Chinese director Qiu Yang broke two records at this year’s Cannes Film Festival: The first when his short film, A Gentle Night 《小城二月》, won the Palme d’Or to make him the first Chinese director to win that award… the second for giving the shortest, and perhaps best acceptance speech in festival history—”F@cking amazing.”
A Gentle Night poster (ECNS)
Qiu’s 15-minute short tells the story of a mother searching for her lost child on the eve of the Lunar New Year. Qiu has said that the inspiration came from hearing news reports of missing children in his hometown of Changzhou, Jiangsu province.
This is not the first time that Qiu has entered competition at Cannes. In 2015, his graduation film, Under the Sun, from Victorian College of Arts in Melbourne, Australia, competed in Cannes’ student film section, Cinefondation.
Qiu is now the second-ever Chinese filmmaker to win a Palme d’Or at Cannes. The first was 24 years ago, when Chen Kaige won the prize for his film, Farewell My Concubine.
While China had no other winners or entrants in any other categories, they were represented in the judging panel, as actress, model, and Chinese Barbie Fan Bingbing was part of the jury that decided on the winners.
Cover image from Sohu