Odyssey: a Chinese Cinema Season launches in the UK on 10th May in a hybrid format with the majority of films available to stream online via the festival’s streaming platform while three films will also screen in cinemas including the opening night which takes place simultaneously in London and Edinburgh. A series of short films will be available to stream throughout the festival, while feature strands will rotate weekly until the festival closes on June 10. Features included in this year’s programme:

In-person screenings

Hard Love (2021)

10th May 7.30pm

London Venue: Picturehouse Fulham, 142 Fulham Rd., London SW10 9QR

Edinburgh Venue: Picturehouse Cameo, 38 Home St, Edinburgh EH3 9LZ

Tracy Dong’s observational documentary follows a series of single women in their 30s each of whom continue to chase a conventional marriage exploring what it is marriage means to them in the contemporary society and if in the end it’s something they want or need.

Lan Yu

12th May, 6.30pm

The Prince Charles Cinema, ​​7 Leicester Pl, London WC2H 7BY

Recent restoration of Stanley Kwan’s Mainland drama in which a businessman, Han-dong, falls in love with college student Lan Yu against the backdrop of the Tiananmen Square protests.

River of Salvation

17th May, 7.30pm

Picturehouse Finsbury Park, Unit 1 Cinema LS, 17 City N Pl, London N4 3FU

When the younger brother she had been taking caring of comes of age, a young woman returns to her hometown and confesses to a murder in Gao Qisheng’s crime drama.


12 – 19th May: The Emerging Waves

  • Being Mortal – drama in which a young woman gets a job transfer to her hometown in order to look after her father who has been living with Alzheimer’s for the last 10 years.
  • The Fourth Wall – a wounded young woman finds herself falling through a hole in her consciousness in pursuit of a lost deer and childhood friend in Zhang Chong and Zhang Bo’s twisty psychological drama. Review.
  • Black Tide Coast – poetic drama in which a woman continues to pine for a missing friend.
  • The Ark – documentary following a woman who becomes seriously ill with a non-COVID medical problem during the coronavirus pandemic.

27th May – 2nd June: Women Through the Lens

  • Wind – Tibetan drama in which a young woman is shunned for her illegitimate birth but decides to challenge tradition.
  • Love Conquers All – Malaysian drama from Tan Chui Mui in which a young woman from Penang embarks on a dangerous relationship after travelling to Kuala Lumpur.
  • Spring Tide – an alienated investigative journalist struggles to free herself and her 9-year old daughter from the legacy of toxic parenting both personal and national in Yang Lina’s powerful family drama. Review.
  • One Summer – a wife investigates after her her husband is suddenly arrested.
  • Chang’E – romantic drama in which a 55-year-old machine operator falls for a man who arranges “Zaku” death ceremonies.
  • Only You Alone – a young woman with epilepsy strives to achive her dreams of becoming a dancer.
  • Girl from Hunan – Co-directed by U Lan and Xie Fei, A Girl From Hunan follows the fortunes of Xiao Xiao as she is married off at 12 years old to a boy who is only an infant and finds herself more mother than wife only to later fall for a handsome farm hand.

3rd to 19th June: Chinese Regional Cinema

  • Drifted in Life – family members are forced to confront themselves after grandpa has an accident.
  • Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains – slow cinema drama following four brothers living in the tranquil Fuyang countryside.
  • Wisdom Tooth – A young woman’s pain and confusion with the world around her is manifested as a dull ache in her jaw in Liang Ming’s icy coming-of-age drama. Review.
  • Great Happiness – ensemble drama following three childhood friends who grew up under the One Child Policy.

Odyssey: a Chinese Cinema runs 10th May to 10th June online in the UK via Shift 72 with three in-person screenings taking place in London and Edinburgh. Tickets for the in-person screenings are already available via their respective venues. Passes for the online festival will be available shortly while rentals individual films are already available for purchase. Full details for all the films are available via the streaming platform, and you can keep up with all the latest news by following the festival on Instagram and Twitter.

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