China’s ‘Escape From the 21st Century’ Picked up by Fortissimo

Amsterdam and Beijing-based film sales company Fortissimo Films has picked up licensing duties to upcoming “Escape From the 21st Century,” a Chinese sci-fi action title.

The story follows three friends who discover they have the power to travel back and forth 20 years with a sneeze. However, the future is not as good as they hoped and need to take on the responsibility of saving the world. The action shuttles between 1999 and 2019 and on Planet K, which is very similar to Earth.

The film is directed by Li Yang (short and co-directed feature “Lee’s Future”) and stars Zhang Ruoyun (“Joy of Life”), Zhong Cuxi (“Youth”) and Song Yang (“Wrath of Silence”).

The picture is produced by Desen International and is headed for a mainland China commercial release on Aug. 3 through Enlight Pictures. Fortissimo is handling rights in the rest of the world ex-mainland China.

Watch the trailer here.

Fortissimo had a busy Cannes, launching three new Chinese titles, including crime drama “Family at Large,” sports film “Wild Punch” and animated feature “The Umbrella Family.”

In recent years, Fortissimo has handled several mainland Chinese films including last year’s cutting-edge animated hit “Deep Sea” by Tian Xiaopeng. Others have included “The Yin-Yang Master” and Larry Yang’s “Mountain Cry.”

Late last year the company also picked up “If You Are the One 3,” the Feng Xiaogang-directed update to the hit anti-romance drama franchise starring Shu Qi and Ge You, and and Xu Haofeng’s “100 Yards,” which played in 2023 at the Shanghai and Toronto festivals and at Rotterdam in early 2024.

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