21 - 24 JUNE 2021 / EDITION N°32


Sunny Side of the Doc

Chinese talent awarded by Asian Side of the Doc at CCDF 2019

Asian Side Award handed out in Taipei at 2019 CCDF Pitching Forum

Our team travels to festivals and documentary gatherings around the world to scout inspiring new projects and meet new makers. It’s part of our long-time mission to encourage filmmakers from around the globe by awarding the most promising projects.
Winners get the opportunity to attend our annual marketplaces events, expand their network with established and emerging doc professionals and find funders to complete their stories.

This week at the 10th edition of the CNEX Chinese Doc Forum (CCDF-10), Chinese filmmaker Jian FAN took home the ASIAN SIDE OF THE DOC Award for the documentary project with highest international potential. His project Born To Be Second follows two families haunted by the lost of their only child and trying to rebuild an uncertain tomorrow after suffering the 2008 Sichuan earthquake that razed a Chinese city to the ground. Over 6,000 families try to replace the children they lost in the tragedy in order to move on with their lives.

All the projects pitched here at CCDF 2019 related to strong topics with an international appeal. “Born to be Second” is the most advanced in terms of production development. Therefore, this Chinese project can surely benefit from our invitation to attend and pitch at Asian Side of the Doc. We’re confident it will attract a number of international partners. The universality of this human story and its capacity to cross borders is representative of the high-quality projects we are always looking for” said Sunny Side of the Doc editorial consultant Jean-Jacques Peretti, who awarded director Jian FAN and producer S. Leo CHIANG in Taipei. Co-producer Richard LIANG is also involved in the project.

Born to be Second – Synopsis

After the 2008 Sichuan earthquake razed a Chinese city to the ground, thousands of families lost their only child, and were permitted to try and have another, in an effort to fill the void created by this tragedy. Born to be Second follows two of these families. Mei and her husband Sheng had a biological son, Chuan, while their friends, Ying and her husband Ping, opted to adopt a daughter, Ran-Ran.
Chuan, now 6, approaches the age of his late sister. He is starting to make sense of the unusual burdens his parents place on him, and of the wound that time has never healed.
Ran-Ran, now 12, had always been told that Ying and Pin were her birth-parents. She can recall having lived somewhere else as a very young child, but she has chosen to accept her parents’ white lie. Soon, fragments of the truth will emerge and will be impossible for the family to confront together. Both families are arriving at critical junctures in their lives, challenging how they have been living for the past ten years.

More about Jian FAN

Jian FAN is a documentary director who focuses on Chinese social issues through character-driven storytelling. He is a Documentary Branch member of the Academy. He has directed six feature-length documentary films, most recently Still Tomorrow, winner of a Special Jury Award at IDFA 2016. His other films include My Land (Berlinale 2016; supported by Sundance Documentary Fund) and The Next Life (IDFA 2011).
His work has also screened in competition at Hot Docs, Full Frame, Sheffield, Busan, and dozens of other film festivals around the world. Jian studied at Beijing Film Academy and is now based in Chongqing, China.

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