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52nd edition

Huo zhe chang zhe

Fortnight 2019, Feature film, 1H45
World premiere


Zhao Li manages a Sichuan Opera troupe that lives and performs together in a rundown theatre in the outskirts of Chengdu. When she receives an order of demolition, she hides the news, fearing that this could spell their end. Secretly, she wouldn’t mind stopping since their life has become harder over the years. But what else can she do? She also worries that her niece Dan Dan, their star, will leave them for a better future in the city. To keep her troupe “family” together, Zhao Li begins a search for a new theatre for them to both sing and live in. As she struggles with bureaucracy, the characters from the opera world that she uses to escape her troubles begin to seep into her real life…


Johnny Ma

Born in China, Johnny Ma immigrated to Canada as a child. A Columbia graduate, he moved back to China for his thesis film that premiered at TIFF. His debut Old Stone premiered at the Berlinale and received the Best Canadian First Feature Award at TIFF & Best First Feature at Canadian Screen Awards.

Gan Guidan
Yan Xihu
Zhao Xiaoli

Johnny Ma

Matthias Delvaux

Guido Berenblum, Sheng Yong

production design
Zhang Xueqiang

Ana Godoy

Jongho You, Jimin Kim

Shenzhen Ming Culture Communication Co.,Ltd
4F,Vanke Architecture Research Center, No. 63, Meilin Rd. Futian District,
518049 Shenzhen – Chine
T : + 86 755 831 520 34

IMAGE X Productions
28 Zhongjia Rd. Suite 1-601, Nanxiang, Jiading District
201802 Shanghai – Chine
T: +86 188 1121 5810

Shanghai Tongyue Industrial Co., Ltd
No.1680 Hami Rd. Tower 1, Changning District,
201103 Shanghai – Chine

House On Fire
T : +33 9 84 11 40 92

foreign sales
Films Boutique
Köpenicker Strasse 184
10997 Berlin – Allemagne
T : +49 30 695 378 50

Epicentre Films
55 rue de la mare
75020 Paris – France
T : +33 1 43 49 03 03

Claire Vorger
T:+33 6 20 10 40 56

Claudia Tomassini & Associates
International Film Publicity
T : +49 173 205 5794

Title in Original Version : To Live to Sing
Release date : 20 November 2019

Cannes projection

May 20
Théâtre Croisette

Théâtre Croisette

May 21
Théâtre de La Licorne

Studio 13

Press release

un portrait en creux de la Chine d’aujourd’hui /// France Info