Film Screening & Reception: Anthony Chen's The Breaking IceVIEW EVENT DETAILS
Join us for an advanced screening of The Breaking Ice, Singapore's official submission for Best International Feature Film at the upcoming Oscars. Embodying a sense of adventure and freedom of spirit both in filmmaking and life, the film follows the blossoming relationship among three young adults in their twenties, set over a few short days in the winter snow in Yanji, a border city in the north of China. The Breaking Ice is written and directed by Anthony Chen, the first and only Singaporean to have been awarded at Cannes: he was awarded for his short film Ah Ma (2007) and received the Camera D'Or for his debut feature Ilo Ilo (2013). The film stars Zhou Dongyu (Better Days), Liu Haoran (Detective Chinatown) and Qu Chuxiao (The Wandering Earth)
The screening will be followed by a Q-and-A with Anthony Chen, moderated by Siddhant Adlakha. This will in turn be followed by a reception in our Leo Cafe.
The Breaking Ice has its theatrical release on January 19, 2024 at the IFC Center, New York. Watch the trailer here:
6.30—8:10 p.m. Film Screening
8:15—8:40 p.m. Q-and-A with Anthony Chen
8:45—10 p.m. Reception
THE BREAKING ICE was born out of impulse and spontaneity. I was desperate to make a film after two years of being cooped up at home during the pandemic when I had a huge existential crisis. And when certain projects got delayed, I was determined to make something. I was searching for a sense of identity, to “exist” as a filmmaker. Looking to liberate myself from my old ways, and challenge myself outside my comfort zone, I thus forced myself to make film in an unfamiliar country, terrain, and climate. I wanted to capture the spirit of the current generation of young Chinese whom I have been reading about so much in recent time. The end result is I hope as freeing as the process of making it. This is a film I made in the shortest time ever from conception to completion. And the craziest endeavor I have embarked on in the longest time. It was a leap of faith for all of us. A wild adventure in a cold, icy winter. And for me, a love letter to the young people of China.
In cold wintry Yanji, a city on China’s northern border, young urbanite Haofeng, visiting from Shanghai, feels lost and adrift. By chance, he goes on a tour led by Nana, a charming tour guide who instantly fascinates him. She introduces him to Xiao, a personable but frustrated restaurant worker. The three bond quickly over a drunken weekend. Confronting their individual traumas, their frozen desires slowly thaw as they seek to liberate themselves from an icy world.
Runtime: 97 minutes
Written and directed by: Anthony Chen
Starring: Zhou Dongyu (Better Days), Liu Haoran (Detective Chinatown), and Qu Chuxiao (The Wandering Earth)
Distributor: Strand Releasing
Director Anthony Chen
Anthony Chen is an award-winning writer, director, and producer from Singapore. He became the first Singaporean to be awarded at Cannes with his short film Ah Ma in 2007. His debut feature Ilo Ilo (2013) was awarded the Caméra d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival, followed by 40 awards internationally including 4 Golden Horse Awards. His sophomore film Wet Season (2019) was nominated for the Platform Prize at the Toronto International Film Festival. Both films are Singapore’s official submissions for the Academy Awards. In 2021, he contributed a short to the anthology film The Year of the Everlasting Storm, which premiered at Cannes. Drift marked his English-language debut and premiered at Sundance 2023. The Breaking Ice is his first Chinese-language film made in China.