Director Lulu Wang Delves Into Chinese Folklore With "Shot On iPhone" Short For Apple, TBWA\MAL Shanghai


Robert Goldrich
Friday, Jan. 29, 2021


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In celebration of Chinese New Year, feature filmmaker Lulu Wang (The Farewell) directed this short film titled Nian which was shot entirely on an iPhone 12 Pro Max.

The 11-minute film introduces us to a brave girl who seeks out the feared forest beast Nian. When coming face to face with him, she discovers that he is quite different than she imagined. Her adventure shows us the beauty of facing one’s fears.

Wang related, “As a child, my parents wanted me to go further than they have ever gone. And yet there’s also this fear that I was going into the unknown, and so I wanted to bring that theme into this film.”

Iconoclast was the production house on Nian for TBWA/Media Arts Lab Shanghai.  Wang and her team worked on the film remotely from the U.S. with a mirror crew on the ground in China, owing to COVID-19 travel restrictions.

Nian continues a tradition of Apple Shot on iPhone films marking the Chinese New Year. Prior films include Three Minutes in 2018, The Bucket the next year, and Daughter in 2020.

Wang shared, “I hope when audiences realize that we shot it on iPhones, they will feel empowered. They don’t have to wait for permission to go out and make things.” 


Client Apple Agency TBWA\Media Arts Lab Shanghai Production Company Iconoclast Lulu Wang, director. Music Original score by Alex Weston

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