Chinese-language films continue to build a strong presence at Cannes with the return of Jia Zhangke, Peter Chan and Lou Ye, while Soi Cheang and Guan Hu are set to make their Croisette debut. 

Caught By The Tides

Source: Cannes

‘Caught By The Tides’


Black Dog 

Dir. Guan Hu 
Chinese director Guan, whose Mr Six was the closing film of Venice in 2015, makes his Cannes debut in Un Certain Regard. Black Dog is about an ex-convict who forms an emotional connection with a dog as he helps clear strays in his remote hometown by the Gobi desert ahead of the 2008 Olympic Games. Eddie Peng, Jia Zhangke, Tong Liya and Zhang Yi lead the cast, with Liang Jing as producer. The Seventh Art, Huayi Brothers and Momo Pictures are among the backers. Memento Distribution releases in France. 
Contact: Playtime 

Caught By The Tides

Dir. Jia Zhangke 
Renowned Chinese director Jia is back in Competition for the sixth time with a film shot over two decades, since 2001. Again starring his muse Zhao Tao, the love epic chronicles the romantic destiny of a woman as she goes looking for her lover when he leaves without notice for another province. Jia’s Xstream Pictures is the main production company, with Momo Pictures and Wishart as co-producers. Jia won Venice’s Golden Lion in 2006 for Still Life and best screenplay at Cannes with his Competition title A Touch Of Sin in 2013.
Contact: mk2 Films 

She’s Got No Name

Dir. Peter Chan 
Acclaimed Hong Kong director Chan, who previously played Out of Competition with Wu Xia in 2011, returns to the same section with a drama based on a famous murder case from the 1940s during the Japanese occupation of Shanghai. Produced by Chan’s We Pictures, She’s Got No Name centres on a woman, played by Zhang Ziyi, who is charged with dismembering her husband. The case attracts huge public attention as it seems impossible for her to have committed the crime alone. Chan has achieved both commercial and critical success for features including Comrades: Almost A Love Story and Dearest.
Contact: Fred Tsui, We Distribution

Twilight Of The Warriors: Walled In

Dir. Soi Cheang 
Making his Cannes debut in Midnight Screenings, Mad Fate director Cheang’s action thriller follows a refugee who accidentally enters the infamous Kowloon Walled City, where he fights fierce battles with friends and foes. It opened to rave reviews and strong numbers in Hong Kong and mainland China, following its May 1 release. Established actors Louis Koo and Sammo Hung star alongside Raymond Lam and Terrance Lau. It is backed by Media Asia Film Production, Entertaining Power and Sil-Metropole Organisation, with John Chong and Wilson Yip producing. 
Contact: Vanessa Lo, Media Asia

An Unfinished Film

Dir. Lou Ye 
Premiering in Special Screenings, Cannes regular Lou’s latest is set in Wuhan, January 2020, on the verge of a nationwide lockdown. The story focuses on a film production crew who are confined to their hotel rooms, with all communication reduced to phone screens. Lou’s wife Ma Yingli produces through Singapore-based Yingfilms along with Philippe Bober’s Essential Filmproduktion from Germany. Lou was previously in Competition at Cannes with Purple Butterfly in 2003, Summer Palace in 2006 and Spring Fever in 2009, which won the best screenplay prize. His 2012 feature Mystery played in Un Certain Regard.
Contact: Coproduction Office 


All Quiet at Sunrise

Source: Parallax Films

‘All Quiet at Sunrise’

All Quiet At Sunrise 

Dir. Zhu Xin
The second fiction feature of Chinese director Zhu is a lo-fi science fiction about how a research student finds his way to decode human language and regain the essence of love, while studying ‘Lucy’, the australopithecus (an early primate) known as the grandmother of mankind. The film continues director Zhu’s experiments with forms of time and space and his observations on language and human communication. His 2018 debut feature Vanishing Days was selected for the Berlinale’s Forum and Busan’s New Currents competition. 
Contact: Cao Liuying, Parallax Films 


Blossoms Under Somewhere 

Dir. Riley Yip 
Produced by acclaimed filmmaker Fruit Chan for first-time director Yip, this coming-of-age drama follows a high-school girl with a speech disorder who sells second-hand 
lingerie online and gains unexpected attention as she romanticises her relationships with buyers. The project is funded by the Hong Kong Film Development Council through its First Feature Film Initiative. The cast includes Marf Yau from girl band Collar, newcomer Sheena Chan, Shin Cheung and Adam Pak. Director Yip is a co-writer of 2016’s Weeds On Fire. 
Contact: Mani Man, mm2 Studios Hong Kong 


