The Season Cuckoo Sings

If life were an essay, what kind of poem would you write?

This is a story that happened in the Yimeng Mountains. 9-year-old Xinxin is a lonely child living in the city. His parents are busy all day long and have no time to accompany him. At the time of grain in ear, his mother was on a business trip, and his father sent Xinxin back to her grandfather's house in the countryside. In a few days, the grandfather and grandson became affectionate from strangeness. After learning why grandpa did not want to go to the city to reunite with his family, Xinxin wrote an essay. The contradiction and estrangement of the family, the fetters of three generations of grandparents and grandchildren, have since begun to subtle changes.

  • Yang Jia
    Director
  • Yang Jia
    Writer
  • Hui Liu
    Producer
  • Kehan Chen
    Key Cast
    "Xinxin"
  • Yongling Liu
    Key Cast
    "Grandfather"
  • Zhenhu Wang
    Key Cast
    "Father"
  • Shanxing Wei
    Key Cast
    "Neighbor"
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    作文
  • Project Type:
    Short
  • Runtime:
    21 minutes 9 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    July 11, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    30,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    China
  • Country of Filming:
    China
  • Language:
    Chinese
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    Yes
  • Student Project:
    No
Director Biography - Yang Jia

Jia Yang, writer and director. Born in Shandong Province, China in 1981. Now living in Beijing. Majored in art and design in university, and has been engaged in imaging work since graduation. In 2011, he began to focus on literary creation. In the past ten years, he has released novels such as "Days of Being ALone", "Incomplete Man", and "Unemployed Notes". In 2020, he began to try to use cameras to present stories. In 2021, he wrote and directed his debut "The Season Cuckoo Sings". He is currently preparing his first film "A Man Returning Home".

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Director Statement

Every social change and technological advancement have had varying degrees of impact on the form of the family, and the distance between people has also changed. I often wonder what does "home" mean to Chinese people? The clan system of the past has collapsed. Now what is maintaining the separation and survival of a Chinese family?

My parents were born in the late 1950s and grew up eating meals in the public cafeteria of the People’s Commune. Reform and opening-up, household responsibility contract system, family planning, reform of state-owned enterprise... After undergoing many great social changes, they still have a simple desire for life. My generation is a generation that has grown up with the process of urbanization in China. Compared with my father's generation, it is a lucky generation. We assume the responsibility and pressure for the rapid development of society and enjoy the dividends brought about by the economic take-off. We are also a confused generation. Almost all people are chasing money and quick success. Anxiety and lack of ideals have become common characteristics of this generation. We moved from the countryside to the city, and the number of deposits and the size of the house have become the things we care about most at the moment. It seems that only these two things can define our value in life. The generation born after 2010 belongs to the era of mobile Internet. The way they contact the world and know the world is very different from me and my parents. I don't even know how they think and choose.

I think it would be an interesting thing to put three such characters into a family. Why does this family exist, and why is it called a family?

Thanks to my actors are all non-professional actors, which happen to correspond to the three roles mentioned above. I decided to give the shape of the story to people in reality, and started shooting before the script was finished. This has brought us some trouble, and at the same time, the "conflict" on the spot has brought us many unexpected harvests. This kind of reward makes us feel gratified, sweet and slightly sad.

I think I found the answer to "home".