Live streaming has exploded in China and become one of the most profitable industries over the past several years. While it produces enormous revenues and numerous “Internet celebrities”, it also provides a popular gathering place for masses of Chinese netizens. People that would never cross paths in the real world are now connected in virtual showrooms and interact in real-time, and one could instantaneously experience what others are experiencing. Such digital hangouts become unprecedentedly crucial for those craving for social connection but shunned in real life because of their identity, disability and social-economic status. Present.Perfect. weaves together a diverse range of moments and occurrences filmed and broadcasted by little-known Chinese live streaming anchors from various parts of China, including a street dancer, a tower crane operator, a man with idiopathic short stature, a girl with muscular dystrophy, a middle-aged farmer, a young single mother, and among others. What they cherish most in the streaming craze is not fame or fortune, but a companionship they could hardly seek in real life. Although this virtual community doesn’t exist physically, the shared emotions and feelings generated through virtual togetherness are real.
CAST & CREW
Burn the Film Tender Madness Pictures
Shengze Zhu is a documentary filmmaker and producer. She co-founded Burn the Film with Zhengfan Yang, and they have been collaborating as dynamic duo since 2012. Out օf Focus (2014) is Shengze Zhu’s directorial feature debut, which premiered at the Cinéma du Réel in France. Her second feature documentary Another Year (2016) premiered at the Visions du Réel in Switzerland and received the Sesterce d’or/Best Film Award; it also received the Grand Prize at the RIDM Montreal International Documentary Festival, the Critic's Award at the Olhar de Cinema (Brazil), and was honored as Top 10 Films of the Year in 2016 by 24 Images magazine (Canada). Present.Perfect. (2019) is her third feature, which premiered at the IFF Rotterdam and received the prestigious Tiger Award. Shengze Zhu has also served as producer for Zhengfan Yang's films, including Distant (2013, feat., Locarno), Where Are You Going (2016, doc., IFFR) and Down There (2018, short feat., Venice).
Out օf Focus (2014), Another Year (2016), Present. Perfect. (2019).