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What's new | HEART OF A LION is no easy documentary!


Directed by Xu Weichao, the documentary HEART OF A LION  (originally named Wurra ) was shortlisted for the 2018 FreshPitch. It also won the Gold Prize and the most Popular Pitch. The documentary started shooting six years ago and lasted for three years. Now,it has been completed.Finished film will launch in the cinemas by the end of 2020.





 

Recently, the documentary was selected and screened at the 14th FIRST International Film Festival. Previously, "HEART OF A LION " was also shortlisted in several international documentary festivals, such as CCDF-6、CNEX editing workshop.

  



"HEART OF A LION " 
China | 2020 | color | 100 minutes | record



Synopsis

Leading towards a teenage life, a group of Uighur elementary students, being both the pride and the headache of their teachers, started their last soccer season. The story focused on a forward, a back, and a goalkeeper of this soccer team, portraying their ups on the field and downs in real life. Their initial success in school games and the city tournament boosted their ambition of a professional career. What awaited them in the all Xinjiang tournament, however, was a lesson that went beyond their imagination.


Snippet link


Leading into puberty, several misbehaving boys who can hardly get a sense of achievement in school or at home, try to make their way in the world on a soccer field.


Director's statement

This project came into being in summer 2014, when the director  stumbled upon a picture posted online, which portrayed soccer coach Zhang Nan and a group of teenage Uighur players championing a trophy. At that instant, it came to me, from either their tanned skin, or that delightful smile, or both, that there could be a story he want to tell in Xinjiang. Then the director approached it like an anthropologist’s field study. Living there locally, he walked to the elementary school and back home with boys. He traveled with them during soccer tournaments, all the way till their graduation. At first, he was attracted to their sheer joy and exceeding ambition for soccer. As the shooting progressed, they revealed themselves as not just knights on the field, but also misfits in the classroom. Why couldn’t they behave in class? The narratives then shifted to their inner world, echoing an ending childhood, exploiting their imagination of the future, and uncovering their deepest struggles within.