Asian New Talent Award Official Selection | Like Father and Son: Move people by “truth”
“There are so many children in the school, one of them is very eager for his father. He wants to sit on his father's shoulder and watch the fireworks. When the child said this to me, his tears were running down all the time. Is this request complicated? This picture has always been in my mind.” A media meeting was held for the Asian New Talent Award official selection “Like Father and Son” today. Once director Bai Zhiqiang walked on stage, he told everyone about his original intention of writing the script and making the film. This is a real case that he met in helping the poor left-behind children. In order to protect the children, he changed the documentary he planned to shoot into a feature film, so he had this small-budget film “Like Father and Son”.
The film tells an emotional story of meeting, knowing and redeeming each other between a mercenary pedlar and a child that looking for his father in Northwest China. Although he attended the meeting alone, Bai Zhiqiang, a director from Northern Shaanxi, just like his film, was straightforward and sincere, simple but delicate. He talked about all kinds of hardships and gains from project setup, casting, looking for investment, to completion of the whole film. Bai Zhiqiang revealed that he spent two years polishing the script of the film, which was his first feature film, and specially invited his master – Lu Wei, screenwriter of Farewell My Concubine and Lifetimes Living, “He is particularly demanding of scripts. We wrote twenty to thirty thousand words for the brief biography of all characters only. It was then I realized that we had just finished a very small part of this story.”
In order for the film to be made smoothly, the director ran around to raise money and took out the money given to his children as a lunar New Year gift. Fortunately, he was supported by cast members and friends in and outside the circle, “My wish is to remain true to my original aspiration, shoot a work with conscience, and let more audiences see it, think it is good and worth. That's it.” As the screenwriter, director and producer himself, Bai Zhiqiang was full of feelings for the film from the beginning to the end. When he invited his fellow villagers to watch the newly cut completed film, he found that everyone cared about the content of the story, so he thought that he had achieved the “truth” he wanted. This can't do without the excellent performance of the actors.
For the sake of cost, the film used a performance team of all naive actors, which required the director and the crew to create the atmosphere and control the scene, so that these amateur actors fully trusted the director and showed a sense of reality. When it comes to the casting of the little lead “Maodou”, director Bai is quite proud. Because he believed that his script was true, he was fully convinced that he would find the most suitable little actor in Northern Shaanxi. The child selected finally was not only brave but also smart. As a child less than ten years old, he could read and understand the script, recite all his lines without a break, and the important crying scenes he played were full of faith, “This is talent.” It is reported that the little actor named Bai Zeze has been selected by Deng Chao and Yu Baimei's crew to take part in shooting the Northern Shaanxi part of My People, My Hometown. Like Father and Son will be his first film work, and may also be the start of his film career.