BJIFF Follow-up Interview Director Li Xiaojiang: I Jitter to Meet Audience with Summer Arouse
  In December, 2020, a series of premiere activities of Summer Arouse were held. On the first day of the screening, the audience gave enthusiastic response to the film, as evident by unceasing laughter in the cinema. Some media outlets posted praise on the Internet: "It is relaxing, funny, and also insightful".
  However, Li Xiaojiang, the director of the film, missed the premiere because he was "afraid of audience’s criticism and feared to attend". After the presenter and producer Chen Fei told him film fans’ positive response for his work, Li felt “a little eased" and decided to participate in the cast & crew meetings of the rest of screenings and have face-to-face exchanges with the first audience in the spotlight.
  Summer Arouse tells a crime story with humor and discusses the common problems encountered by ordinary people in social life. The film is expected to be released this year to meet more moviegoers. He didn’t feel very eased because the film must be seen and recognized by more audience. He said that Summer Arouse is a friendly film that is memorable after watching it. Li, together with his creative team, has desired to attract more people to enjoy it and put a cornucopia of devotion to it from the beginning to the end.
  As early as 2019, Li participated in the Project Pitches of the 9th Beijing International Film Festival (BJIFF) in a bid to make the film to be completed and seen. At that time, the project was seriously overdue due to force majeure, and it was urgent to get funding and publicity resources. As a director, he was under great pressure and was not sure whether he could find a suitable partner at the BJIFF. After entering the second-round review, he was speechless for a while and even didn't know how to introduce the project.
  During the training session, trainers Li Jun and Gui Youming gave guidance to his presentation. And at the final-round roadshow, the judges Guan Hu, Zhang Jialu and Li Jie also expressed great concern and affirmation for the project. In the end, his film won the " Most Potential Production Team Award” and received the color correction post-production service provided by Tiangong. So surprised by the result, he was too hasty to the stage to take off his messenger bag.
  Since then, the project’s fate has changed. After the film was approved by the authority in October 2020, Tiangong completed all color correction post-production. Then, Li contacted Chen Caiyun, curator of the BJIFF Beijing Film Market, hoping to continue to receive the help in the publicity of the film. Upon recommendation, he finalized the publicity cooperation with Road Pictures.
  From an outline in paper to the premiere of the film, he has gone through a five-year journey with the Summer Arouse. People who don't know him may see a director who is a little flustered with agitation and runs around for the release of the film. Perhaps after the film is screened, audience may be impressed by his profound creation and determined spirits. Li said frankly: "I am a person who is particularly unconfident in all aspects of my life. After I start creating with the lens on the shooting site, all my inferiority and self-distrust will leave me, which may be experienced by the people on the spot. In this way, I finished the film with success."
  Thanks to the confidence on site, Li held the reins of cast & crew, which is beneficial to his work. Just at the script preparation stage, the film attracted Mr. Hyung-ku Kim (masterpieces: Peppermint Candy and Memories of Murder), who served as a photographer for several famous directors, to join the project as a photography director. In order to abate the inconvenience caused by cultural differences and language barriers, Li and producer Chen Fei prepared storyboards in advance to communicate with the photography director and lighting director. At the shooting stage, Li adjusted the performance color and overall trend of each character according to the actual characteristics of the performers, keeping their unique temperament or wonderful performance in the film. The cast consisting of Li Jiuxiao (masterpieces: The Eight Hundred and Sacrifice), Li Meng (masterpiece: The Bad Kids), Zhang Songwen (masterpiece: The Bad Kids and Hell Lover) and Wang Yanhui (masterpieces: My People, My Homeland and Dying to Survive) also highlights the film. These actors and actresses have been recognized by audience due to their popular and high-quality works.
  As Summer Arouse is about to be released in 2021, Director Li Xiaojiang hopes that the work will continue to be promoted and displayed at the BJIFF, and looks forward to witnessing more young creators stand out from the Project Pitches. He recalled his panic about entering the society just after graduating from Beijing Film Academy, which can be laughed off today. His abundant experience in documentaries, short films and script-writing accumulated after graduation has become a fortune that enables him to complete the first full-length feature film screened in cinemas.
  For more details, please visit the official website of the BJIFF: http://www.bjiff.com
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