Date: Wednesday, July 17th
Time: 7:00pm – 9:30pm
Cost: 60 RMB, 40 RMB for members
Location: The Hutong, 1 Jiudaowan Zhongxiang, Beixinqiao (map here)
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.
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.
ABOUT THE DIRECTOR
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.
And so, with memories from my childhood in the back of my head, I started writing this story about parents 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.