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Gaotai County, in the city Zhangye of Gansu Province, situates on the Hexi Corridor throughout Northwest China. It has seen the footprints of Xuanzang, a Chinese monk, in his search of sacred books of Buddhism. It is where Li Ruijun’s award-winning film Fly with the Crane takes place. From a small village of this oasis in the desert, writes an elegy of land.


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Fly with the Crane is adapted from the short novel Fly with the Crane by Tong SU. With reasonable embellishment, the emerging director, Ruijun LI, expanded this several-thousand-word novel into a script and shot this independent film with distinctive artistic pursuit. This film made its name in 2012 when it entered the horizon section of the Venice Film Festival. Then it won the Artistic Exploration Award in the 20th Beijing College Student Film Festival. More recently, its leading actor Xingchun MA, a nonprofessional actor, even won the Best Actor in the 2014 Golden Koala Chinese Film Festival triumphing over many hot-favorite Chinese actors including Andy Lau and Super Wu.


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During the 2014 Golden Koala Chinese Film Festival (GKCFF), Flying with the Crane, a feature film adapted from Tong SU’s novel of the same title, has been the subject of high attention. Shot in Luocheng Village, Gaotai County, Gansu Province, this is a film about land with non-professional actors and actresses. The characters’ lines and camera language are straightforward and natural. This film shows the attitudes of the elderly towards the land in a rapidly changing society, fully describing the unique rustic existence of the northwestern China. Flying with the Crane was awarded the Jury Prize of the 2014 GKCFF, and its leading male actor, Xingchun MA, won the Best Actor for his unsophisticated acting.


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