What to expect from 7th Spring Film Festival

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 16 2013 06:48 PM | Updated as of Jan 17 2013 02:48 AM

MANILA, Philippines – Movie buffs, mark your calendars – the Spring Film Festival, which features award-winning films on Chinese culture, is set to kick off next month.

Now on its seventh year, the Spring Film Festival aims to promote Chinese language and culture among Filipinos.

It will be open to the public for free at the Shangri-La Plaza mall from February 1 to 10, 2013.

Here are this year’s featured films:

Piano in a Factory

Running time: 119 minutes

Synopsis: A man goes to unusual heights to prove his love for his daughter in this family drama. Chen Guilin is a man who loves music and plays an accordion in an amateur band. He cannot support himself on what he makes as a musician, and his job in a steel mill isn’t about to make him rich. His wife, Xiao Ju, returns home to file a formal divorce and sues for the custody of their daughter. To retain his daughter, he must give her a piano. Chen exhausts all means: borrowing money from his friends and even attempting to steal a piano, but all his attempts fail. Despite these challenges, Chen always maintains an optimistic outlook. Finally, he decides to produce a steel piano with his friends.

Awards: Best Actor, 23rd Tokyo International Film Festival; Best International Movie, 28th Miami International Film Festival; Special Award of Jury, 28th Golden Flower Movie Festival

Storm Warriors

Running Time: 111 minutes

Synopsis: An epic battle is played out by warriors harnessing the power of the elements in this effects-laden fantasy /action drama Hong Kong film. The brave Lord Nameless is the leader of a band of heroic warriors. Lord Godless, his nemesis, captures Nameless in a daring raid, imprisons his soldiers and takes control of his land. As things look hopeless, three of Nameless's allies set out to free him: Cloud (Aaron Kwok), Wind (Ekin Cheng) and Chu Chu (Yan Tang). As Cloud absorbs what he's learned from Nameless and Wind is tutored in combat by Wicked, can they fend off Godless and his cronies?

Awards: Best Visual Effects, 29th Hong Kong Film Awards

Golden Times

Running time: 90 minutes

Synopsis: Fueling China’s economic boom is the mass migration of workers from the countryside to cities. This leaves a special population of 58 million “left-behind children” in the care of their old, and mostly illiterate grandparents. What should have been carefree years for these children can only be characterized by weariness from studying and burdensome farm work. Teacher Fang and police officer Sun Dayang realize that the affections and instructions of parents during the early years are irreplaceable. Getting support from the local government, they set up a “Home for Left-Behind Children,” which helps the kids from this population attain a healthy and loving environment in the hands of the community.

Jasmine Women

Running time: 130 minutes

Synopsis: Starring Zhang Ziyi (House of Flying Daggers), Joan Chen and Jiang Wen, “Jasmine Women” tells the story of one family's struggle to overcome its tragic history, as each daughter repeats the mistakes of her mother. Director Hou Yong sets his film in the 1930's, 50's and 80's against the backdrop of an ever-changing Shanghai and tells the stories of Mo, Li and Hua, which when translated to English together means Jasmine Flower.

Awards: Grand Jury Prize, 7th Shanghai International Film Festival; Best Actress, 13th Golden Rooster Awards

2Become1

Running Time: 129 minutes

Synopsis: Bingo Leung, an advertising executive, has always lived a carefree life that includes guarding her turf in the office, dating, and gossiping with her three girlfriends. One day, she finds a lump in her left breast. Everything begins to fall apart as she tries to cope with the loss of femininity in a series of bittersweet events. With the help of a happy-go-lucky Doctor V and a shy but talented teenager Sing, Bingo begins to find new meanings in her turmoil and the will to face her own demons.

Space Dream

Running time: 110 minutes

Synopsis: The son of a peasant family, Zhang Tiancong (Liu Zhibing) is a veteran member of the first generation of Chinese astronauts but, now in his 40s, has yet to be selected for a space mission. Meanwhile, his family, including his daughter and ace military pilot Siyu (Jiang Ruijia), continues to support his quickly fading dream. Tiancong’s last shot is a mission is of exceptional importance; it involves docking spaceship Wentian I with a satellite to establish China's first manned orbital space station. Will Tiancong get picked to pilot Wentian I and finally realize his space dream? Or will he be stuck on backup duty again?

Meanwhile, here is the complete screening schedule:

February 1

12:30 p.m. – 2Become1
3 p.m. – Piano in a Factory
5:30 p.m. – Storm Warriors
8 p.m. – Jasmine Women

February 2

12:30 p.m. – Piano in a Factory
3 p.m. – Space Dream
5:30 p.m. – Golden Times
8 p.m. – Storm Warriors

February 3

12:30 p.m. – Space Dream
3 p.m. – 2Become1
5:30 p.m. – Jasmine Women
8 p.m. – Piano in a Factory

February 4

12:30 p.m. – Storm Warriors
3 p.m. – Golden Times
5:30 p.m. – 2Become1
8 p.m. – Space Dream

February 5

12:30 p.m. – Golden Times
8 p.m. – Jasmine Women

February 6

12:30 p.m. – Storm Warriors
3 p.m. – 2Become1
5:30 p.m. – Piano in a Factory
8 p.m. – Golden Times

February 7

12:30 p.m. – Jasmine Women
3 p.m. – Golden Times
5:30 p.m. – Space Dream
8 p.m. – 2Become1

February 8

12:30 p.m. – 2Become1
3 p.m. – Jasmine Women
5:30 p.m. – Piano in a Factory
8 p.m. – Space Dream

February 9

12:30 p.m. – Storm Warriors
3 p.m. – Space Dream
5:30 p.m. – 2Become1
8 p.m. – Golden Times

February 10

12:30 p.m. – Golden Times
3 p.m. – Storm Warriors
5:30 p.m. – Jasmine Women
8 p.m. – Piano Factory

Meanwhile, here are the synopses of the featured films:

The seventh Spring Film Festival will also include an exhibit featuring the latest works of seasoned artists from the International Studies for Chinese Arts and the students of the Confucius Institute at the Ateneo de Manila University Chinese Painting class, and a display of photos that depict a new wave of cultural reform that is taking place in China.

For more information about the event, call the Ateneo de Manila University Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies at (02) 426-6001 locals 5208, 5209, 5280 and 5284. For tickets, call Shang Cineplex at (02) 633-2227.