To Live to Sing (2019)

Johnny Ma
To Live to Sing (still)
Digital video, colour, sound
100 minutes
Courtesy of Films Boutique


Frustrated with performing to empty seats, members of a Sichuan Opera troupe contemplate moving on from the theatre that has also served as their home for the past 10 years. The manager struggles to keep the looming threat of demolition a secret while looking for a way to save the ramshackle theatre and protect the livelihoods of the performers.

To Live to Sing premiered at the Director’s Fortnight programme, Cannes Film Festival (2019). It won Best Film and Best Actress in the Asian New Talent Award Section of the Shanghai International Film Festival (2019); Best Screenplay in the Chinese Competition and the NETPAC Award at the International Film Festival and Awards Macao (2019); and Honorable Mention in the International Competition category at the Guanajuata International Film Festival (2019).

Screening Information

To Live to Sing (2019)
Director: Johnny Ma
Canada, China, France
Narrative | 100 minutes
Chinese with English and Arabic subtitles

Presented by Sharjah Art Foundation, this film is part of the Autumn Cinema Series, which takes a behind-the-scenes look at the world of stage productions. The other films in the series are Gold Diggers of 1933 and Vita Da Cani.

Details about the full programme can be found here.

All film screenings begin at 8.30 pm in Sharjah Art Foundation’s open-air Mirage City Cinema, Al Mureijah Art Spaces.