For a while now we've been keeping our eyes on This is Sanltiun
(formerly known as Gee
), a low-budget expat comedy that's been filmed, guerilla-style, on the city's streets over the past couple of years. So we're rather pleased to report that the film has finally been completed and is ready for its public debut at the Toronto Film Festival
this September. Hurrah!
This is Sanlitun
stars Comedy Club China
founder Carlos Ottery (pictured, above-right) as Gary, a hapless British expat who comes to Beijing seeking riches, but instead finds himself teaching English while receiving dubious lifestyle advice from his clueless mentor, Frank (Christopher Loton, above-left). The bits and pieces we've seen of it suggest that the finished article will be a hoot, though we do wonder about how well it'll translate outside of a Chinese expat context.
Here's the hitch: the flick's budget is a measly 156,000USD (954,700RMB - that's one of Will Smith's chest hairs or three-and-a-half Lindsay Lohans in today's money) so right now only director and co-writer Róbert Ingi Douglas can afford to go to the festival to promote the movie to the movers and shakers in the film biz. Naturally Ottery and Loton, who both co-wrote the script, also want to go in order to push the flick - and to that end they've launched a Kickstarter project
to raise the 5,000USD they need, with the list of gifts for backers including exec producer credits, dinner with the cast and invites to the Beijing/Iceland/US premieres.
We're not sure how many people who aren't
connected to the production will actually cough up, to be honest, but we guess a Kickstarter fundraiser is a bit less embarrassing than going to your gran's with a begging cup, and it's not like 5,000USD is an astronomical figure. In any case, they have 22 days to raise the cash. Watch the trailer below (or on IMDB here
, if you're viewing this from outside Mainland China) and see if you want to kick a little something-something towards what looks like a really fun film. We'll let you know when a public Beijing screening is on the cards - most likely some time in early 2014.