Beijing- and Amsterdam-based sales agency Fortissimo Films has added to its Cannes slate feature-length Chinese documentary “Keep Running.” It will be first pitched to distributors during the Cannes Market.

The picture tracks a team of teenagers form underprivileged backgrounds who live in Gen He, the coldest part of China, and run every day despite the harsh circumstances.

It is the first full-length picture directed by Sun Getting, who previously made TV series “Tea: The Story of the Leaf,” “Every Treasure Tells a Story,” and “The Forbidden City 100.”

Executive produced by Zhang Chong (“Super Me”), “Keep Running” had its international premiere earlier this month at the Thessaloniki Documentary Festival.

The festival called it “a heart-warming documentary devoted to the vivid, optimistic, and positive spirit of youth, introducing a group of ordinary characters and guiding us through a stunning natural landscape.” It said, “the sports school has provided [the teenagers] with something they couldn’t get from their families: joy and hope for a better life.”

After a hiatus which cost it a portion of its library, Fortissimo has been reborn under the ownership of Chinese film financier Hehe Pictures, which itself is part of Alibaba Pictures. The company continues to represent a familiar mix of European and Asian titles.

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Last year, Fortissimo handled Venice gala title “Love After Love,” directed by Ann Hui , and Yin Yang Master, by Guo Jingming (“Tiny Times”) which it successfully licensed to Netflix for multiple territories. The firm’s current slate also includes Mongolian environmental drama “Anima,” directed by Cao Jinling, which premiered in competition at the Cairo International Film Festival.


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