BEIJING, Jan. 16, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — iQIYI has announced on Jan. 17 that original Chinese series Why Try To Change Me Now has been selected for the Berlinale Series section of the 73rd Berlin International Film Festival, making it the first Chinese language drama series to be chosen for this section. As a selected series, it will also be competing for the inaugural Berlinale Series Award.
Why Try To Change Me Now features a team of top-notch creators of modern Chinese cinema, including Yinan Diao as Executive Producer, Dalei Zhang as the Director and Writer, with the story adopted from Xuetao Shuang’s novel Moses On the Plain. Headlined by Zijian Dong, the series stars a stellar cast such as Qing Hai, Tian Qiu, Baoshi Dong and more.
Yinan Diao had previously clinched the prestigious Golden Bear award for the Best Picture at 2014 Berlinale with his previous directorial work Black Coal, Thin Ice. Writer-Director Dalei Zhang’s debut film The Summer Is Gone was the Best Feature Film winner at the 53rd Golden Horse Awards.
Wang Xiaohui, Chief Content Officer at iQIYI, shared: “The show has rewritten history for our industry bagging nomination as the first Chinese language drama series from the world’s leading film festival and awards. As one of our key content directions, we strive to revamp the storytelling to shed light on the lives of the small fry against the macro environment. This is a recognition given to modern Chinese drama by the international community, and a testament to iQIYI’s continued commitment to creativity and innovation. I hope that more outstanding works from Chinese entertainment can continue to be seen by the world. I am beyond thankful to Xuetao Shuang, the author of the original story, Executive Producer Yinan Diao, Director Dalei Zhang and the entire production team for coming up with this series that invites viewers to reflect on the relationship between ourselves and the age we live in.”
Director and screenwriter Zhang said: “I am grateful to iQIYI for giving a young director like myself a chance to create a series like this with so much freedom, and for the opportunity to translate one of my favourite works of literature onto the screen. I hope that the series can serve as a time capsule that viewers can walk into, and spend time with the characters.”
Executive Producer Diao said: “Despite being young in age, Dalei has an old soul for retro Chinese pop culture especially C-pop, film and television from Hong Kong and Taiwan. With Why Try To Change Me Now, he approaches the series like he is filming a movie, and has overcome various challenges in the production cycle and resources. While watching the final work, it felt like we were enjoying a hotpot, so many wonderful things were encapsulated in one show, a surprise came with every few bites we took. The Berlinale Series is a well deserved recognition for Why Try To Change Me Now and has cemented its place in history. I am ecstatic for Dalei and Xuetao, and I applaud iQIYI’s foresight and support for this series.”
The plot of Why Try To Change Me Now unearths a taxi driver’s murder case from many years back. Dong Zijian plays a rebellious youth turned policeman who finds himself left in charge of a case which has resurfaced from seven years ago. Upon investigation, he finds out that the evidence gathered points towards his neighbour’s, a father and daughter duo whom he has fond childhood memories of. Eventually, he discovers a key piece of evidence – a cigarette butt – which makes him gravely realise that he may have been involved in this tragic crime of the past.
Why Try To Change Me Now has emerged as Berlinale’s first nominated Chinese drama series in the Berlinale Series section since it was introduced in 2015. It will be competing alongside six other international titles for the inaugural Berlinale Series Award. The series will premiere globally on iQIYI (www.iq.com and app).
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