TorinoFilmLab - Training, development, Funding


Blood and Water

Jianjie Lin, Yue Zheng, Yiwen Wang


TFL Awards

TFL Co-Production Award 2018 (€ 50.000)
supported by the Creative Europe – MEDIA Programme of the European Union


Wei’s family lives a seemingly perfect middle-class life. But tension is brewing in their daily interactions.

Wei, in his turbulent adolescence, begins to feel suffocated by his privileged life as the only child. His father, a cultured yet rigid cell biologist, and his mother, a passive-aggressive housewife, seem all too comfortable hiding their alienation.

When the charismatic Wei befriends his classmate Shuo, the family opens its door to a mysterious kid abused by his alcoholic widowed father. Slowly integrating himself into Wei’s family life, Shuo realizes that he seems to hold the keys to their problems.

However, the sudden death of Shuo’s father throws everyone’s life into turmoil. A past secret resurfaces to haunt them. The trust between the two teenage boys is put to test and the family finds itself at a crossroad.

Each must question something they have taken for granted: what does it mean to be a family?


In biology, homeostasis refers to organisms’ tendency to self- regulate in order to maintain stability despite variations in their environment. I believe that families function in a similar way. In a culture with strong conservative traditions such as mine, when a violent change throws a family off balance, how far can it go to reinstate normality?

China has gradually loosened up its family planning policies
in recent years. For those parents and children who have lived through the controversial one-child policy, which lasted for over three decades, the change is liberating. But with a new freedom come new predicaments. The possibility of having another child also alters people’s mentality in subtle yet fundamental ways, awakening latent fears and desires.

With this film I want to capture the kind of mystery that is often overlooked – a mystery disguised as the ordinary, a half-open door, an innocent question, an ambiguous gesture...

To me, they are what makes human behaviours and interactions so fascinating.

budget, distribution & sales

Blood and Water received the support from NYU’s Richard Vague Production Fund, it was selected by Berlinale Talents Tokyo 2015 and it won Best Talent Project at the Shanghai International Film Festival Film Market 2018. The final stage of the script development was completed at TorinoFilmLab. Though rooted in the contemporary Chinese sociopolitical landscape, the film has a strong potential to resonate with international audiences, as it deals with universal themes such as blood ties, sense of belonging and violence in a compelling and thought-provoking way. It also sheds light on China’s growing middle class, whose search for identity in a country grappled with uneven development and clashing values is a vivid representation of China’s position in today’s world. Our estimated budget is € 943.000. Thanks to our participation at the SIFF Film Market, 80% of the financing is expected to be secured from China. For the remaining sum, we rely on our international co-producers. We aim for an A-class festival premiere for the film in order to boost its domestic and international distribution, and establish Jianjie as a daring new talent in Chinese cinema.


Family is a blessing for some, a curse for others. For one reserved teenager, it is an opportunity.
Jianjie Lin

Scriptwriter, Film Director

Yue Zheng


Yiwen Wang


production notes

original title

directed by
Jianjie Lin

produced byFirst Light Films
Unit 406, No. 30, Lane 650, Changshou Road
200060, Shanghai