FREEZING GLAMOUR: Lead actress Li Tao speaks at the film premiere in front of Potala Palace on November 2 (SINA.COM)
Kora, awarded Best Artistic Contribution at the 24th Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF), premiered at Potala Palace Square in Lhasa, capital of southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region on November 2 and arrived in box offices nationwide the following day.
Producers Han Xiaoling and Tao Kun along with the actor Li Xiaochuan and actress Li Tao attended the premiere.
Kora tells the true story of Zhang Shuhao, a young man determined to fulfill his brother's dream of cycling from Lijiang in southwest China's Yunnan Province to Lhasa. Filming posed physical and mental challenges not only for Zhang, but also for Han Xiaoling and his crew.
Coming full circle
Chinese pop singer Zheng Jun lit up the stage at the spectacular Potala Palace Square with his song Back to Lhasa, the first of many high points on the eve of the premiere.
Returning to Lhasa meant much for the film as well as for Zhang, bearing witness to his dream, perseverance and hard work. Their return also explains that there is never an end to the journey, according to Han.
Yes, we can
The honor awarded by TIFF, which concluded on October 30, was justified not only by the excellence of the film but also the team's attitude.
"Everyone got hurt during shooting. Bandages became a necessity for us," Han noted. Filming put the actors' physical prowess to the test. Stunts like falling from a cliff or bicycle often brought actors and staff within a hair's breadth of danger, leaving some to wonder if it was Bryan Chang's impressive physique that made him the film's protagonist.
Backpackers echo praise
During the ceremony, there were some special guests, some real backpackers fond of cycling and familiar with the experiences Zhang faced on his journey.
They noted that Kora illustrated their own travels and presented the pursuit of freedom and dreams. The message of spiritual fulfillment was driven home by spectacular shots of breathtaking scenery.