Causality is about Jessica's stumbling upon her best friend Amy dating her sugar daddy. She gradually finds that Amy has changed a lot from what she remembered. One day, Jessica was told that her father hit someone and needs a large amount of money to pay for the car accident. Jessica, in desperation, her remembers James, who is pursuing her. Jessica decides to sacrifice herself, however, whilst James is touching her, she struggles to break free...

  • Ruiqi Zeng
  • Hebin Cheng
  • Ruiqi Zeng
  • Hebin Cheng
  • Xizi Zeng
  • Xizi Zeng
    Sound Designer
  • Ruiqi Zeng
    Key Cast
  • Keyan Huang
    Key Cast
  • Zhongyuan Li
    Key Cast
  • Zizhao Jin
    Key Cast
  • Project Title (Original Language):
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student
  • Completion Date:
    November 30, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    36,000 CNY
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - University of Sydney
Director Biography - Ruiqi Zeng, Hebin Cheng

Ruiqi Zeng was born in Nanjing in 1999, who is raised up in China until the age of 16 as she chose to study in the Australian education system. She has shown a great interest in both English and films since her childhood. As for now, Ruiqi started her own adventure in the film industry mainly as a director, writer, and actress based in both China and Australia.
At the very beginning, she tried a lot of categories of films in her undergraduate study at the University of New South Wales, such as documentary, 2D animation, and certainly narrative short films. Tinsmith was the first work she did in the Australian film industry in 2019 which is a documentary recording and rearranging the thoughts of a niche and characteristic local band called Tinsmith. It is a story about Tinsmith but interpreted in her team’s own way with the unique documentary script and moving camera language. In the same year, she also took a trial in narrative cinema with the work called The Red Thread Of Fate which was costar and directed by herself. Though the story is simply set between a couple confronting a hard decision laid in front of them, it can be told from her later experiences that narrative cinema would be the essential direction she eagers to develop in.
As she started the postgraduate study at the University of Sydney, she began to challenge herself with a higher level. Puppet and Future or Now are two representative works she had directed and also costar in between 2020 and 2021. It can be seen that the level of the core in the script and all other aspects were lifted and more mature compared to previous works. Ruiqi is still challenging herself to a higher level in her career and her potential should be approved.

Hebin Cheng (Hobin) is a filmmaker and photographer based in Guangzhou, China. He is a photography blogger @hobin-mk813 on weibo China. His photography works have attracted extensive attention from the Internet and major media. Among them, the representative photography work "Twelve hours in Guangzhou" ranked fifth in the top trending search list in 2020, with more than 120 million views.
“Have you ever seen the candy-colored Guangzhou?” This is the title used in many media interviews and reports in October 2020 after he got on the top trending search list on weibo. News is all about his photography works of his city. Soon after those broadcasting, he is known as one of the youngest photographers in Guangdong.
Hobin is also China National Geographic co-photographer, Canon's official co-photographer and lecturer, and was invited by Canon to conduct personal offline photography courses in March 2021. He served as the official photographer of Guangzhou Marathon for three consecutive years from 2018 to 2020, and opened the feature "Guangzhou Marathon Group Images".
Hobin has his own unique vision into not only images, but also films. Since Hobin got his own camera in age of 16, he had great interested into films. He filmed short films with his friends when he was still in high school in 2013. His early short film works have won local and domestic film festival awards, and Brat (2017) was shortlisted for Cannes Film Festival in 2018.
In the graduate project of the University of Sydney, such as Embrace in Spring (2020), Future or Now (2021), Causality (2021), he has always played the role of director, photographer and editor.

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Director Statement

The theme of Causality can be concluded in three words, humanity, sacrifice and love. These elements dominantly take place in the interconnection between all characters, such as capitalists oppression from Richard and James to Jessica and Amy, the oppression from Jess’s parents to her and also the similarities and differences between Jessica and Amy.

The distorted humanity showed in antagonists’ corruption generated during the development of the society, in this scenario, Chinese society. However, in contrast, an undeformed modality which is mainly illustrated by the protagonist, Jessica, as she sticks with the decision of revealing the truth when coincidentally confronting a sexual harassment in this world-renowned company. Is this a deformation or an innate nature? This question can literally be traced back thousands of years ago in eastern culture and as Causality is particularly based on a viewpoint Xunzi, the representative of Eastern philosophy, initially proposed how human nature is born evil, however, humans can pretend to be good by acquired learning and cultivation. In contrast, Mencius first put forward the theory of good nature. He believed that human nature is inherently kind. Back to Causality, this kind of discussion on the concept of human nature has also been embedded and illustrated in the storyline, especially when Jessica meets Amy, the two girls who exhibit similar natures but choose to diverge into completely opposite futures.

It is obvious that every single character designed has their sacrifice. Examples would be how Jessica sacrifices her virginity for her family to achieve a more desirable lifestyle as Amy sacrifices her innocence and morals to satisfy her personal selfish greed for money and status. Interestingly, in the perspective of sacrifice, we can discover that Amy and Jessica both decide to sacrifice their innocence and virginity. However, the differences surface as firstly, Jessica stuck to her morals and true self in the end whilst Amy gave in to temptation. Secondly, Jessica’s initial intent was for the well being of her family in contrast to Amy who has nothing but personal gain in mind. Concluding with the fact that even though their existence to each other can be compared to a mirror, reflecting their similarities in human nature, they end up making opposite decisions in life when presented with a similar question.

Love is such a wide theme which most films include. The story of Causality revolves around different kinds of love. To analyze the story on a deeper scale, the love between Jessica and her parents can be considered as the core of the entire story.