Filmmaker and photographer Qu Youjia (1990, China) was educated at Beijing Film Academy and graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design. His debut short film, Meijing (2017), won several awards, including Best Fiction Film at Chongqing Youth Film Festival 2017 and the Night Award at the International Festival Signes de Nuit 2017. His second film, Together Apart (2019), was awarded Best Short Film at FIRST International Film Festival Xining 2019 and was selected in the Bright Future Mid-length at International Film Festival Rotterdam 2020.
Xie Meng is a Beijing-based film producer. His producing credits include Memoria (Apichatpong Weerasethakul); Savagery (Miguel Gomes); Wet Season (Anthony Chen, 2019); Sundance Film Festival 2017 Special Jury Prize winning film, Free and Easy (Geng Jun, 2016); Manchurian Tiger (Geng Jun, 2020); and Krabi, 2562 (Ben Rivers, Anocha Suwichakornpong, 2019). He founded Rediance to produce, finance and represent the finest arthouse films internationally. Rediance’s recent sales lineup includes An Elephant Sitting Still (Hu Bo, 2018), Best First Feature Special Mention and FIPRESCI Prize winner at Berlin International Film Festival 2018; Kabul, City in the Wind (Aboozar Amini, 2018), opening film at International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam 2018; The Science of Fictions (Yosep Anggi Noen, 2019), winner of Golden Leopard Special Mention at Locarno Festival 2019; Ghost Tropic (Bas Devos, 2019), which screened in the Director’s Fortnight at Cannes Film Festival 2019; International Film Festival Rotterdam 2020 Tiger Award winner, The Cloud in Her Room (Zheng Lu Xinyuan, 2020); and Venice International Film Festival 2019 films Balloon (Pema Tseden, 2019) and The Best Is Yet to Come (Wang Jing, 2020). He was a jury member at various festivals, including Toronto International Film Festival, CPH:DOX-Copenhagen International Documentary Festival, FIDMarseille-Marseille International Film Festival, Beijing International Film Festival and FIRST Film Festival Xining.
Established in Beijing in 2017, Rediance specializes in international sales, film production and film financing. With a global perspective, Rediance strives to discover filmmakers with original styles and bring the finest arthouse films to the international market.
Jing, a C-pop idol trainee at Standard Entertainment, has been selected as one of the five candidates for new girl idol group, LAVA. The five girls are about to face their first big challenge; their debut show. Jing has incredible dance skills, but is often criticized by the company for “lacking key elements in becoming an idol”. In the brutal world of star-making show business, the only way for these young girls to win favor from the audience is to be fully committed. Jing exhausts herself in vain attempts, while Wan, a new auditionee at the company, who idolizes Jing, has suddenly been promoted into the LAVA group, meaning yet more competition for Jing. Affected by the tragic fate of Kimi, Jing’s hometown friend and company training buddy, Jing makes a short journey home. Upon her return to the city, she engages in a conflict with her company, though is soon persuaded to back down by the company. On the day of their debut show, Jing walks out onto the stage and meets her audience for the first time, where she finally learns to let herself go.
The “girl idol group” is a uniquely East Asian cultural phenomenon that has gained ever growing popularity in recent years in China. Taking an interest, I gradually realized that the distinct performance traits of the girl groups and the evaluation system by which they are judged are aimed at the satisfaction of a “watching need” and from which they gain their “popularity”. In this film, I wish to use a strong audiovisual language to show the sculpting of a girl idol group within the logical frame of consumerism. I want to reveal the process by which one changes from a person to a product, and from antagonizing the ruthless eyes of one’s imaginings to actually establishing a relationship with the audience. Worship and infatuation are nothing to be ashamed of. We humans are lonely animals, after all.