Director: Tony Ayres
105 minutes

Acclaimed writer and director, Tony Ayres (Walking on Water) presents a highly personal tale of mothers and sons, mothers and daughters, unrequited love, betrayal and hidden secrets that span continents and decades. Rose has risen from a background of poverty to become a glamorous post-war Shanghai nightclub singer, who marries an Australian sailor and emigrates to Australia. She struggles to survive in the world of Chinese restaurants with her two children, until an affair with a charismatic younger man threatens to bring everything undone. Based on stories from the director’s childhood, the film revolves around a strong, complex performance by Joan Chen ( The Last EmperorTwin Peaks). This visually beautiful film works both as an intensely autobiographical introspection in which the film’s narrator attempts to come to terms with the unresolvable ambiguity of his feelings towards his mother, as well as uncovering of the rarely-told history of Chinese-Australians.


World Premiere 2007  – Official Selection 2007 Berlin FF 07 Adelaide FF 2007- in Competition  Sydney FF 2007; The Longest Night Festival, Hobart 2007  – Opening Film  Melbourne FF 2007; Toronto FF 2007; Brisbane FF 07; Golden Horse (Taiwan) FF 07; Hawaii FF; International Eurasia FF 07 (Turkey); Edinburgh 2007; Toronto FF 2007; Vancouver FF 2007; Torino FF 07; London Australian FF 08

Awards – 31 national and international nominations or wins

NSW Premier’s Literary Prize 2007  – Winner of the Script Writing Award

Winner- AWGIE award in the Original Feature Film category (2007)

Winner- FIPRESCI Award, Best Asia Pacific Film, Brisbane 07

Winner- Best  Original Screenplay – Golden Horse Film Awards (Taiwan)

Winner- Best Actress- Golden Horse Film Awards (Taiwan)

Winner Best Director – If Awards 07

Winner- Best Direction- AFI Awards

Best Lead Actress– AFI Awards

Best Cinematography- AFI Awards (Nigel Bluck)

Best Editing- AFI Awards (Denise Haratzis)

Best Original Music Score- AFI Awards (Anthony Partos)

Best Costume Design-  AFI Awards (Cappi Ireland)

Best Production Design- AFI Awards  (Melinda Doring)

Winner- Best Actor (Joel Lok)- If Awards

Winner- Best Actress (Joan Chen)- If Awards

Winner- Best Production Design (Melinda Doring)- If Awards

Winner- Achievement in Acting (Joan Chen) Louis Vuitton Hawaii FF

Winner-Best Feature Film- Hawaii FF

Winner- Best Actress (Joan Chen) – Turino FF

Winner- Best Actress- Film Critics Circle of Aust

Winner- Best Screenplay- Film Critics Circle of Aust


Best Film – If Awards

Best Film – AFI Awards

Best Screenplay (Original or Adapted)- AFI Award

Best Sound- AFI Awards

Best Lead Actor  – AFI Awards

Young Actor Award- AFI Awards

Best Supporting Actress  – AFI Awards

Best Music- If Awards

Best Cinematography- If Awards

Best Film- Golden Horse Film Awards (Taiwan)

Best Performance by Actress- Asia Pacific Screen Awards

Competition selection- International Eurasia FF 07 (Turkey)

Competition selection- Torino FF

Australia’s official entry into the Foreign Oscar Category for the 2008 Academy Awards

Director Tony Ayres
Producer Michael McMahon & Liz Watts