A scant forty-eight hours after graduating, Lawrence Chen '09 found himself on the red carpet at the Festival de Cannes, arguably the world's most prestigious film festival. His film, A Journey to the West, made its premiere as part of the Short Film Corner, a showcase of concise new cinema. Edited in his West Campus dorm room, Chen's film has garnered interest from other festivals as a result of its selection for Cannes.
A Journey to the West, the story of a young man leaving his village to be confronted with a Beijing changed by China's rapid embrace of Western capitalism, was shot during this year's winter recess outside of Chen's native Beijing.
"It was very much a spur-of-the-moment project," he says. "There was this village near my home, Baixinzhuang village, that was being torn down along with a lot of older residential areas in Beijing, so a couple of friends and I decided to use it as the setting of a short film. We put together a story and script in a couple of hours, and the next day we were shooting."