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 support more open communication in this turbulent and challenging age, Odyssey focuses on contemporary Chinese films in an extensive range of themes and genres to showcase the Chinese society’s diverse cultural elements and aesthetics to UK audiences.

“The Emerging Waves” section brings the new generation’s independent, arthouse, and documentary productions that are made in China to a wider audience, to refresh the international perspective on China’s most recent trends in independent filmmaking. Six feature films will be screened in the section, available online between the 12th and 19th May. 

This programme will also include two special offline screenings at the Picturehouse and The Prince Charles cinemas in London on 12th and 17th May. One of the two special screenings  Lan Yu 4K, is among the best LGBTQ+ films that China has ever produced. It tells a romantic yet tragic love story of two men. The other one, River of Salvation unfolds a down-to-earth portrait of life in a small town in southern China, which draws enormous emotional power from the deeply buried history of millions of ordinary women and their everyday struggles. 

Apart from these special offline screenings, four additional films will be shown online via Shift 72 from the 13th of May. Being Mortal reproduces the bitterness of life by depicting an Alzheimer’s patient’s family. The Fourth Wall is a story about self-salvation,  in which the protagonist finds out about her “other” self by chance. The film creatively uses the parallel universe as a narrative technique to discuss how to reconcile with family, society, and ourselves. Black Tide Coast follows a poetic style, aiming to depict abstract emotions, ideas, and feelings beyond the control of the images. The Ark utilises documentary images to record the complicated relationship between individuals and society, science and religion during the period of the Covid-19 outbreak in Wuhan

 

1. Being Mortal

UK PREMIERE

Director: Ze Liu

Genre: Drama

Year of Production: 2020

Production Country: China

Duration: 97mins

Festival Recommended Rating: 12A

Festivals & Awards:

The 3rd Hainan Island International Film Festival –  China Vista

The 44th Sao Paulo International Festival – New Directors Competition

The 38th Paris International Film Festival

Synopsis:

Xia Tian relocates to her hometown to take care of her father, who has suffered from Alzheimer’s for over ten years. She thought it would help her parents. However, as the disease gets worse, she has to face the pressure of life, and the only thing she can do is to wait.

 

2. Lan Yu 4K

Director: Stanley Kwan

Genre: Drama

Year of Production: 2001

Production Country: Hong Kong, SAR

Duration: 86mins

Festival Recommended Rating: 12A

 

Festivals & Awards:

The 38th Golden Horse Awards – Best Director, Best Actor, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Editing, Best Film by Audience Vote

The 21st Hong Kong Film Awards – eleven nominations 

The 54th Cannes Film Festival – the Un Certain Regard section

Synopsis:

Lan Yu is based on a novel published anonymously on the Internet in 1998. Directed by Stanley Kwan (Centre 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.

Screening Information:

Time: 12th May, 18:30

Venue: The Prince Charles Cinema, London WC2H 7BY

Book your tickets now

 

3. River of Salvation

UK PREMIERE

Director: Qisheng Gao

Genre: Drama

Year of Production: 2020

Production Country: China

Duration: 104 mins

Festival Recommended Rating: 12A

Festivals & Awards:

2021 FIRST Youth Film Festival – Best Feature Film Nominee

2020 9th Nice International Film Festival Nominated – Best Actor

2020 Winter Film Awards International Film Festival (Premiere)

Synopsis:

Rong, a foot masseuse, lives peacefully with her brother. But the murder that happened 18 years ago often disturbs her mind. When her brother grows to the age of eighteen, she decides to take the responsibility of a past event.

Screening Information:

Time: 17th May, 19:30

Venue: Finsbury Park Picturehouse, London, N4 3FU

Book your tickets now

 

4. The Ark

UK PREMIERE

Director: Daniel Wei

Genre: Documentary

Year of Production: 2020

Production Country: China

Duration: 101 mins

Festival Recommended Rating: 12A

Festivals & Awards:

2020 International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam – Luminous Section

Synopsis:

While the first reports of the Covid-19 outbreak in Wuhan are heard on the news, Xiuhua, who is suffering from a different disease, is fighting for her life. The doctors may have given up on her, but her children and grandchildren haven’t, and they’re doing everything possible to keep her with them for a little while longer.  

 

5. The Fourth Wall

UK PREMIERE

Director: Chong Zhang / Bo Zhang

Genre: Drama

Year of Production: 2019

Production Country: China

Duration: 96mins

Festival Recommended Rating: 12A

Festivals & Awards:

22nd Shanghai International Film Festival – Nominee of Asian New Talent Award (World Premiere)

13th First International Film Festival – Main Competition

41st Cairo International Film Festival – the Bronze Pyramid Award

Synopsis:

Liu Lu is leading a dreary and seemingly mundane life, working at a deer breeding farm. A friend, Ma Hai, keeps trying in vain to win her affections. It’s as if she’s isolating and banishing herself from any kind of human warmth or love. Ma Hai confesses he knows another Liu Lu and another himself in a ‘parallel world’. The more she learns about the other ‘her’, the more Liu Lu discovers about the long-suppressed memories from her past.

 

6. Black Tide Coast

UK PREMIERE

Director: Mingduan Wang

Genre: Drama

Year of Production: 2020

Production Country: China

Duration: 99mins

Festival Recommended Rating: 12A

Festivals & Awards:

2020 Hainan New Wave Young Artists’ Image Exhibition

2021 Singapore World Film Carnival, Special mention for Best Feature

Synopsis:

Feng Qin and Ren Wu had known each other online for many years, but they had never met in real life. In the summer of 2015, they made an appointment to meet in the Mountain of Yantai in Shandong province. So, Qin went there alone, waiting for Wu all night in vain. It turned out that Wu disappeared mysteriously. Qin was so absent-minded that she fell into the sea. Luckily, she was rescued by someone. Several years later, Qin commenced a tour from Dandong, Liaoning province, to the south along the coast, suffering from the tide and waves, but she kept thinking of Wu all the time. It was the summer in 2019, when Qin arrived in Bo’ao Town, on Hainan Island. She accidentally found a coastal café, named “Old House “, where every afternoon some old movies would be played. She was surprised to find that these films seem to be connected with Wu. At the same time, Qin noticed Lei Chen, the coffee shop waitress, because Chen was the one who formulated the screening program and had some seemingly strange relations with Wu. While they became familiar with each other in the process of sounding out, a drama crew emerged in the “Old House “. Qin happened to be the actor by chance in a repertoire, which would remind her of the innermost secrets …


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