A First Farewell won the Best Asian Future Film Award at the Tokyo International Film Festival, is set in deep northwestern China, in the impressive backdrop of a village surrounded by cotton fields and desert.
Wang Lina’s film paints a poignant tale of friendship and family values.
The members of the Generation Kplus International Jury awarded A First Farewell the Grand Jury Prize for the Best Film with the following reason:
“The Grand Prix of the Generation Kplus International Jury for the Best Feature Film goes to an honest cinematic exploration of what it means to grow up in the Uyghur minority in China. This poetic and intimate film gives us insight into the changing relations within two families living in a culture caught between traditional and modern perspectives. Visually arresting and deeply moving, this film makes us question what it means to be close, what it means to be distant and how the young protagonists of the film evolve through their first farewells”.
“The narrative purity – Massimo Righetti, founding partner of Mariposa Cinematografica, says – and the images naturalness captured by Wang Lina in A First Farewell enchanted us at first glance. We are sure that A Fist Farewell will represent a unique and precious cinematographic experience for the Italian public especially for young people, to whom Mariposa Cinematografica has always been very attentive. The delicate sensitivity of this journey through the environments, landscapes, culture and characters of this region in northwestern China brings on the big screen a story with an intense and polite charm, full of humanity. I want to thank Patrick Mao Huang and Flash Forward Entertainment for trusting Mariposa Cinematografica.”
“I am touched – said Patrick Mao Huang, coproducer and international sales of A First Farewell – by how much Mr. Righetti loves this film. We share the same view toward the poetic interpretation on the family matters in the small farming village and coming-of-age sorrow the two young kids inevitably face. I believe the theme of this beautifully shot movie is universal. The enthusiastic reaction from both adult and children audience in Berlin has proved the film could travel far even it’s a Uyghur language Chinese film. I am glad Mariposa will release the film theatrically across Italy.”
Deep in northwestern China, surrounded by cotton fields and desert, lies the Uyghur village that Isa calls home. When he is not at school or working on his parents’ farmyard, he spends carefree days with his friends – until the outside world starts forcing him to say one goodbye after another. With Isa’s mother’s illness placing an increasing burden on the family, his father considers putting her in a care home, far away from the village. Isa’s best friend Kalbinur is getting bad grades and is about to be sent to a faraway Chinese school. And then the little lamb, which the two children had been looking after with devotion ever since it was born, disappears. Captured in naturalistic imagery, winter closes in on Isa’s world.