Zicheng Li

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Zicheng Li

/ Director

Born April, 1992

My Story

Zicheng Li is from Beijing. After high school, he went to the University of Minnesota Twin Cities to study psychology and sociology. He is now an MFA Candidate at the School of Cinematic Arts of the University of Southern California. During his undergraduate years, he started making music, writing poems, and making short films. He believes in the poetic and emotional quality of cinema. He published his first poetry anthology Fleeting Years in 2014, and his short film The Sound That Remains has been awarded Best Student Film and screened in London by London Independent Film Awards in 2017.

Director Statement

A Sunburnt Summer, This is a story about helplessness.

We’re living in a world full of conflicts. Everyday, everywhere, people stand against all kinds of things for all kinds of reasons. Those exciting and satisfying success stories we see and hear are just a tiny portion of them, while in most cases, what we are against are too gigantic, too powerful and too firm for us to turn over. This story starts with an incident of sexual assault, but it definitely is not limited to it; just like most sexual assault cases are not just about physical desire.

I started writing the script in the summer of 2017. Back then, it was title “Surrounded”, a story about a rape victim, surrounded by lies, betrayals, and collective violence, who has to fight all alone against all of them, but was unable to change the reality. A year has passed, the script has been revised almost 20 drafts, and more and more cases like this have been exposed to the public around the world, from Hollywood in the US, to universities in China. When we see more and more people who had chosen to remain silent stood up, I think it is more important to know what kept them silent before. Thus, we would know what are the actual things that we need to take down.

This is never a sex, gender, or sexuality problem. But what is the real problem? This is what we wish to discover in this film.

My Filmography

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My Award

  • Year Film Title Award(s)

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