Ajyal Film Festival 2024

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The Farewell

Ajyal Competition - Ajyal Film Festival 2019

Lulu Wang / Feature Narrative / United States of America, China / 2019 / 98 min / DCP / In English, Mandarin
Rated: Mature subject matter which may not be suitable for minors. Parental guidance is strongly advised.Individuals under the age of 15 are not admitted into cinemas.


In this darkly-comedic, yet uplifting tale, Chinese-born, American-raised Billi (Awkwafina) finds out that her “Nai-Nai” has tragically been diagnosed with lung cancer. Although the whole family knows their beloved matriarch is terminally ill, everyone has decided not to tell Nai Nai herself. To spend her final moments together, they gather under the joyful guise of an expedited wedding, uniting family members scattered around the globe. As Billi navigates a minefield of family expectations, she finds there’s a lot to celebrate—a chance to rediscover the country she left as a child, her grandmother’s wondrous spirit, and the ties that bind families, even when so much goes unspoken.

Based loosely on her own childhood, writer/director Lulu Wang has created a heartfelt celebration of both the way we perform family and the way we live it, masterfully interweaving a gently humorous depiction of the “good lie” in action with a richly moving story of how family can unite and strengthen us, often in spite of ourselves. ‘The Farewell’ deftly captures these often-complicated family dynamics with a poignant, well-acted drama that marries cultural specificity with universally relatable themes.

About the Director

Lulu Wang is a classical pianist turned filmmaker. Born in Beijing, raised in Miami and educated in Boston, Lulu is a recipient of the Chaz and Roger Ebert Directing Fellowship, which was awarded at the 2014 Film Independent Spirit Awards. She is also a 2014 Film Independent Project Involve Directing Fellow and a 2017 Sundance Fellow. Her second feature ‘The Farewell’ premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. Lulu was listed by Variety as one of their ‘Ten Directors to Watch in 2019’.


Lulu Wang
Lulu Wang
Daniele Melia, Peter Saraf, Marc Turtletaub, Andrew Miano, Chris Weitz, Jane Zheng, Lulu Wang, Anita Gou
Michael Taylor, Matthew Friedman
Production Designer
Yong Ok Lee
Executive Producer
Eddie Rubin
Josh Cohen, Dan Balgoyen
Alex Weston
Anna Franquesa Solano
Front Row Filmed Entertainment
Awkwafina Tzi Ma Diana Lin Zhao Shuzhen Lu Hong Jiang Yongbo

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