Dir. Jiang Jiachen 
Produced by Guan Hu, director of Un Certain Regard selection Black Dog, this action comedy is based on the true story of a Chongqing food delivery rider — dubbed the Usain Bolt of Shapingba — who gathers 30 young men to form a rugby team. Through clashes and crashes, they channel the frustrations of their mundane lives into positive energy on the field. The cast includes Li Jiuxiao, Wang Qianyuan, Liang Chao and Pan Binlong. Director Jiang’s credits include 2018’s Looking For Lucky and 2021’s No Problem.
Contact: Bryce Tsao, iQiyi 


Dir. Chen Sicheng 
Based on an acclaimed novel by Mai Jia, suspense thriller Decoded is about a young maths genius who rises through the ranks when he is assigned the task of decoding for a special unit, only to find a decisive battle with his former mentor-turned-enemy awaits him. The film stars Liu Haoran and was shot in Imax format, with Shanghai CMC Pictures and Shanghai As One Production among the backers. Chinese director Chen is known for the hit film trilogy Detective Chinatown.
Contact: Rinky Yu, CMC Pictures

High ‘N’ Dry

Dir. Zhang Qi
Renowned producer Bill Kong is behind this suspense drama, which marks the feature debut of editor-­turned-director Zhang. Set in an isolated border town of China during a massive sandstorm that has knocked out the phone lines, the only three police officers realise the town is besieged by mysterious criminals. The cast is led by Bai Ke, Xin Baiqing and Lang Yueting. First-time director Zhang’s editing credits include Hidden Man and Youth.
Contact: Jason Ieong, Edko Films


Dir. Yuen Kim Wai
Following high-profile adventure thriller The Moon Thieves, director Yuen’s latest is an action film about a young man in a coma who finds himself in a fantastical martial-arts world where he must master an ancient form of Burmese boxing. But he must also wake up in the real world before it is too late. The cast is led by Angus Yeung in his first leading role, Macy Ma and Louis Cheung, with Jason Siu and Ray Pang as producers.
Contact: Miriam Cheung, Emperor Motion Pictures

Invincible Swordsman

Dir. Luo Yiwei
This period martial-arts film is adapted from Louis Cha’s novel The Smiling, Proud Wanderer. A skilled swordsman forges an unexpected bond after rescuing a woman, but she turns out to be the leader of a demonic cult. Zhang Yuqi and Tim Huang Xiyan star, with a special appearance by Sammo Hung. It is produced by Wishart Media (Xixian) through Hong Kong filmmaker Wong Jing. Luo directed Tencent web film Hermit’s Sword. 
Contact: Avery Lam, Mandarin Motion Pictures 

Little Red Sweet

Dir. Vincent Chow
Chow’s feature directing debut is a 1980s-set family drama about a traditional dessert shop located in the Kowloon City neighbourhood. The story follows a young woman who decides to quit her promising job as a flight attendant to help her father keep the business afloat after her mother has a stroke. But the father and daughter cannot seem to communicate with each other in the absence of the mother. Simon Yam, Stephy Tang and Jeffrey Ngai star in this Sil-Metropole Organisation production, with Julia Chu and Catherine Hun as producers. 
Contact: Distribution Workshop

Never Too Late 

Dir. Yang Lizhu 
This documentary centres on a married couple in their 80s who decide to divorce, which proves shocking news to the small country-town community of Huaihua in Hunan province. Director Yang, who is their granddaughter, unpicks the story behind the separation and a marriage that began 60 years ago through matchmaking. This marks her first feature-length documentary, which has received funding from Shanghai Cultural Development Foundation, one of China’s earliest cultural public funds. Yang has directed several documentary series for Beijing Xiaohe Culture Media.
Contact: Beijing Hugoeast Media 

Strangers When We Meet

Dir. Zhang Guoli 
Zhou Dongyu and Fan Wei, who won the best actor award for Strangers When We Meet in Beijing International Film Festival’s main competition in April, star in this raw crime drama about the harsh realities of human nature. Based on true events, they play two recently released inmates — a young woman in need of money and an elderly man searching for his son — who form a marriage of convenience driven by their respective goals. Director Zhang is also an acclaimed veteran actor. 
Contact: Cao Liuying, Parallax Films