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Merry Christmas, Yiwu

Spring Grants 2019 - Post-Production Stage

Mladen Kovacevic / Feature Documentary / Serbia, Sweden, Germany, France, Belgium, Qatar / 90 min / Original Language: Chinese / Interests: Social Issues, Creative Documentary


Communist ideals have long lost their value in Yiwu, a city with 600 Christmas factories, in which Christmas as we know it is produced for the entire world. With rising wages, the workers in Christmas factories can now afford the newest iPhones, but they still live in crowded dormitories. All migrants in their own country, nostalgic for someplace far away, some miss their families left in hometowns, others miss their friends and lovers from the factories when they go home for holidays. The young generation is already tired of long factory hours, chemical fumes and glitter particles, and they do not care for their parents’ wishes to get educated. Stuck in between Chinese tradition and the newly discovered Chinese dream, they want their own businesses, to be rich, to be independent, to be in love. In this melancholic, observational documentary, the alluring visual aesthetic enhances the geopolitical twist and the irony of modern-day China.


Mladen Kovacevic
Mladen Kovacevic
Iva Plemic Divjak, Ruth Reid,

About the Director

Mladen Kovačević’s poetic approach is rooted in the simplicity of realism. His films explore various styles with idiosyncratic dramatic structures and the unconventional approach to naturalistic aesthetics. Premiering in Nyon and Rotterdam, his films travelled festivals, were broadcasted, and awarded internationally. A three-time Grand Prix winner at Beldocs, his other awards include a Spirit Award at Brooklyn FF and Best Doc Feature at AcampaDoc Panama (‘Unplugged’, 2013); Special Jury Mentions at Visions du Réel and ZagrebDox and Best Documentary Award at Ibiza Cine Fest (‘4 Years in 10 Minutes’, 2018); The Heart of Sarajevo for Best Documentary at Sarajevo Film Festival and FIPRESCI Award at Flahertiana (‘Merry Christmas, Yiwu’, 2020). The Institute of Documentary Film has included Kovačević’s ‘Wall of Death and All That’ in their 20th-anniversary selection of the 20 films showing many faces of Central and Eastern European documentaries. Horopter Film Production produces his films.

Awards and Festival History


"IFFR 2020 (WP), Bright Future
Sarajevo IFF 2020"


  • Main Contact

    Iva Plemic Divjak

    Horopter Film Production

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