Chinese film to be featured in Masters' program in Chicago

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The Chicago International Film Festival (CIFF), the longest running competitive international film festival in North America, kicked off its 57th edition Wednesday evening.

"One Second" by Chinese renowned director Zhang Yimou is among the ten films selected from the world's most "venerable and renowned" filmmakers for the Masters' program. It will be shown twice at a theatre in downtown Chicago.

Set in a village in the China's Gobi Desert in the 1970s, an escaped prisoner risks everything to get access to a film reel for a glimpse of his estranged daughter. Meanwhile, a little girl is also desperate to get her hands on the reel. Their paths cross at the local projectionist whose screening of movies connects the villagers to the outside world.

With striking cinematography and enchanting moments, the film is a moving personal story and displays the redemptive power of the film.

Zhang is a three-time Academy Award nominee for Best Foreign Language Film for his "Raise the Red Lantern," "Ju Dou" and "Hero."

"We had many unimaginable experiences," and "we all have stories to tell," said Mimi Plauche, artistic director of the CIFF. "We are celebrating these stories and the lived lives they give voices to."

More than 80 feature films and 60 shorts from nearly 60 countries will be screened during the festival. Besides the masterpiece from China, there are also selected films from other Asian countries including Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore, and South Korea.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival this year will be presented in various venues, including in-person screenings at theaters, special drive-in presentations, and virtual screenings via the festival's streaming platform.

The 57th CIFF will run through Oct. 24. 

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