“Bridge”Program makes its debut at SIFF to demonstrate international independent films
A trans-Pacific bridge connecting China and the USA, two major powers in the film industry.
The 20th Shanghai International Film Festival (SIFF) which is about to raise its curtain soon has added a new program – Bridge. Just as the name implies, it serves as a bridge for cultural exchanges between Chinese film market and the international independent market, and also a bridge for Chinese audience to have a better understanding of the international independent movies, which will provide Chinese audience with a wider range of independent films as well as new and different experiences.
The movies shown in the Bridge program inaugurated at this year’s SIFF, are the new works of American independent filmmakers, which are of high quality and reputation and acknowledged by major independent film festivals in the USA. In particular, Brigsby Bear, which was to be shown in this program, has made its way into the competition for the Golden Goblet. It is reported that the main cast and crew of the 5 movies in this section will come to Shanghai and meet the audience at the cinema during the screening.
The Bridge program also includes workshops and master classes, where American filmmakers coming to Shanghai will have a face-to-face discussion with Chinese young directors in the seminar on themes like independent film financing and production which are independent from the big companies of Hollywood film industry.
Director: S.J. Chiro
Writer: S.J. Chiro
Stars: Katherine Moennig, Jasmin Savoy Brown, Sara Coates, Sophia Mitri Schloss
Genres: Drama, Biography, Adventure
In 1974, the 13-year-old Lane lives a happy life in Northern California, but it is ended by her rebellious mother. She appears out of a sudden and takes the children away from the security and safety of the community. She gives up on herself and begs for a living, and the family falls apart as a result, leaving Lane and her brothers and sisters nothing to rely on but themselves. After a series of dangerous and isolating events, Lane and her siblings come to understand that they have to forge their own path in hopes of finding a better life.
Based on a true story, this movie participates the 2017 SXSW Conference & Festivals. Like a quiet flow of memory, this movie takes the audience back to the USA and its cultural waves in the 1970s.
Director: Michael Almereyda
Writers: Michael Almereyda, Jordan Harrison
Stars: Lois Smith, Geena Davis, Jon Hamm, Tim Robbins, Stephanie Andujar
This movie is adapted from the Pulitzer-Prize-nominated play of the same name, which is about an 86-year-old lady played by Lois Smith. As the heroine’s memory goes poorer and poorer, a handsome young man who looks like her late husband comes to her and helps her to recover the past by telling stories. This man is actually her husband “brought back to life” through high technology. What’s more, her daughter and son-in-law come to “see” her in the same way.
The movie won the Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival and many viewers were deeply touched by it. When our loved ones are gone, only the memories are left reminding us of the time together. When these nearly-lost memories are recovered little by little, we begin to feel the warmth hidden behind the touching details.
Director: Ian MacAllister McDonald
Writer: Ian MacAllister McDonald
Stars: Thomas Mann, Marin Ireland, Lachlan Buchanan, Ely Henry, Mayank Bhatter
A charming romance develops unexpectedly between a boy with one eye and a 120-kg girl, the two “freaks” in a high school after they meet on the campus. The girl manages to lose weight after going to college far away. The boy finds it surprising that the girl has changed so much upon reunion. He seems not able to accept the girl as she is now and is greatly frustrated, which leads the girl to wonder if the boy is her destiny. As they drift away from each other, reality pushes them to understand who they were and who they are, and how others think of “freaks” born with defects like them.
It is a different campus romantic comedy blending the harsh reality of society and warm and moving scenes. The film participated in the 2017 Cleveland International Film Festival, the 2017 Oxford Film Festival, etc.
Director: Joshua Z Weinstein
Writers: Alex Lipschultz, Musa Syeed, Joshua Z Weinstein
Stars: Menashe Lustig
Within Brooklyn's ultra-orthodox Jewish community, Menashe, a middle-aged widower, battles for custody of his son. The tender father cares for his son while resisting the pressure around him. This movie is about the Jewish community life, showing a whole picture of the Yiddish-speaking orthodox Jews’ life in America. It intimately explores the relation between faith and parenthood with its story and pictures filled with love.
The charming and warm relationship between father and son makes the audience feel as if bathing in the autumn sun. This film is specially recommended by A24, the production company and distributor of the Oscar winner for Best Picture Moonlight, and it entered for the 2017 Sundance Film Festival and Montclair Film Festival in the US.
Director: Luke Korem
Writers: Bradley Jackson, Luke Korem
Stars: Richard Turner, Johnny Thompson, Max Maven
Genres: Biography (Documentary)
Sixty-two year old Richard Turner is renowned as one of the world's greatest card magicians, yet he is completely blind.
Richard Turner gradually lost his sight due to a severe illness since he was 9 years old, and was expelled from high school because he refused to learn Braille. However, nothing in this world could stop him from growing into one of the greatest card masters in the world. From the age of 19, he would practice playing cards for 14 hours every day, analyzing and contemplating every move until it became nature. This film looks at this blind master in his daily life, who explores the card magic treasure in the dark and work miracles.
How can a blind man be so good at playing the magic where the sight plays a paramount role? In addition to the legendary life of Richard Turner, various kinds of magic will also interest you. This film entered for the 2017 SXSW Conference & Festivals and the 2017 Dallas International Film Festival.