Oliver Yan

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Oliver Yan

/ Director

My Story

Oliver Yan was born and raised up in Shanghai. He graduated from his first university in 2002 which studied physics. He made his first short film R that is no dialogue in 2008, screening in Cannes Film Festival short film corner and won Best Foreign Short Film in Washougal international Film Festival that year. In 2011, He wrote, directed, shot, edited and produced his first experimental feature Flipping (68mins) won Best Foreign Feature and Best Screenplay (nominated) in 2012 Madrid International Film Festival. His first feature film HOME AWAY which he wrote, edited, produced and directed has won Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Cinematographer, Best Lead Actor, Best Editor in NYC Indie Film Awards 2017. Won Best Original Screenplay and nominated as Best Picture, Best Director, Best Cinematographer, Best Lead Actor, Best Supporting Actress in 2017 New York City International Film Festival. Won Best Picture, Best Director, Best Cinematographer, Best Lead Actor, Best Supporting Actor in Los Angeles Film Awards 2017. Won Best Original Screenplay for Foreign Language Film in 2017 International Filmmaker festival of World Cinema Nice. Oliver Yan won Best Director in Florence Film Awards 2019. On July 28th, 2019, won Best Screenplay and Osaka Governor’s Award for “Home Away” in Kadoma International Film Festival. Won Best Picture in Venice Film Awards on May 2020, Won Best Script in Montreal Independent Film Festival on October 2020.

Director Statement

China’s economy sky-rocketed during the 15 years between 2002 and 2016, bringing about sea changes in the country. Since 2002, China’s GDP kept an annual growth rate over 8% for a whole decade owing to the real estate industry for the most part.

The government ceased housing allocation in 1999 and, instead, encouraged private ownership and, consequently, people’s urgent demand for housing which had been looming for 3 years was uncared. But on the other hand, given the absence of housing security system, rapid urbanization, coupled with the government’s restriction on land supply, led to a morbid supply-and-demand that stoked up land prices, which, in turn, caused housing prices to rise dramatically and fueled GDP growth. In the face of commodity economy, many Chinese people gave themselves up to the pursuit of economic interests which, sadly, sowed distrust among them and indifference in families and came to be the imperative priority in terms of providing for the aged, education and marriage. Furthermore, the non-religious tradition together with the deteriorating moral standards in China began to gnaw at family ties, leaving the old alone and uncared-for.

As a filmmaker, I believe that film is about stories and is an instrument for story-telling and raising questions by means of which more people may start to think about what human value means, especially in the background of today’s Chinese society. We need to assume responsibility for everything , draw inspiration from everything that happens around us and learn about and recognize our problems. Aside from being an instrument, film art is, more importantly, a medium for awakening the mind.

My Filmography

  • Year Film Title Description
  • February 20, 2017 Home Away Mr. Zhou, in order to purchase the VIP membership of a nursing home, wants to seize the opportunity of the relocation of his house by arranging a fake marriage with Mrs. Dong to acquire more money out of the compensation. But Mrs. Dong, fearing karma, has her doubts all along. Zhou Ping, Mr. Zhou's son, on the other hand, sees the relocation as an opportunity to buy a school estate for his daughter. Yun, Mrs. Dong's nanny who's from Sichuan Province, is suddenly informed that her brother has been hit by a car in her hometown, and, therefore, in urgent need of 100,000 RMB to pay for the operation. When she comes to know of Mr. Zhou's plan of the "fake marriage", she offers to help him out but asks for 100,000 RMB in advance. Having learned about her father-in-law's intention of marrying Mrs. Dong, Huang Lili, Zhou Ping's wife, has stolen his household register. As a result, Mr. Zhou, when he is about to give the bankbook with a deposit of 100,000 to Yun, finds that his household register is gone in which the bankbook is tucked. In the meantime, Mrs. Dong is suffering from a fall after an eye operation and her daughter finds out that Yun has been seeing doctors using her mother's Medicare card. Unable to get in touch with her, Yun's husband who has been in the countryside has also arrived in Shanghai...

My Award

  • Year Film Title Award(s)

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