King of Peking: Film Screening and Director Q&A

Date: Wednesday, December 13th
Time: 7:00pm – 9:30pm
Cost: 50 RMB, 40 RMB for members

When video home entertainment enters the market in 90s Beijing, a former projectionist ropes his young son into starting their own pirate movie company, but easy money comes with its own price tag.  “King of Peking” is a comedic drama that explores father and son relationships, morality, and what it means to be an example to others.

Featured at The Tribeca 2017 Film Festival.  The screening will be followed by a 30-minute Q&A session with Director Sam Voutas and Producer Melanie Ansley.


SYNOPSIS

Big Wong and his young son Little Wong are part of a fading tradition: traveling film projectionists screening Hollywood movies for villagers who otherwise don’t have access to films.

But when Big Wong’s ex-wife raises the spousal support payments, Big Wong faces the possibility of losing custody. In order to stay together, the two Wongs move to the basement of an old Beijing cinema, where Big Wong  works as a janitor.  When Big Wong discovers a prototype DVD recorder for sale in a junk store, he convinces Little Wong to join a new venture: a father – son bootlegging company. He names it King of Peking in honor of their surname’s meaning: king.

Business soon booms, but in the maelstrom of making money, Big Wong realizes that he might lose something more precious than custody: his son’s trust. And Little Wong learns that sometimes parents make bad choices for very good reasons.  Book-Now


ABOUT THE DIRECTOR(S)

Australian Sam Voutas was raised in Beijing in the 80s and 90s. His Chinese language feature film, Red Light Revolution, was recently included on the British Film Institute’s list of “10 Great Films Set in Beijing” and went on to win the People’s Choice Award at the 2011 Singapore International Film Festival.


DIRECTOR’S STATEMENT

I grew up in China, and spent a few years in the early 90s living outside of Beijing in the countryside. There were no cinemas out there.

If you wanted to see a movie you needed either a VHS player (which few had) or you’d have to wait for the traveling projectionists to hit town.  On weekends I’d go and sit under the stars with anyone who lived nearby, and we’d watch Hollywood movies projected on a sheet on a basketball court.  With the arrival of digital video discs, which brought pirated movies into most homes in China, the traveling projectionists disappeared. I always wondered what happened to them, and how many had embraced the new technology in order to survive.

 I spent most of my 20s in China with my head down, hungrily pursuing goals that were squarely for my own self – interest.
A few years ago I was about to be a first time dad. Coming to terms with impending fatherhood, I realized that from now on I’d need to try and set a good example for my daughter. I needed to shift my life from “what can I get away with” to whether it’s actually a good role model for her. Sure, I might fail in my efforts, but at least I had to give it a go.

And so, with memories from my childhood in the back of my head, I started writing this story aboutparents and piracy. There’s a Chinese phrase,“有其 父必有其子”, which means “like father, like son”. This is an exploration of how the paths we choose as adults can affect our kids, and how sometimes it’s not just the child who has to grow up.

– Sam Voutas

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Celebrating a Decade of Exceptional Cultural Experiences

We opened our Hutong courtyard doors ten years back with a simple wish: to create a special place where people could come together, learn from one another, and have a great time. We never imagined we would be where we are today: running programs across China, with an incredible team from across the globe.

十年前我打开了在北新九道湾1号的四合院大,只了一个愿望:大家提供一个可以相聚,学与共享美好光的平台。就这样,胡同可以从那个时候一直走到了今天。现在,我们拥有这来自世界各地的团队,并在全中国各个地方都有不同的活动, For our ten-year anniversary, we’ll be celebrating each month of 2017.  一眨眼,十年去了,在迎接2017年的到来的同,我想要和大家一起个难得的庆典

The Hutong’s Tenniversary:  http://thehutong.com/tenniversary/