Director: Vicki Zhao Wei
Writers: Qiang Li (screenplay), Yiwu Xin (novel)
Starring: Zishan Yang, Yao Zhang
‘So Young’ Directorial Debut of Vicki Zhao Wei
The 57th BFI London Film Festival 2013, the second and the biggest film festival that I attended in London, ran from 9th till the 20th of October 2013. Once again, I had to choose one film to watch from the entire film festival. It was a hard task to do so, because there were so many films each categorised into different genres. As my interest had grown into watching Asian films during that time, I looked for an Asian film, and came across the film ‘So Young‘.
Zishan Yang in ‘So Young’
This film is the Directorial Debut of China’s Super Star actress Vicki Zhao Wei, and China’s top grossing film of 2013. I read about the movie, and upon knowing that this is the London Premiere and that the Director herself would be there to introduce the film and do the Q&A after the screening of her film, I immediately booked myself a ticket. I reached the Odeon West End Cinema in Leicester Square well before time, and stood amongst the Chinese fans of Vicki Zhao Wei. I found myself standing behind the railings which secured the red carpet. I didn’t have to wait too long till the Director Vicki Zhao Wei arrived. As she arrived the fans cheered for her and she smiled back. For a brief moment, she even looked back at me and gave me a smile, which I will never forget. This was my first time in the Odeon West End Cinema. I had booked myself in the front second row, because I wanted to be near the screen and the Director herself. A few minutes before the screening of the film, Director Vicki Zhao Wei came on the stage and gave an introduction to her film which I recorded on my phone. After that the film was screened.
Adapted from the novel of Yiwun Xin “To Our Eternal Lost Youth”, and screenplay written by Qiang Li (Writer of Peacock), Director Vicki Zhao Wei took upon herself a great project. The story revolves around a girl named Zheng Wei (Zishan Yang), who goes through her life experiencing different things, meeting new people and facing harsh realities of life. She is in love with her childhood friend Li (Yao Zhang), and wanting to be near him, arrives at the Southern Polytechnic to study engineering, but soon finds out that her childhood sweetheart is gone. She experiences the dorm life, makes friends there but finds out that living on her own is not as easy as she thought it would be. She goes through ups and downs in her life, makes hard decisions and faces the hardships very bravely. The film is filled with emotions of all kind.
Zishan Yang with Yao Zhang
Director Vicki Zhao Wei did a very good job at her first Directorial Debut film. Most of the cast that she took were all new comers including Zishan Yang, and they did a terrific job. At the screening of the film the Ambassador of China to UK was also present. At the end of the film there was a Q&A with the Director. I raised my hand and to my surprise, the mic came straight to me. Thus I got to talk to Director Zhao Wei and managed to ask her a question. At first I conveyed the love of Pakistan to China, and then asked her to give an advice to the upcoming Pakistani Directors about how hard it is to Direct a film. The answer you can hear for yourself in this video.
This was the best experience of my life. I couldn’t believe that I had just talked to a super star actress of China, and had also managed to ask her a question. I loved this film because it was so near to life and based on true life experiences.
Winner of 7 awards, including Best Adapted Screenplay, Best New Director, Best Directorial Debut, Best Cinematography and Outstanding New Actress. This film is at the top of my recommendations list.
Ticket for the UK Film Premiere of “So Young” 2013
Tags: BFILondonFilmFestival2013, China, cinema, featured, film, london, Pakistan
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