SEPTEMBER 14-20, 2019


China, France
2019, 100 mins
Production: Shenzhen Ming Communication, Image X Productions, Shanghai Tongyue Industrial Co and House on Fire
Language: Chinese
Format: DCP

Scriptwriter: Johnny Ma
Director: Johnny Ma
DoP: Matthias Delvaux
Composer: Jongho You, Jimin Kim
Producer: Wu Xianjian, Jing Wang
Editor: Ana Godoy
Cast: Zhao Xiaoli, Gan Guidan, Yan Xihu


Zhao Li is the manager of a small Sichuan Opera troupe, living and performing together in a rundown theatre located in the outskirts of Chengdu, China. When she receives the notice of demolition for the theatre, Zhao Li hides the news from everyone else, fearing that this could spell the end of her opera troupe: besides the physical demolition of their space, it’s the life of her “family” that is at stake. As she struggles to search for a new theatre for them to both sing and live in, the opera and its fantastic characters slowly begin to seep into her real world…

Director’s biography

Born in Shanghai, China, Johnny Ma first immigrated to Toronto at the age of ten. Johnny graduated from the film program at Columbia University and was a fellow at the Sundance Institute Screenwriting and Directing Lab in 2014. In 2012, Johnny moved back to China to make his thesis film A GRAND CANAL, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. TO LIVE TO SING is his second feature film.

Director’s Filmography

2019 To Live, to Sing
2016 Old Stone
2014 A Grand Canal (short)