Qiu Sheng in person on April 6

Qiu Sheng’s feature debut is an entrancing, enigmatic work in which multiple plotlines run tantalizingly in parallel before intersecting in surprising ways. In one, a team of surveyors tries to figure out why a suburban landscape seems to be subsiding before construction on a new transit begins, sparking politically charged tensions among the group. Meanwhile, a gang of children loiter and set out on youthful adventures, until one of them disappears… Adopting a subtly radical approach to exploring memory (and forgetting) and rich with visual ideas, Suburban Birds promises a major new voice in Chinese cinema. A Cinema Guild release.

Statement from Cinema Guild

In mid-February, Suburban Birds received the dragon seal (after some changes were made to the Festival cut). Which meant the administration approved the content of the film. The production company gave the sales agent the go-ahead for the ND/NF screenings and the U.S. theatrical release.

Later, the production company received a warning from the administration saying that according to a new China Film Law, the film needed a release certificate before it could be screened overseas. In the past, the release certificate had only been required for domestic theatrical release in China. The new law was published last year but only enacted recently. After the warning, the production company took some time to gather all the materials needed for the release certificate and submitted them to the administration.

Unfortunately, the film didn’t receive the certificate in time, so we had to cancel the two screenings at ND/NF. On Wednesday, the film officially received the certificate and we are now free to show it all over the world.