: 12A

Festivals & Awards:

13th First Youth Film Festival 2019 – Audience Award

29th Shanghai Film Critics Awards 2021 Top Ten Films

22nd Shanghai International Film Festival 2019 – Best Cinematography

Synopsis:

Three generations of women in modern China. Guo, an investigative journalist trying to write under difficult circumstances, still living in her family home. Her daughter, on the cusp of adolescence. And her mother, who makes up for life’s hardship in her autumn years, is always ready to criticise her adult daughter and her life choices.

 

One Summer

UK PREMIERE

Director: Yishu Yang

Genre: Drama 

Year of Production: 2015 

Production Country: China 

Duration: 93 mins

Festival Recommended Rating: 12A

Festivals & Awards:

2015 Hamburg Film Festival Political Film Award 

2015 Vesoul Asian Film Festival Special Mention of the International Jury

Synopsis:

Out of the blue one day there’s a knock at the door and Xiaoping is arrested. His wife Zhen and their daughter are left in the dark about what he’s been accused of, where he’s been taken, and who exactly is responsible for his arrest. Zhen must try to lead a normal life for the sake of her daughter and find out what has happened to her husband.

 

Chang’ E

Director: Lianlian Shen

Genre: Drama

Year of Production: 2021

Production Country: China

Duration: 82 mins

Festival Recommended Rating: PG

Festivals & Awards:

The 16th International Film Festival of Lucca – Feature Film Competition Finalist

The 11th International Film Festival of Rio Camborio – Brazil Shortlisted International Film Competition

Synopsis:

Xiaoxiang, a 55-year-old machine operator, lives in a rural Chinese area with her idling bachelor son. There, she meets a man who makes a living by arranging “Zaku”, a local Death Ceremony. Although their hearts inch closer together, nothing can change the fate of Xiaoxiang’s caged life.

 

Only You Alone

Director: Zhou Zhou

Genre: Drama

Year of Production: 2020

Production Country: China

Duration: 90 mins

Festival Recommended Rating: PG

Festivals & Awards:

2020 International Film Festival Rotterdam – Fipresci Award

Synopsis:

Without parents, suffering from epilepsy, a girl named Li Chi lives a marginal life in a city of northeastern China, living on the meagre income of a part-time job in the cinema. A kind boy breaks into her emotional world and gives her some hope, but leaves because of his mother’s opposition. A little later, her aunt sells the only apartment where she could live. Her epileptic seizures and sense of  abandonment push Chi towards the abyss of loneliness. However, her inner desire to one day become a Latin dancer never fades. Will this desperate girl still be able to flourish in a life bathed in light?

 

A Girl From Hunan

Director: Fei Xie / Lan Wu

Genre: Drama

Year of Production: 1986

Production Country: China

Duration: 110 mins

Festival Recommended Rating: PG

Festivals & Awards:

1988 San Sebastian Film Festival – Don Quixote Award

1988 Montpellier International Film Festival – Golden Panda Award

Synopsis:

The heartbreaking tale of a young girl sold into an arranged marriage with a 2-year-old boy whom she must raise as his nanny until he is old enough to marry her. She is expected to honour tradition and toe the line so far as social proprieties are concerned. But the young girl rebels against the edicts of her elders, until she falls in love with another man at the age of 16…


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 60 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