New York-based distributor Cheng Cheng has picked up North American all rights to first-time filmmaker Teng Congcong’s comedy-drama Send Me to the Clouds. The film starring Yao Chen (Monster Hunt, Lost Found), who’s also its producer, follows an ovarian cancer patient’s desperate quest for an unforgettable sexual experience before her surgery. The picture opened in Chinese theaters last weekend after bowing at Shanghai International Film Festival and FIRST International Film Festival. Its humorous touch on struggles faced by a generation of women born under China’s One-Child policy won it a 100% score in verified influencers’ recommendations on Weibo, China’s answer to Twitter. The distributor behind Chinese language films including The Great Buddha+, Crosscurrent and SoulMate is planning a theatrical release in fall 2019.
“Cheng Cheng has always championed films with strong female leads. Now we’d also like to show how Chinese women have contributed to Chinese language cinema from leading roles behind the scene. If our team with imperfect English proficiency and unbeatable math skills has read “gender equality” correctly, it means we need to focus our resources and efforts on releasing women-directed films until its number is equal to that of men-directed films in our catalogue. We make that commitment to ourselves and our audience. Send Me to the Clouds is a perfect start.” stated by the distributor founded in 2015.
The deal was signed by Tony Yin, Director of Business Affairs at Cheng Cheng Films, and Julian Chiu, Senior Manager of International Sales and Distribution at Hong Kong’s Edko Films. It’s the second time the two companies join forces.
Diagnosed with ovarian cancer, iron-willed journalist Sheng Nan (“Surpass Men” in Chinese) is pressured to make a quick fortune and find mindblowing sex before the costly surgery numbs her senses. Taking on a businessman’s biography writing job, she hikes into the misty mountains, where a chain of outbursts with her dysfunctional family, grumpy client, misogynistic co-worker and dreamlike romantic interest hilariously unfold. As deeply moving as it is luminously witty, writer-director Teng Congcong’s debut waltzes across the bitterness swallowed by her generation of women born under China’s One-Child Policy, unprecedentedly burdened to “surpass men” while trying not to be “leftover women” at the same time. Saluting the 18th-century Chinese literature classic Dream of the Red Chamber in its title, the enchanting gem refreshes the novel’s transcendent contemplation on desire, death and womanhood from a modern cinematic perspective.