Chinese films at BRICS film festival

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Editor's note: Four Chinese films were nominated at the first BRICS film festival in India on Sep 3, 2016, which was a sideline event for the 8th BRICS Summit on Oct 15-16. 20 films from the five BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) were chosen to compete in the five-day festival, including the four Chinese films. The second BRICS film festival is set to be held in the Chinese city of Chengdu next year. Now, let's take a closer look at the four nominated Chinese films.

1. Xuan Zang

A poster for film "Xuan Zang."

The film Xuan Zang depicts the 7th century historical adventure of Chinese Buddhist monk Xuan Zang and his 17-year journey to India during the Tang Dynasty. Xuan Zang's story is well-known within Chinese cinema, and takes a fantastical bend on The Monkey King and Journey to the West.

It is directed by Huo Jianqi and produced by Wong Kar-wai and is the first major Sino-India co-production.

Earlier this month, Xuan Zang has been submitted for the Best Foreign Language Film Award Category at the 89th Academy Awards.

2 Go Away, Mr. Tumor

 "Go Away Mr. Tumor" (China)

Go Away, Mr. Tumor is based on a real life story of cartoonist Xiang Yao (who went by her penname Xiong Dun) and her battle with lymphoid cancer. Xiang (June 21,1982 - Nov 16, 2012) was diagnosed with lymphoid cancer in 2011. It is reported that Xiang was bored during her stay in the hospital and decided to draw her experiences battling cancer in cartoons.

Her optimistic attitude towards illness and humorous stories, published in a series titled Go Away, Mr. Tumor, went viral on China's social media as she published them on her Sina Weibo account. A book of the same name was published in August, 2012, three months before Xiong died.

The film represented China in her bid for Best Foreign Language Film for the 88th Academy Awards.

3. Song of the Phoenix

Song of the Phoenix depicts two generations of suona players, delving into their dedication to this traditional Chinese musical instrument and their father-son relationship.

The film is the swan song of famous Chinese filmmaker Wu Tianming, who died shortly after the film's completion in 2014. Wu was considered one of the leading "Fourth Generation" directors.

It also sparked an online controversy after veteran film producer Fang Li knelt down to beg for more screenings for late cinematic master Wu Tianming's last film.

The unlikely move saved the almost-dying art-house film which quickly grossed 80 million yuan ($12 million) box office.

4. Book of Love

A closer look at Chinese films nominated at BRICS film festival A scene from Book of Love, starring Chinese actress Tang Wei and actor Wu Xiubo. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Book of Love, draws inspiration from an old American book as Helene Hanff's 84, Charing Cross Road has touched many readers over the years with its storyline-a 20-year correspondence between the American author and a London bookseller.

Now, the 1970 book has found an unusual taker in Chinese director Xue Xiaolu.

Xue's new film, Book of Love, is a sequel to the 2013 Chinese hit Finding Mr Right. Tang Wei and Wu Xiubo, who starred in Finding Mr Right, lead the sequel's cast, too.


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