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Lilting
    English and Mandarin, 2013, 86 minutes, color, United Kingdom, World Dramatic
    Cinematography Award: World Cinema Dramatic



    The sudden death of a young London man named Kai leaves his headstrong Chinese-Cambodian mother, Junn, and his boyfriend, Richard, each in a personal and profound state of grief. Feeling a strong sense of responsibility toward Kai’s only family member, Richard reaches out to Junn, who has been biding time in an assisted-living home. Though Junn speaks little English, her dislike of Richard is plain, and she meets him with stony resistance. Since they share no common language, Richard hires a translator to facilitate communication, and the two improbable relatives attempt to reach across a chasm of misunderstanding through their memories of Kai.

    Writer/director Hong Khaou’s intimate debut feature film dances between the real and imaginary to express the unspeakable loss that both characters experience. Quiet and spare, Lilting boasts delicate performances by Ben Whishaw and legendary Chinese actress Pei-Pei Cheng, who sustain a palpable sense of discomfort when in each other’s presence onscreen. Lilting is a perceptive meditation on the path to connection between two human souls and reveals that what separates us can also bind us together.
    - K.Y.

    About the Director

    Hong Khaou has written and directed two short films—Summer, which premiered in 2006 at the Berlin International Film Festival, and Spring, which had its world premiere at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and its European premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival. In 2013, he was named one of the "stars of tomorrow" by Screen International. Khaou's debut feature, Lilting, was produced through Film London’s Microwave.

    Cast and Credits

    Director: Hong Khaou

    Screenwriter: Hong Khaou

    Producer: Dominic Buchanan

    Cinematographer: Ula Pontikos

    Editor: Mark Towns

    Music: Stuart Earl

    Production Designer: Miren Marañón

    Casting Director: Kharmel Cochrane

    Principal Cast: Ben Whishaw, Pei-Pei Cheng, Andrew Leung, Peter Bowles, Naomi Christie, Morven Christie

    Contact: David Bartholomew / Protagonist Pictures / david@protagonistpictures.com / +44 207 734 9000