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Mar 9, 2020

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Johnny Ma's Award-Winning To Live To Sing Opens in Toronto with Exclusive Screening

Johnny Ma's Award-Winning To Live To Sing Opens in Toronto with Exclusive Screening

After an impressive international festival run, including opening the 2019 Reel Asian International Film Festival, award-winning filmmaker Johnny Ma’s highly anticipated second feature film To Live To Sing (aka Huo zhe chang zhe) comes to select theatres across Canada this month. Distributed by Game Theory Films, To Live To Sing will make its Toronto premiere at TIFF Bell Lightbox on Sunday March 22, followed by Cineplex Events screenings across the GTA on Monday March 23. 

The award-winning Ma (Old Stone) returns with a story of a traditional Chinese opera troupe that faces the demolition of their beloved theatre in rural China. To Live To Sing stars members of a real-life Sichuan Opera troupe, led by Zhao Xiaoli, who play fictionalized versions of themselves.

Produced by Wu Xianjian, Jing Wang, Vincent Wang and Matt Drake, Amanda Verhagen of Canada’s Notable Content, the film screened in the Directors' Fortnight section at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, the Vancouver International Film Festival, International Film Festival & Awards Macao, and won both Best Film and Best Actress at the 2019 Shanghai International Film Festival. The film won the CHCH TV Best Canadian Film or Video Award at Reel Asian International Film Festival (2019).

On the outskirts of Chengdu, a traditional Sichuan opera troupe faces extinction. With their theatre scheduled for demolition, a wave of progress seems poised to wash them away. Fearful of losing her niece (Gan Guidan) to the opportunities presented by the city, their manager (Zhao Xiaoli) searches for a new theatre. But as she finds herself embroiled in the bureaucracy that comes part and parcel with doing business – or performing art – in China, she notices that the more fantastical elements of their opera have started to manifest in mundane reality…

About writer/director Johnny Ma
Born as Ma Nan in Shanghai, China, Johnny first immigrated to Toronto at the age of ten. Johnny graduated from the film program at Columbia University and was a fellow at the Sundance Institute Screenwriting and Directing Lab in 2014. In 2012, Johnny moved back to China to make his thesis film A GRAND CANAL, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. In 2016, OLD STONE, Johnny’s directorial debut, world premiered at the Berlinale. It was awarded the Best Canadian First Feature Award at the Toronto International Film Festival and Best First Feature at the Canadian Screen Awards. The film was nominated in five other categories, including Best Film. Johnny currently resides in Shanghai.

Link to trailerhere



350 King St W, Toronto, ON
Sunday, March 22, 6:45PM

Cineplex Cinemas Markham and VIP
179 Enterprise Blvd #169, Markham, ON
Monday, March 23, 7:00PM

Cineplex Cinemas Mississauga
309 Rathburn Rd W, Mississauga, ON
Monday, March 23, 7:00PM

For more information and to purchase tickets for the Cineplex Events screening, click here.

About Game Theory Films
Game Theory Films is a boutique feature film distribution company based in Toronto, Ontario, established in 2018. Game Theory is committed to the strategic release of theatrical feature films within the Canadian marketplace. Our aim is to partner with diverse emerging new voices to ensure their work receives a targeted and dynamic release strategy. With a small passionate staff, we offer a personal touch, and are available to our partners throughout the life of their films from development through release.