Update: Conrad Clark received the Altadis New Directors Award at the Sans Sebastian Film Festival. Congrats, Conrad!
Last week, I spoke to Conrad Clark, 28, producer and director from the Shanghai-based film company, Practice Productions.
Clark received his master’s degree from the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, where he studied anthropology and cinema. Born to an English father and an Austrian mother, Clark grew up in the U.K. and France, and now, he’s expanded his international background to include — where else? but — China, where he just wrapped up shooting his latest film, “Soul Carriage.” The movie will make its world premiere at the Sans Sebastian Film Festival on September 25th.
“Soul Carriage,” a literal translation of the Chinese word for hearse, or “ling che,” tells the story of a migrant worker from a construction company in Shanghai who must return the body of his dead friend back to his family in the countryside of Zhejiang province. However, the “main character” of the film, according to Clark, is the physical environment of China, which is undergoing massive urbanization and transformation while struggling to achieve sustainability, serving as a metaphor for the psychological dilemma of millions of Chinese people, especially migrant workers, who are searching for either spiritual or material fulfillment.
I talked to Clark about what inspired him, what he learned about China, and what he hopes audiences get out of watching his film.
02-responsiblechina_-conrad-clark-china-in-_soul-carriage_.mp3Conrad Clark, China in “Soul Carriage”
(Music credit: “Fresh,” by MadMaxXB from GarageBand.)