Every year, Apple releases a short film for Chinese New Year that is shot on an iPhone. This short for this 2022, called The Comeback, is very “meta,” and I liked it a lot. The film was created by Chinese director Zhang Meng. Here is a short synopsis:
A young stunt-double, who dreams of being behind the camera not just in front of it, returns home for Chinese New Year to spend time with his father while nursing an injury and escaping his perceived failure. The villagers celebrate his return as the ‘big director’ and he is reluctantly convinced to help the village create a movie of their own, to make their unknown village ‘internet famous.’ What it really does is bring the villagers together as they craft and create a movie set on Mars — writing the story, making costumes, building sets and setting up stunts — and reignites the young man’s belief in becoming a director and fulfilling his filmmaking dreams.
Not only is it funny and heartwarming, but it also touches on changes in China like increasing urbanization and the decline of village life.