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 to promote more open communication in current turbulent and challenging times, Odyssey focuses on contemporary Chinese films in a diverse range of themes and genres aiming to showcase Chinese society’s diverse culture and aesthetics to British audiences. The programme will launch with its opening film, Hard Love, in London and Edinburgh on 10th May with a reception, followed by two special offline screenings at the Picturehouse and The Prince Charles cinemas in London on 12th May and 17th May.
The opening film, Hard Love, centres on the wave of single Chinese ladies. It discusses social hotspots like love, marriage, family, work, and childbirth, which today’s youth are most concerned about. Spanning eight cities, including Shanghai, Beijing, Xi’an, San Francisco, and Phu Quoc Island, this documentary offers a group portrait of Chinese single women within a delicately-designed 97 minutes. Modern single women are also a heated topic for young people in the UK. Based on this mutual curiosity, this opening film shall go beyond the national boundary and bring audiences together.
A classic that has come through decades of critics, Lan Yu is one of the best gay films that China has ever produced. The film is not driven by homosexuality; it is a story about love. Its storytelling captures the arc of two souls and the vicissitudes of Beijing over a decade. This 20th anniversary 4K restoration version brings its 90s tonality to life to the fullest.
FIRST’s recent favourite, River of Salvation, unfolds a down-to-earth portrait of life in a small town in southern China. With a meticulous narrative structure and its ‘last six minutes reversal,’ the script draws enormous emotional power from the deeply buried history of millions of ordinary women and their everyday struggles.
Opening Film: Hard Love (2021) + Odyssey Opening Reception
Directed by: Tracy Dong
Produced by: Ruby Chen / Jing Pengyu
Casts: Tao; Hongmei; Yue; Maggie; Kitty
Genre: Love; Documentary
Production Year: 2021
Running Time: 97 min
Recommended Rating: 12A
Time: 10th May 2022 | Tuesday 19:30London
London Venue: Picturehouse Fulham, 142 Fulham Rd., London SW10 9QR
Edinburgh Venue: Picturehouse Cameo, 38 Home St, Edinburgh EH3 9LZ
*The opening film will be released both in London and Edinburgh at the same time.
We will host an Odyssey Opening Reception in London which will take place before the opening film at 18:30 (by invitation only)
This documentary is a bona fide portrayal of five big-city single Chinese women: one searches for a relationship without a breakup; one believes that egg freezing is the “most valuable investment”; one stumbles between dating events under the pressure of her family; one puts her faith in online dating apps; one assumes the vital role of a single mother. They have different upbringings and values, but they are facing the same questions in their love lives: In this urbanised, online-socialising, and diverse time, what do we lack in relations? What have we abandoned? What have we neglected?
Special Offline Screening 1: 4K Restoration of Lan Yu (2001/2021)
Directed by: Stanley Kwan
Written by: Jimmy Ngai
Produced by: Zhang Yongning
Casts: Ye Liu; Jun Hu; Bin Li
Genre: Drama; Love; Homosexual
Area: Hong Kong SAR, China
Production Year: 2001
Running Time: 86 min
Recommended Rating: 18
Time: 12th May 2022 | Thursday 18:30
Venue: The Prince Charles Cinema, 7 Leicester Pl, London WC2H 7BY
‘Lan Yu’ is based on a novel published anonymously on the Internet in 1998. Directed by Stanley Kwan (Center Stage, Rouge), it tells a romantic and tragic love story of two men. Meant merely as a diversion among his countless one-night stands, Handong’s sexual relationship with a sensitive college boy turns unexpectedly into something deeper – and even a life-changing initiation. Undeterred by Handong’s compulsive promiscuity and impulsive marriage, Lan Yu’s devotion cannot escape its unforgiving fate. Superbly acted by Hu Jun and Liu Ye, Stanley Kwan’s adaptation of an internet novel is a poignant portrait.
Special Offline Screening 2: River of Salvation (2021)
Directed by: Qisheng Gao
Produced by: Lirui Yan; Long Yi
Casts: Kangli Zhu; Yanxi Li
Genre: Love; Drama; Family; Crime
Production Year: 2020
Running Time: 104 min
Time: 17th May 2022 | Tuesday 19:30
Venue: Picturehouse Finsbury Park, Unit 1 Cinema LS, 17 City N Pl, London N4 3FU
Rong, living in a small town in the south of China, is a pedicure therapist who has never gotten married. She has a brother named Xiaodong, who is 14 years younger. Xiaodong is almost 18 years old, instead of working he plays video games all day long, but after going through a series of life events he finally becomes independent. Seeing this, Rong returned to her hometown in northeast China, and went to the police station, confessing that she killed a person 19 years ago. However, the following development of the matter is going to be out of Rong’s expectations.
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 6 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.
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
Lead of Public Relations