CAT&Docs Catalog



* Tribeca 2019 - Worl Premiere
* HotDocs, Toronto, Canada
* LA Asian Pacific Film Festival, USA
* San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival
* Doclands
* DocedgeKolkata (India)
* Durban Film Festival
* First Film Festival Xining
* Indie Street Film Festival
* Chicago Critics Film Festival
* Mill Valley
* Camfest
* Shanghai
* Houston
* Asian-American Pacific Islander Film Festival
* Durban
* Indie Street
* Melbourne
* Ottawa Canada-China Film Festival
* Over-the-Rhine
* Vancouver
* BendFilm Festival
* DokuArt
* Hot Springs
* Washington West
* Rehoboth Beach
* Brattleboro
* Minsk
* Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival
* Hawaii
* Three Rivers
* Guth Gafa
* Key West Film Festival
* CUFF.Docs
* Hainan Island
* GZDocs
* Palm Spring
* HUMAN International Documentary Film Festival
* Chai - China Documentary Film Festival

* Audience Award - Wakefield Doc Fest
* Grand Prix for Best Documentary - Minsk International Film Festival Listapad
* Best International Director - Hot Docs - DocEdge
* Best Documentary Feature Film - Melourne Film Festival
* Best Documentary Award, CAAMfest, San Francisco
* Best Cinematography in a Documentary Feature Film
Jury comment:   “For its insightful visual style that captures loss and uses both intimate and grand spaces to maximum effect. The images elevated a universal story to the realm of dream and metaphor."
- Tribecca Film Festival, New York

* Grand Jury Award

Our Time Machine

Category |Arts & Culture, Human Interest
Year | 2019
Country | USA, China
Running time | 81’
Format | True HD
Production | Walking Iris Media
Director | S. Leo Chiang, Yang Sun

43-year-old Maleonn is one of China’s most influential conceptual artists today. His father, Ma Ke, was the artistic director of the Shanghai Chinese Opera Theater. After being humiliated and forbidden from working for a decade during the Cultural Revolution, Ma Ke immersed himself in theater. The mysterious excitement of Ma Ke’s creative world inspired the young Maleonn, but his father’s absences stoked early feelings of resentment.

When Ma Ke is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, Maleonn pours everything into an ambitious new theater project: “Papa’s Time Machine,” a visually stunning time-travel adventure told with human-sized puppets. At the play’s heart are autobiographical scenes inspired by Maleonn’s memories with his father. He hopes this will bring the them together artistically and personally.

With enthusiasm both domestically and from abroad, the play shows signs of a promising future. But Ma Ke’s condition deteriorates. Maleonn is torn between the original goal to honor his father and the pressure towards commercial success. Ma Ke struggles to contribute to the play, and barely recognizes the play when it is completed.

Facing his father’s painful decline, Maleonn becomes more aware of life’s complexities. There are no effortless masterpieces or simple solutions. And there’s no traveling back in time to retrieve what has been lost. There, is however, the relationship that has developed with co-director Tianyi. He proposes to her, ready to become a partner and a father, and to carry on forward with a new outlook on his art and life.


"Chinese artist Maleonn enlists his aging parents, both artists themselves, in an ambitious memory play."
   - by Glenn Kenny - The New York Times

"a moving documentary on art, family and dementia"
   - by Beatrice Loayza - The Guardian

"An Amazing Documentary About Fathers, Sons, Memory, and Science Fiction Puppet Theater [Tribeca]"
   - by Caroline Cao, FILM - blogging the reel word

"An uplifting celebration of the love between a son and his father, both theatre directors, as the latter declines in health"
    - by Allan Hunter, Screen Daily

"This is a truly special film. Highly recommended. You will forgive me for not being specific or talking more but in saying more I run the risk of crying."
    - by Steve Kopian, unseen films

"a thought-provoking, melancholy portrait of creativity and growing up that’s hard to shake."
    - Marisa Carpico, the pop break

"How can a documentary be so gorgeous and tell such a tremendous narrative? It doesn’t seem possible; it’s a rare thing. Our Time Machine is a profound and poetic film that is achingly uplifting as it tells a universal story about the exquisite sadness and joy of life."
      - by HelenHighly - INDIEWOOD