Withdrawn Chinese film still hit at Tokyo International Film Festival

08:52, October 28, 2010      

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Although officially withdrawn from the "green carpet" of the 23rd Tokyo International Film Festival (TIIF) running through October 31, the Chinese art film The Piano in a Factory is still nominated for six awards in the festival including the Tokyo Sakura Grand Prix and Award for Best Actor.

Directed and written by 36-year-old Zhang Meng, the film is set in 1990s northeast-ern China, where divorced father Chen Guilin does everything he can to provide his daughter with a piano so she would choose to live with him.

Chen desperately scrapes, borrows and even attempts to steal a piano, but after failing decides to make a piano from scraps in a closed steel mill.

"I want to express not only a father's love, but also the spirit of collaboration and partnership of the older generations," Zhang told the Global Times.

His initial inspiration was back in 1999 when he returned to his hometown, Tieling, Liaoning Province. Due to the decline of the northeastern steel industry since the 1970s, he saw many skilled steel workers without mills to employ them.

However, workers would still gather to make steel things of all kinds, "I was so impressed by this spirit and always wanted to make a story out of it. Only his year did I get funding and made it happen," Zhang added.

The film stars Wang Qianyuan, who earned a nomination for best actor at TIIF. Born and raised in northeastern China, Wang said he is very familiar with characters like Chen, "Chen is a typical northeasterner, very relaxed and optimistic, he always finds the fun in life," Wang told the Global Times.

To help himself prepare for the role, he dressed in character all the time, even at home. "After I've lived a life of the character, wore his clothes and even used his tools, I felt more confident and the acting came very naturally," said Wang.

The film was nominated at festivals both home and abroad, including the Shanghai and the Toronto International Film Festivals. Although Zhang feels honored to be nominated, he doesn't place too much importance on or expect to much from them. "Awards are like candy from your Mom when you've done well in school, it is just a little bit extra," he said.

"If anything, I hope my film could help people recall the lost love and friendship in the material driven society we live in now," added Zhang.

Source: Global Times(By Leng Mo)


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