Meng XiongM/b> '19 and Xixi Wang '19 (from left to right) participated in one-on-one script workshop during FIRST Financing Forum.

'Sisyphus' by Meng Xiong '19 & Xixi Wang '19 Named Project of the Year by FIRST Financing Forum

BY Zoe Contros Kearl, July 15, 2019

Feature script project Sisyphus, by recent graduates Meng Xiong '19 and Xixi Wang '19,  was officially selected by FIRST Financing Forum as one of their Projects of the Year. FIRST Financing Forum is a major component of The FIRST International Film Festival, which prides itself on being a platform for new and groundbreaking Chinese filmmakers. The forum is designed to bridge emerging filmmakers with industry professionals through script workshops, pitch presentations, and one-on-one meetings. Previously-selected projects include An Elephant Sitting Still (Berlin International Film Festival - Best First Feature Award, PIPRESCI Prize), The Summer is Gone (Golden Horse Film Festival - Best Feature Film, Best New Performer, FIPRESCI Prize), and others.


Sisyphus is a feature-length drama that tells a story of a single mother who seeks answers after her only son is electrocuted on a subway track. During the investigation, she rediscovers herself and the meaning of life. The project was selected as one of FIRST’s Projects of the Year out of nearly eight hundred submissions. The selection was made based on the merits of the project’s script, the director and producer’s statements, budget, production plan, as well as a presentation and a roundtable pitch. Later this month, the Xiong and Wang are headed to Xining, where the festival is held, to present a final pitch to industry professionals including financiers, producers, post-production experts, sales agents, distributors, and film festival representatives.


Xixi Wang is a Chinese writer and director. Her films have screened at major Chinese and international festivals. Wang was selected by Asian Film Academy 2019 that is co-host by Busan International Film Festival, and also was shortlisted for Locarno Film Academy 2019. In May 2019, her MFA thesis film, Greenhouse, won the Vimeo Award for Best Director, IFP Audience Award, and Jury Selects at Columbia University Film Festival. Wang received her undergraduate degree from Beijing Film Academy. She is currently teaching in the Department of Screenwriting and Film Studies at Beijing Film Academy. 


Meng Xiong is a Chinese writer and producer. She has written and produced short films in China, the US, and Australia. Xiong is the recipient of Leone Family Film Grant, Panavision Production Sponsorship, and 3PAS Studios Award for Excellence in Producing and IFP Audience Award at CUFF 2019. Xiong holds bachelor's degrees of Cinema and Communication Studies from the University of Iowa. During her graduate studies at Columbia, she taught film studies as an assistant. She is currently working for with the Hamptons International Film Festival.