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Film Info
  • Year: 2016
  • Film Format: DCP and Blu-ray
  • Origin: China/Canada
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.89:1
  • Runtime: 80 mins
  • Color
  • Language: Mandarin
  • Subtitles: English

Winner Canadian Academy Award - Best First Feature

In Johnny Ma’s thrilling debut feature, a Chinese taxi driver finds himself plunged into a Kafkaesque nightmare where no good deed goes unpunished. Beginning as a gritty social-realist drama before u-turning into a blood-drenched noir, Old Stone follows the repercussions of a car accident in a society where life is cheap and compassion is ruinously expensive. 

When a drunken passenger causes Lao Shi to swerve and hit a motorcyclist, the driver stops to help the injured man. When no police or ambulance arrive he drives the victim to the hospital, checks him in and finds himself liable for the man’s medical bills. The repercussions of Shi’s selfless act expose a society rife with bone-chilling callousness and bureaucratic indifference. On the verge of losing his cab, his job and his family, Lao Shi (in a magnificent performance by Chen Gang) has to resort to desperate measures to survive.

Old Stone had its North American premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and opened at the IFC Center in New York on November 30 2016. 

To book this film please contact Nancy Gerstman or Emily Russo or call 212-274-1989.

Johnny Ma

Johnny was born as Nan Ma, in Shanghai, China, and immigrated to Toronto at age of ten. After careers in mergers acquisition in the business and fashion world, Johnny first made the move to documentary filmmaking in 2008. Graduating from Columbia University’s M.F.A. in the Directing / Screenwriting film program, Johnny’s short films have screened at TIFF, Dallas International Film Festival, Aspen Shortfest and other international festivals, while receiving awards from DGA and National Board of Review as well as a nomination for the Canadian Academy Awards.

Johnny is currently developing his second feature project also set in China. He is a recent alum of the 2014 Sundance Institute Screenwriting / Directing Lab and winner of the Telefilm Canada Pitch This competition.

CHEN Gang ..................................... Lao Shi

NAI An ......................................... Mao Mao

WANG Hongwei ............................. Captain

ZHANG Zebin .................................. Li Jiang

LUO Xue’er ........................................ Xue’er


Written and Directed by ................................................ Johnny MA

Produced by ..............................................WU Xianjian, Chi-an LIN

Produced by ...................................... Jing WANG, Sarah STALLARD

Executive Producer ............................................................. NAI An

Director of Photography ........................................ Ming Kai LEUNG

Art Directors ............................... ZHENG Chen , ZHANG Xueqiang

Editor ........................................................................ Mike LONG

Additional Editing by .............................................. Daniel GARCIA

Sound Mixer ............................................................. SHENG Yong

Music by ................................................................. Lee SANDERS

Costume Designer ................................................................. LI Ke

Make-up Artist .............................................................. LI Hongyan

Casting Directors ............................ WANG Daomei, ZHANG Yanjia

1st Assistant Director .............................................. LIU Yan Wen Jun

Sound Designer ....................................................... T Terressa TATE

Production Managers ........................................ DENG Qing, LI Hua

“In the frenzied, cacophanous urban China of Johnny Ma’s STUNNINGLY ASSURED, DARKLY GRIPPING first feature “Old Stone,” a car accident doesn’t just cause physical damage, it wrecks souls.” – Robert Abele, The Los Angeles Times
“Gripping....Powerful performances and eerie imagery.... A full-blown psychological thriller, complete with a devastating denouement.” – Clarence Tsui, The Hollywood Reporter
“Excoriating! A suspense thriller with Dostoevskyan undertones.” – Maggie Lee, Variety
“Old Stone develops into a riveting thriller and asks weighty questions about the cost of doing right in an unempathetic society where people rather kill the accident victims off by running over them again rather than saving them. It's a raw and tough first film. And it signals a emergence of a major storyteller.” – Dustin Chang, Screen Anarchy
“The filmmaker builds his narrative to a remarkable crescendo that's reminiscent of Martin Scorsese's underrated remake of Cape Fear.” – Chuck Bowen, Slant Magazine
“An engrossing and unnerving film.” – Glenn Kenny, RogerEbert.com
“A bluntly effective thriller that makes great use of its gritty noir touches.” – David Erlich, Indiewire
“Ma's ambitious feature debut will tie your stomach in knots and make you question everything from moral responsibility to individualism in the new China. ” – Glenn Sumi, Now Toronto
“One mark of a superior foreign drama is a film that is firmly embedded to its cultural matrix, while also telling a story that is highly relatable.... Director Johnny Ma threads that needle quite capably in his nerve-wracking debut feature, Old Stone.” – Andrew Wyatt, St. Louis Magazine

Photos

Trailer

Playdates

Venue City State Date
Northwest Film Center Portland OR February 22 - 23, 2017
Green Mountain Film Festival
Exact dates TBA
Montpelier VT March 17 - 25, 2017
CMU International Film Festival Pittsburgh PA March 23 - April 9, 2016
Rutgers Film Co-op Somerset NJ March 31, 2017
Pickford Film Center Bellingham WA April 11, 2017