Bronze Spike
Product / ServiceAPPLE
CategoryA05. Cinematography
Idea Creation TBWA\MEDIA ARTS LAB Shanghai, CHINA
Media Placement OMD Shanghai, CHINA


Name Company Position
Brent Anderson Media Arts Lab Chief Creative Officer
JD Jurentkuff Media Arts Lab Group Creative Director
Stephen Kong Media Arts Lab Creative Director
David Seah Media Arts Lab Creative Director
Joey Chung Media Arts Lab Associate Creative Director
Gina Wang Media Arts Lab Senior Art Director
Alpher Xian Media Arts Lab Senior Art Director
Jet Aw Media Arts Lab Associate Creative Director
Ewan Yap Media Arts Lab Associate Creative Director
Amber Qian Media Arts Lab Associate Creative Director
Carrol Shen Media Arts Lab Designer
Juan Zhang Media Arts Lab Junior Art Director
Junyu Deng Media Arts Lab Designer

Write a short summary of what happens in the film

This is not the usual story about heading home for CNY, but about leaving home at the end of CNY. It tells of a guy and his difficult journey back to the city with a mysterious bucket from his mom. It got him unwanted attention, became a burden, and slowed his journey as he weaved his way back to the city through the throngs of people. When he finally returns to his apartment in the city and opens the bucket, he realizes that he’s been lugging a bucket of sand, and eggs for hours. He ultimately realizes that his mother simply wanted to provide him with a cure for homesickness—comfort food. A shift from burden to acceptance then occurs. Though The Bucket is about one person’s story, it’s one that every Chinese would identify with. For each of us, the taste of home is always difficult to leave behind.

Cultural/Context information for the jury

Chinese New Year is often the only time all year when Chinese parents and their children get to see each other and reconnect, as their kids work in the cities to take advantage of China’s rapid development. However, with the gap between urban and rural areas increasingly widening, their lives are diverging greatly. This social phenomenon makes CNY the perfect time for Apple to tell its POV that no matter how different we become, humanity will always reconnect us. Towards the end of CNY, many parents extend their love with an overzealous gifting of food. Many kids would post photos of their overloaded luggage to complain. Apple tapped into this topical cultural tension and changed the conversation. What used to be a burdensome joke became love and pride. Thus bridging the gap between generations and celebrating the love of Chinese parents.

Tell the jury anything relevant about the cinematography.

The film was shot entirely on iPhone XS by Jia Zhangke, one of the most awarded and beloved directors in Chinese cinema. The film begins with a pastel color palette evoking feelings of nostalgia and longing for home. The colors slowly transition to harsher tones when the protagonist reaches the city. Director Jia, known for his realistic portrayal of people in rural China, successfully juxtaposes the small-town protagonist against the rural landscape that slowly transitions to a newly developed cityscape. To put the protagonist into a larger context, the film constantly intercuts between personal close ups and beautiful aerial shots. Director Jia’s mastery of the filmic language and the fluid movements of the camera often make the viewers forget that the entire film was shot on iPhone. The film is a pioneering exploration that pushes the limit of mobile filmmaking by one of the most cinematic veterans in China.


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