“Chinese Portrait,” the unusual 2018 film by Wang Xiaoshuai, has been picked up for Stateside release by indie outfit Cinema Guild. The picture will have its North American Premiere at Doc Fortnight, MoMA’s annual international festival of nonfiction film, and move into commercial release later this year.
Wang’s most recent picture, “So Long, My Son,” a critique of China’s now-abandoned one child policy, played in competition this month at the Berlin Film Festival, where it won acting awards for its male and female leads. On the strength of that, Wang is currently in high demand. He recently signed a two-pictures deal with Huanxi Media.
“Chinese Portrait” is brings together the style of documentary, painting and photography, with a mixture of moving and still images. It premiered in Busan last year and recently played in documentary festival IDFA in Amsterdam.
It was produced by Isabelle Glachant at Beijing-based Chinese Shadows and Liu Xuan from Front Films, with the support of Swiss fund Vision Sud Est. Sister company, Asian Shadows is handling international sales on the picture and also recently licensed it to Trigon-Film for release in Switzerland.
“With ‘Chinese Portrait,’ Wang Xiaoshuai transcends language to present a compelling picture of the China he knows, a China that is rapidly changing. We can’t wait for audiences in the U.S. to see this visually stunning and intensely personal film” said Cinema Guild director of distribution Peter Kelly, who negotiated the deal with Asian Shadows head of sales, Maria Ruggieri.
“Portrait” is also expected to play at the True/False Film festival, in Columbia, Missouri, in early March. Wang will attend both events.