Old Stone

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    Old Stone

    Lao Shi

    Directed by

    China, Canada

    2016

    80 min

    • Mandarin

    Drama

    A man falls down the stairs, but instead of helping him, the bystanders just take photos with their phones. Lao Shi is a taxi driver and he’s fighting for justice in the darkest recesses of Chinese society. The man who pushed him got into his taxi drunk not so very long ago, grabbed the steering wheel and caused an accident. The victim of the crash has been in a coma ever since, and because his family is destitute, Lao Shi is paying the hospital bills. The insurance company is refusing to cover the costs because the taxi driver left the scene of the accident with the injured man because no help was in sight. Now Lao Shi needs the testimony of his passenger, who angrily refuses to cooperate. The symbolism of the protagonist’s name, which means “old stone”, is clear: in a society of blinkered people only concerned with their own future, the taxi driver’s desire to help makes him seem as if he’s from another era. On his quest to find who’s responsible for his plight, the victim ends up becoming a perpetrator himself.

    Awards

    • City of Toronto Award for Best Canadian First Feature Film - Toronto IFF
    • Best Director, Best Original Screenplay - Stockholm IFF
    • FIPRESCI Award - Vladivostok IFF

    Festivals

    Labels & Line Ups

    Credits

    Cast
    Chen Gang
    Nai An
    Wang Hongwei
    Zhang Zebin
    Luo Xue'er
    Screenplay
    Johnny Ma
    Cinematography
    Leung Ming Kai
    Editing
    Mike Long
    Music
    Lee Sanders
    Sales
    ASIAN SHADOWS
    Production
    SHANGHAI JUN RUI WEN HUA MEDIA COMPANY
    Production
    MAKTUP FILMS

    Press

    Old Stone lays bare how the country's foundering social fabric through an individual's descent into the dark recesses of his soul.

    Clarence Tsui, The Hollywood Reporter

    Chinese-Canadian helmer-scribe Johnny Ma makes a remarkably mature debut, exposing with stunning clarity the infuriating red tape and flawed logic of China’s system regarding criminal responsibility and insurance policies.

    Maggie Lee, Variety

    Dre and compelling.

    David Ehrlich, IndieWire

    Johnny Ma

    Johnny Ma

    China

    I see failure as a friend: it is only when the original story you are trying to tell fails... that something truly special and new could possibly be born.

    Johnny Ma (Aka Nan Ma) was born in Shanghai, Chinain 1982. He made his first short films while studying Directing and Screenwriting at Columbia University in New York. His short film A GRAND CANAL won numerous awards and screened at Toronto IFF. OLD STONE is his first feature-length film. It received awards at the Toronto IFF and Stockholm IFF and screened in the Forum section of Berlin IFF. Ma is currently working on a new project, TEN THOUSAND HAPPINESS, presented at HAF.

    Selected Filmography