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Short Film August 15th (Ba Yue Shi Wu) accepted by Cannes Film Festival
Young Chinese student at CalArts teams with former aerospace executive to make award-winning short film
By: Davis & Chang
August 15th was written and directed by Xuan Jiang of Beijing as her thesis film at the California Institute of the Arts and produced by Gareth C. C. Chang of Manhattan Beach.
The 21 minute film was inspired by a true story. A young Chinese woman and her boyfriend board a bus and head home to meet his parents. But the trip turns unpredictable when two young men hijack the bus. Traveling through China’s rural mountains, every passenger must decide how much they are willing to sacrifice to preserve their own safety and dignity.
“I felt anger when I read the news stories on which August 15th is based,” recalls Xuan Jiang. “What still lingers in my mind, are the faces of the people on that bus. Some might dismiss what happened as common, but I couldn't let go so easily. As I passed people on the street or the subway, I looked at their faces. I couldn't help but think any one of them could have been one of the people sitting on that bus. Ever since then, I wanted to make a movie about those silent faces. About moments in life where one choice can completely change who we are.”
The cast includes Tingyi Meng, Tao Bian, Shaoshi Qu, Xinxi Zhao, and Lu Cai. The movie’s dialog is in Mandarin, with English subtitles, and it was filmed in China.
Writer and Director Xuan Jiang graduated from the Beijing Broadcasting Institute in 2001 and began television production work at News Corporation China. Eager to create stories of her own, she entered the MFA program for Film Directing at the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia in 2004, where she wrote her thesis film August 15th. Jiang’s interest in filmmaking grew out of her desire to explore stories and emotions she experienced while growing up in Beijing during the transformative post-cultural revolution era in China. She was intrigued by the stark contrasts developing around her – from the shifting traditional cityscape to a flood of new global influences.
She is working on a feature script that is a portrait of human alienation, told through the lives of different characters living in Beijing.
Executive Producer Gareth C.C. Chang is the founding Chairman of D5 Studio and Alpha Media. Building on a successful career in aerospace engineering, digital technology, and multi-media production, Chang produces and distributes 3D animated content, television dramas and feature films for the Chinese and international markets. Prior to founding D5 Studio and Alpha Media, Chang was Chairman and Chief Executive of the Star TV Group of News Corporation, the leading multi-channel satellite television network in Asia. Previously he was President of DirecTV International and Executive Chairman of DirecTV Japan. He is a longtime member of Nike Inc.’s advisory council and has served on the boards of Apple Inc., Palm Inc., News Corp., Agile software and SRS Labs.
Contact: Nissen Davis (email@example.com)