The Last 8 Minutes

This is a surrealistic film about a critically ill young girl who dreams about the reunion with her passed-away grandmother in the last 8 minutes of her short life.

  • Jiatong Zhao
  • Jiatong Zhao
  • Jiatong Zhao
  • Zihui Heidi Luo
  • Tianjie Kat Fan
    Key Cast
    "Ting Mu"
  • Jingxuan Jerry Cui
  • Jiaqi Ivory Zhang
    Art Director
  • Zhongdi Danica Chen
  • Project Title (Original Language):
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student
  • Genres:
    surrealism, fiction
  • Runtime:
    8 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    August 6, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    1,499 AUD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
    Mandarin Chinese
  • Shooting Format:
    Sony XAVC S-I, 422HQ, 4K
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - University of New South Wales
  • Cheap Queens Film Festival
    August 24, 2023
    Greater Sydney premier
    Official Selection
Director Biography - Jiatong Zhao

Jay Jiatong Zhao was born in 2002 in Shenzhen City southern China. His story with film started when he was in year 5 primary school. In year 7, Jiatong realised how filmmaking is important to his life and future and works on it as a goal. Two films were completed in his junior high school period.

Jiatong moved to Sydney in high school and created 4 short films including a school film festival award, and one for New South Wales HSC Major Work.

Time fleets as Jiatong follows his childhood dream to study film at university. His first uni film took a student society film competition at SUDS Film Festival in 2022.

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Director Statement

'The Last 8 Minutes' is not only a short film but more of an experience. It embraces surrealism with combined genres of experimental and fiction films. As many films have already engaged with the topic of dreams, this film innovates to question the experience and time in one’s mind. It provides an experience of nearly dying, before dying, imagining what humans would see and meet in the last few moments before the afterlife. The film is inspired by the scientistic hypothesis that humans might experience a flashback of their life before death, and meet a relative who has passed away already in the dream. The film designs and renders such experiences to the audience. The purpose is for immersion and feeling. The film is also structurist, as the running time is exactly 8 minutes corresponding to the title and the dream of past moments before death.

This short film was created by uni students from UNSW, USyd and WSU in Sydney in 2023. As an independent project, the crew travelled to different remote places to find the best dreamy atmosphere for the story.