Over the Sea - IFFAM - 4th International Film Festival and Awards ‧ Macao

Over the Sea
Mainland China | 2019 | 105’ | DCP | Colour | Mandarin | Group: B
Director: Sun Aoqian

2019/12/07 21:00 Macao Old Court Building

Programmer’s Note

Over The Sea addresses a little recognized issue, the phenomenon of China’s “left-behind children”, but from an emotional and intimate point of view rather than focusing on alarming statistics and consequent social concerns. The impressive debut feature of Sun Aoqian, the film is at once true and fantastic, centering on a young boy who lives and works in a provincial inn somewhere between the sea and the memories of his long-gone parents. Reminiscent of The 400 Blows, which will this year be presented in the Director’s Choice section of IFFAM, the film is dominated by child actor Yu Kunjie, appearing for the first time in front of a camera in the role of Yu Xiaojie. Yu is a sheer revelation: he fills up the screen, bending the film’s cinematic storytelling to the rules of his exuberant interpretation of marginalized life at the borders of emotional and economical poverty. A departure from the current Chinese trend of films about childhood – usually cute and touching stories of ethnic minorities, like last year’s A First Farewell – Over the Sea is funny and pure and over the top, untamed and magic. A true discovery.

– Giovanna Fulvi


Northeast China, 2018. 11-year-old Xiaojie, a left-behind wild child growing up without guidance, hustles among a chaotic mix of patrons in his uncle’s roadside inn. His migrant worked parents have not returned for many years. He hopelessly clings to his older cousin for love and hope. But after she traps him in exchange for her own future, his remaining innocence starts to slip, and gradually replaced by the desire to break free from adults.


Sun Aoqian

Sun Aoqian was born in 1992 and studied at Communication University of China, graduating with a degree in drama, film and TV direction in 2015. In 2014, his short film Xiao Nan was selected for the Shanghai International Film Festival and won the outstanding short film award at the China Short Film Academy Awards. Before his debut feature Over the Sea, he acted as assistant director of the film Yesterday Once More (2015). Over the Sea had its world premiere at Busan in October.

Cast & Crew

Director Sun Aoqian

Scriptwriter(s) Sun Aoqian, An Jier

Producer(s) Dun He

Cinematographer Zhou Cong

Production Designer Zhao Mingsheng

Editor Du Guangwei

Music Chen Xueran

Costumes Designer Zhao Mingsheng

Cast Yu Kunjie, Li Reb, Sun Xinfu

Production Companies Shanghai Turan Movie Co.

Distributor Edko Films Ltd.

World Sales Edko Films Ltd.

New Chinese Cinema