“From Tomorrow, I Will,” which plays in the Berlinale Forum, heads the festival slate of indie Chinese sales company Rediance. The suburban drama is co-directed by China’s Wu Linfeng and Ivan Markovic, who hails from the former Yugoslavia.
Sales agents from mainland China are still relatively few and far between, reflecting a paucity of film financiers and studios interested in making the commitment needed to earn significant revenues from overseas territories. China’s underground film movement is increasingly under threat, further limiting the availability of independent movies with international potential.
Titles from more established arthouse directors, such as this year’s Berlin crop of Zhang Yimou, Wang Quan’an, Lou Ye and Wang Xiaoshuai, are usually represented by European or Hong Kong sales outfits. In contrast, Rediance’s lineup is made up of films sourced from far outside the mainstream and by filmmakers who have not yet established major international reputations.
The company is also pitching Afghanistan-set “Kabul, City in the Wind”; “In The Holocene” by British artist Ben Rivers and Thailand’s Anocha Suwichakornpong; Guatemala-set gay drama “Jose,” by Li Cheng; black-and-white wartime drama “Winter After Winter,” by Xing Jian; and drama “Manchurian Tiger,” directed by Geng Jun.
Rediance was launched at the Shanghai festival in 2017 with the backing of production company Blackfin Prods. It started with two Blackfin titles and two pickups. Last year, in Berlin, it had another Forum selection, “An Elephant Sitting Still.” Tragically, the director, Hu Bo, killed himself after delivering his only feature movie.