Night Falls, an Outstanding WIP Project of the 12th BJIFF, Slated for Release on January 12, 2024, Feeling the Wanderer’s Lyric Poetry in Winter
“In such an age of fast-growing information, Night Falls slows us down, and it’s like the sun on the surface of a frozen river in this season, slowly shinning into our hearts.” This is how the heroine Zuo Fei describes this film. Returning home is a storyline throughout the film, and also an eternal theme for all Chinese people. However, on the stage of the final-round roadshow of the 12th BJIFF Project Pitches, Jury President Derek Yee was worried about such a soothing film. “I heard that you borrowed money online, and I’ve got very nervous.” In the roadshow of Project Pitches, director Jian Haodong shared his own story in Mandarin with a touch of Shanxi accent, and talked about the difficulty of the film at the end, “Without investors, I borrowed money to finish the shooting, so the cost is very low.” Probably in an attempt to lighten the atmosphere, Derek Yee joked, “Are you from Shanxi? You have a coal mine at home, don’t you?” The director answered, “I don’t have a coal mine at home, and I borrowed money online to finish shooting the film.”
 Scene of roadshow of the 12th BJIFF Project Pitches
Money is a problem facing a majority of pitching projects, and many projects are forced to suspend due to the lack of funds. As the debut film of director Jian Haodong, we can imagine how many challenges and difficulties it has encountered in the past few years. Fortunately, Night Falls has finished the shooting, and the funding gap is not very large. Participating in the Project Pitches, the film naturally has the possibility of being seen further. 
  Scene of roadshow of the 12th BJIFF Project Pitches
After being selected as the “Outstanding WIP Project” in the BJIFF Project Pitches in August 2022, the film was quite influential in the industry, and through the negotiation and cooperation with investors, it has eventually completed the post-production. In January 2023, it won the Best Film of Fei Mu Awards, Cinephilia Critics’ Awards and Tong Ye Award at the Pingyao Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon International Film Festival. Moreover, the director returned to the BJIFF with the final film in April 2023, which not only won the honor of “Most Popular Director” in the Forward Future section of the 13th BJIFF, but also participated in the BJIFF Beijing Film Panorama, which was widely praised by the audience and tested by the market. 
   Forward Future Honorary Award Ceremony of the 13th BJIFF Forward Future
At last, Night Falls has been officially announced for release in cinemas nationwide on January 12, 2024. A big red truck, which is in the center of the official poster, implies the background of the story, while the hair salon by the road, the home-returning hero and the dog in the bag construct a vivid story picture. Under the theme of “The place we can’t go back is called home”, the audience is full of expectations for the film. Director Jian Haodong said that each element in the poster carries a profound meaning, which he hopes the audience can feel when watching the film. 
 Poster of Night Falls
It's learned that the film was jointly presented by Mianchaodahai (Hainan) Film Co., Ltd., Beijing Kaimenjianshan Cultural Creativity Co., Ltd., Muyi (Beijing) Culture Communication Co., Ltd., Moliyingdong Media (Beijing) Co., Ltd., Chongkou (Chongqing) Film Co., Ltd. and other companies, while Heimaohuyu (Tianjin) Culture Media Co., Ltd., Baichuan Film Wuxi Co., Ltd., and Beijing Three Cats Culture Media Co., Ltd. are responsible for its all-round promotion and distribution. 
▍The place we can’t go back is called home -- Strong homesickness behind the director’s honors 
The story of the film Night Falls happens before a Spring Festival, when the 30-year-old hero Liang Zhe returns to his hometown Shanxi to attend his grandfather's funeral. From the county to the village, he changes four modes of transport. On the way, he unexpectedly meets his elders, friends and first love whom he has not seen for many years. They talk about changes of the hometown as well as Liang’s career and marriage, urging him to think about future directions and goals. 
As a film that deeply reflects life, Night Falls is created based on the director’s true life, which looks dark, but implies power, allowing people to see hope and warmth in the details of plain life. Through the hero Liang Zhe's journey home, the film showcases the inner struggle and growth of young people when facing emotional, career and other difficulties and challenges. 
 Posters of Night Falls
In the film, there are full of setbacks and difficulties on Liang's way back home, and every transfer and different encounters are a turning point in his life as well as the process of his gradual maturity and growth. Jian Haodong skillfully integrates homesickness, friendship, love, family and other emotional elements to let the audience deeply feel that life is not easy and precious through delicate expression and profound social insights. The film vividly depicts the main characters, with each having their own stories and experiences. When being touched, the audience can also reasonably think about the truth of life -- The place we can’t go back is called home. 
▍“Legendary path” from a college student majoring in mining to an emerging film director
Apart from the “Best Feature Film” honor it has won for several times, the director behind the film has also experienced a journey filled with “miracles”. 
In 1989, he was born in Hequ County, Shanxi Province, and ten years ago, he graduated from the mining major of Shanxi Datong University and was full of hope for films. Yet, the filmmaker, without professional training, began shooting youth and campus feature films with a DV in college, and embarked on the journey of video creation very early. After graduation, with perseverance and persistence, he worked in a mine 500 meters underground, and dug coal for 15 months in three shifts. With 50,000 yuan saved, he successfully shot his first independent film Eyes Cheat after graduation in the end. 
The creation of Night Falls is even more legendary. After the script was completed, Jian Haodong, with no money left, received the initial funding for shooting this film with the help of a senior schoolmate. During the post-production, with the help of schoolmates that he has not seen in 11 years, Internet friends that they have never met and presenter Mo Dan, he has finished the production of this film, and won many awards at various film festivals. 
Poster of Night Falls
As a road film, the hero's way home is relatively tortuous, but Jian Haodong’s path as a director gets wider and wider. Today, he has become a contracted director of Dirty Monkeys Studio, and created his own “miracles”.
Poster of Night Falls
The director also mentioned that the hero in the film is mainly based on the prototype of himself. There are a lot of people in Beijing like him, who are facing many difficulties after 30 years old. In fact, the film has so many details: The hero's suitcase with a missing wheel is a metaphor of “failing to become successful at the age of 30”; the use of red color also becomes a visual symbol of the film; the young stray dog reveals the hero's kindness. Besides, he reminded the audience of more surprises in the film, expecting them to notice them and share their thoughts after its release.
Turn stories into films! The BJIFF will walk side by side with more young filmmakers. The 14th BJIFF Project Pitches is available for registration, and for further information, you may log in the official website of the BJIFF, www.bjiff.com. The registration channel for Project Pitches: 
Cooperation consultation: BJIFF Beijing Film Market Project Pitches
Email: projectpitches@bjiff.com
Tel: +86 15510010851   +86 18500377391
The volunteer recruitment for the 14th BJIFF was officially launched, and you may apply on the official website, www.bjiff.com (the section of Volunteers on the homepage), or via the BJIFF app (Home-Me-Login).