May 20, 2024

Chinese film sales company Parallax Films is poised to make a splash this week in Tokyo. The outfit has two titles in the Tokyo International Film Festival official selection and a host of festival-travelled Chinese films in the TIFFCOM market.

Appearing in main competition is “A Long Shot,” a crime drama by first time feature director Gao Peng. The film is set in the 1980s when China’s modernization was only beginning to get under way. Nevertheless, in the rust belt of the North East, factories were already in decline and thefts were on the rise. The story follows a former sharpshooter who retires to become a factory security officer and who tries to steer away from crime the son of a woman he cares about. The picture stars Zu Feng, Qin Hailu and Zhou Zhengjie.

Florian Zinke, a German cinematographer who has other Asian film credits including “Nina Wu” and Eva Jin’s “Legend of Sun and Moon” and is slated to lens the upcoming “The Sand Murmurs,” is set as director of photography. Asia-based French film editor Mathieu Laclau (“Ash Is Purest White,” “Wild Goose lake,” “Ripples of Life”) is also on board.

“Love is a Gun,” a drama about a young man who is determined to break free of his turbulent past, debuted at the Venice festival and expands its career with stops in Tokyo and Mumbai. Made in Taiwan on a shoestring budget by director, co-writer and lead actor Lee Hong-chi, the film “reveals the talent of a new young auteur destined to become one of the leading names in contemporary Asian cinema”, says Beatrice Fiorentino, General Delegate of Venice’s Critics’ Week.

In the TIFFCOM market, Parallax is also pitching “Carefree Days,” a mainland Chinese romantic drama by Liang Ming, that played in the new directors competition section at last month’s San Sebastian festival; and “Borrowed Time,” which recently played in Busan. The debut film by Choy Ji, explores the inter-connectedness of Hong Kong and the Cantonese-speaking mainland city Guangzhou through the lens of a woman digging up her parents’ early relationship. It mixes up past and present, reality and fantasy.

Parallax is part of the Midnight Blur film production and service brand that is devoted to developing and producing films with international vision and idiosyncratic style, both commercial and arthouse. One of only a handful of Chinese firms consistently working the international festival and market circuit, Parallax also has a sister company Deepfocus, which it describes as “a multi-platform media brand.”

Upcoming titles still in post-production include “Great Expectations” and “Another Day of Hope.” Comedy drama about a father and son relationship, “Great Expectations” is the second feature by Xu Lei, whose debut “Sherlock on the Plain” was a prize-winner at the 2018 edition of the First International Film Festival. “Another Day of Hope” is a black and white, social drama about an ordinary couple whose life becomes a challenge after an accident. It is written and directed by feature debutant Liu Taifeng.

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