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200 Cigarettes From Now

45m Drama, Comedy 2020

Language:Mandarin with English Subtitles


UK Premiere

Synopsis Summer 2019, Xia suddenly has a crush on someone who then seems to have vanished from the world. He told Xia that he went to school in Boston.

In fall 2019, Xia takes a gap year from university and moves to Boston, working as a remote screenwriter. Living together with her best friend Jie, a struggling actor, they throw themselves into a faraway filmmaking dream, spending their time together chain-smoking, daydreaming, and just being self-indulgent as if they have all the time in the world.

Youth is supposed to be wasted and therefore never long-lasting. Xia puts all her efforts to retain the summer while vainly looking for her disappeared crush.

Director’s Statement Stories with cross-culture backgrounds are often being neglected in mainstream media, while portrayals of female characters commonly lack depth or are associated with certain stereotypes.

Through my experience in filmmaking, I have always believed stories revolve around characters. It is my focus to create vivid characters who not only speak for my own life but also bring mutual sentiments to other audiences. In 200 Cigarettes From Now, I try to look for this resonance through my heroine Xia. The creation process of Xia finds the balance between my completely honest self-expression and the outside world.

Instead of structured plots, this film builds upon many fleeting details documenting Xia’s life, focusing on the depiction of a girl’s real inner feelings. All the relationships in this story are undefined. Nothing is settled here, and nothing profound is being said, but only moments of the vibrant youth worth remembering. I hope both the film and the filmmaking process can be my way of celebrating all the meaningless emotions that waste but also highlight our youth.

This film, just like other films, helps me to memorise and it prepares me for my next dream.

Curators’ Notes This film evokes the lives and emotional worlds of two creative young Asians living abroad, using fleeting impressions with lashings of sweet C-pop. Told from Xia’s perspective, the film uses her fantasies, doubts, impulses and obsessions to provide a snapshot of a fragile moment at which nothing is set in stone and everything is still possible.

Festivals & Awards

2021 International Film Festival Rotterdam - Short & Mid-length Selection,

2021 Women Make Waves International Film Festival,

2021 San Diego Asian Film Festival - Asian American Panorama Section,

2021 Hong Kong Arthouse Film Festival


Tianyu Ma


Haijie Tang







Bonus Content

Q&A with Director Tianyu Ma

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