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Half Time


CHINA, JAPAN | 2023 | Drama | Short | 30min

Director: Yaoyuan ZHANG

Screenwriter: Yaoyuan ZHANG

Executive Producer: Yaoyuan ZHANG

Producer: Mei XU, Ryuhei Tsutsui

Cinematographer: Jin YOU

Editor: Jiawen XU

Art Director: Zixuan ZHOU

Sound: Akihiko Suzuki

Starring: Tsuyoshi Abe











Qingyang, a Chinese technical intern, is about to interview for a position at a Japanese factory. Despite the obstacles posed by the labor union, he is determined to succeed. Overwhelmed by domestic debt, humiliation, and deceit, Qingyang is barely hanging on. As the interview approaches, he knows that a harsh reality is looming on the horizon.



25th Shanghai International Film Festival Best Short Film

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Director's Note

The central conflict of the story revolves around the clash between workers and society. Qingyang holds his reputation in high esteem and believes that upholding high moral standards is essential. However, when he is confronted with the harsh realities of life, he must make a difficult decision.


The massive layoffs and economic downturn in Northeast China have led to the proliferation of institutional superstitions and unspoken rules. For individuals in that era, leaving Northeast China for a fresh start in the south or abroad was a necessary move. But a new beginning also meant uncertainty, which was the destiny of the working class.


The phrase half time serves as both a metaphor and an irony. The labor union is supposed to serve as a buffer between Japanese factories and Chinese agencies, easing the challenges faced by Chinese technical interns. However, the complexity of society and the weight of history have rendered this buffer ineffective. The one-way interview is a stark and absurd reality, which ultimately leads to a bleak and inevitable conclusion.

2023 Pia Film Festival Short Film – Official Selection


7th PYIFF Official Selection Hidden Dragons Shorts


2023 Beijing International Short Film Festival


2023 Chongqing Youth Film Festival Short Film Selection – Best Director


2023 Youth Image HangZhou Golden Lotus Awards - Judges Special Award

2023 NOWNESS Short Film Awards - Best Short Film

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ZHANG Yaoyuan

ZHANG was Born in Dalian in 1989, he went to Japan in 2014 to study film, and had Japanese Government Scholarships. His graduation productions “City of Romance” and “On Stage” were nominated in Competition of the 14th Chinese Youth Film Week, and Housen Cultural Foundation section of the 17th Osaka Asian Film Festival and the 19th Guangzhou International Documentary Film Festival. The short film
“Half Time” was awarded of the Housen Cultural Foundation Film Fund, and his co-writer’s work “No Problem With Thought” was selected in competition of the 37th Warsaw International Film Festival and the 15th FIRST International Film Festival. He is studying Filmology at Tokyo University of the Arts.

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