Beijing Flickers looks deep into the psyches of this generation that doesn’t know quite what it wants, and finds at least flickers of hope that they can, together, make their own future.” – Vancouver International Film Festival

The accolades continue to roll in as Global Lens 2013 enters the Spring! This month in the spotlight: BEIJING FLICKERS, which recently played at both Chapman University’s Busan West Film Festival and the Miami International Film Festival, where it won the Miami Future Cinema Critics Award.

The story: San Bao is a young man left behind by Beijing’s fabulous new wealth, having just lost his job, his apartment and the woman he loves (who’s left him for a richer man). Even Happiness, his dog, has run away from him. Lovelorn, self-destructive and desperately aimless, San Bao nevertheless has moments of euphoria amid his own despair, as he roams the sleek, shifting city with other soulful, cash-poor dreamers and misfits. Such heavenly losers form the vital spirit of Beijing in acclaimed director Zhang Yuan’s gorgeously gritty, angst-ridden portrait of youthful disaffection and perseverance in the teeth of heartbreak, ruthless inequality and unfeeling ambition.

“Shot on Beijing’s fringes, with concrete housing projects towering in the background, piles of brick rubble and dilapidated bridges, Beijing Flickers beautifully captures an overall sense of urban blight. And with its likable cast of misfits–particularly Duan Bowen’s San Bao and the effervescent Shi Shi–it’s also a tender look at China’s forgotten–and yet defiant–underclass.” –Screen Daily

Book Now: Bring this film to your theater or community. Preview BEIJING FLICKERS and the rest of the Global Lens 2013 lineup now on Festival Scope and email us at to schedule a screening.

Stay tuned for BEIJING FLICKERS showings at…CAAMFest-272

CAAMFest San Francisco, CA
March 14-21, 2013

FilmFest DC  Washington, District of Columbia
April 11-21, 2013

Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival  Minneapolis, MN
April 11-28, 2013

Slik Screen Asian American Film Festival  Pittsburgh, PA
May 10-19, 2013

BEIJING FLICKERS and other films from the Global Lens 2013 film series are now playing at the following venues and festivals across the U.S. and Canada:

Cinefranco Toronto Toronto, ON0fc9c960cefbe72d49c5d6c3d6a36501
April 6, 2013

ReelWorld Film Festival
April 10th – 14th, 2013

Gasparilla International Film Festival/Tampa Museum of Art Tampa, FL
Presenting the complete Global Lens 2013 film series
February 8th – December 13th
Check the film calendar for screening information

San Antonio Museum of Art San Antonio, TX
Presenting the complete Global Lens 2013 film series
February 17th – December 31st
Check the film calendar for screening information

Providence Public Library Providence, RI
Presenting the complete Global Lens 2013 film series
Beginning March 21
Check the film calendar for screening information



The Global Lens 2013 film series lineup:

ABOUT 111 GIRLS (DARBARE 111 DOKHTAR), dir. Nahid Ghobadi and Bijan Zamanpira, Iraq, 2012, 79 minutes
An Iranian state official, his driver and a young guide race across a troubled but magnificent landscape to stop 111 young Kurdish women from committing suicide in protest against conditions that have left them spinsters. Official Selection, 2012 Busan IFF.



BEIJING FLICKERS (YOU-ZHONG), dir. Zhang Yuan, China, 2012, 96 minutes
A young man left behind by Beijing’s fabulous new wealth experiences moments of euphoria amid despair as he roams the city with other misfit dreamers in this darkly funny, gorgeously gritty portrait of disaffected youth. Official Selection, 2012 Toronto IFF; Official Selection, 2012 Busan IFF.



CAIRO 678, dir. Mohamed Diab, Egypt, 2010, 100 minutes
Three Cairene women from different backgrounds warily unite to combat the sexual harassment that has impacted each of their lives—and become a citywide plague—but their unconventional response provokes a dogged police hunt. Official Selection, 2011 New Directors/New Films; Official Selection, 2011 Seattle IFF; Muhr Arab Feature Best Actress and Best Actor, 2010 Dubai IFF.


THE FANTASTIC WORLD OF JUAN OROL (EL FANTASTICO MUNDO DE JUAN OROL), dir. Sebastian del Amo, Mexico, 2012, 90 minutes
Move over Ed Wood! The story of Mexico’s half-forgotten B-movie master, “involuntary surrealist” Juan Orol, receives a pitch-perfect tribute in this deft, irresistible love letter to life, the movies and a self-made man of showbiz. Best First Feature Film, 2012 Guadalajara IFF.



LIFE KILLS ME (LA VIDA ME MATA), dir. Sebastian Silva, Chile, 2007, 92 minutes
Life and death come wrapped in a mutual embrace, absurd and poignant at once, in celebrated director Sebastián Silva’s debut film about the unlikely friendship between a grieving, young cinematographer and a morbidly obsessed drifter. Best First Feature Film, 2008 International Latino FF; Best Chilean Film of 2007, Chilean Art Critics Circle.



MODEST RECEPTION (PAZIRAIE SADEH), dir. Mani Haghighi, Iran, 2012, 100 minutes
Two sibling-sophisticates from Tehran travel the mountainous northern countryside, maniacally pushing bags of money on locals—a hilarious and alarming exercise that unfurls with unexpected force amid subtle themes of power and corruption. NETPAC Prize, 2012 Berlin IFF; Official Selection, 2012 Chicago IFF.



THE PARADE (PARADA), dir. Srdjan Dragojevic, Serbia, 2011, 115 minutes
In exchange for some wedding-planning expertise, a macho Serbian crime boss recruits a ragtag group of Balkan war-buddies to provide protection for a Pride march in this rollicking yet poignant comedy inspired by real events. Panorama Audience Award, 2012 Berlin IFF; FIPRESCI Serbia Award for Best Serbian Film 2011.



SHYAMAL UNCLE TURNS OFF THE LIGHTS, dir. Suman Ghosh, India, 2012, 65 minutes
An 80-year-old Kolkata retiree is determined to get the streetlights turned off after sunrise, but finding someone to take him seriously proves a battle against an indifferent bureaucracy and a complacent status quo. Official Selection, 2012 Busan IFF.



SOUTHWEST (SUDOESTE), dir. Eduardo Nunes, Brazil, 2011, 128 minutes
A young woman gives birth on her deathbed to a child who, spirited away to a remote lakeside village, lives her lifetime in a single day, in this hauntingly dreamlike tale of incommensurable life. Special Jury Prize, FIPRESCI Best Latin American Film and Best Photography, 2011 Rio IFF; Official Selection, 2012 IFF Rotterdam.



STUDENT, dir. Darezhan Omirbayev, Kazakhstan, 2012, 90 minutes
A solitary philosophy student commits a calculated violent crime against the backdrop of Kazakhstan’s growing inequality, institutional corruption and a ruthless ethic of eat-or-be-eaten in this broodingly contemporary adaptation of Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment. Un Certain Regard, 2012 Cannes FF; Official Selection, 2012 Toronto IFF; Official Selection, 2012 Venice IFF.


The Global Lens film series is an annual, curated program of narrative feature films from Africa, Asia, Central & Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Middle East. Films from the series are screened in more than fifty cities nationwide, are featured exclusively on Virgin America airlines, and include top festival picks and official submissions to the Oscars. All proceeds received from Global Lens are reinvested in the Global Film Initiative’s Granting Program, and other philanthropic programs of the Initiative.

Print Friendly
Facebook Twitter Email

Leave a Reply