What's Your Scene?

Yang Sun and S. Leo Chiang’s award winning documentary – OUR TIME MACHINE – coming to over 35 theaters across the nation on September 11th in the virtual cinema space

Walking Iris Media and POV


Directed & Produced by Yang Sun & S. Leo Chiang
Executive Producers Jean Tsien, Sally Jo Fifer, Nick Fraser

Opening In 35 Theaters Nationwide On September 11
In Virtual Cinemas

WINNER – Best Cinematography – 2019 Tribeca Film Festival
WINNER – Best Documentary – 2019 CAAMFest
WINNER – Grand Jury Award, International Documentary Feature – 2019 LAAPFF
WINNER – Best International Director – 2019 Doc Edge
Official Selection – 2019 Hot Docs
Official Selection – 2020 Palm Springs International Film Festival

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 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.


“An uplifting celebration of the love between a son and his father…an elegant, focused piece of storytelling”
-Screen Daily

“A tender and visually striking film about using art to combat the unrelenting difficulties of aging.”
-CBS News

“Moving… Compelling… a thoughtful, sensitive, brilliant subject.”

About The Directors Yang Sun and  S. Leo Chiang
Director-Producer | Yang Sun  is a documentary director and cameraman based in Beijing. He was on staff at China’s Central Newsreel and Documentary Film Studio, making documentaries for broadcasters including CCTV, Youku and the Travel Channel. He has directed several short and mid-length documentaries, including THE SECOND ALBUM, AKEN, BACKPACKERS FOR 10 YEARS, AFTER HE ROSE TO FAME, as well as the ten-part series TAKE ME TO TRAVEL. He worked as a director of photography on A CENTURY WITH NANJING, CENTURY MASTER, and SOUTH OF THE OCEAN. Sun Yang holds a Master’s degree from the School of Television and Film Art at the Communication University of China. OUR TIME MACHINE is his first feature-length documentary.

Director-Producer | S. Leo Chiang is a Taiwanese-American filmmaker based in San Francisco and Taipei. His documentary, MR. CAO GOES TO WASHINGTON, won the Inspiration Award at the 2012 Full Frame Documentary Festival. His previous film, Emmy® Award-nominated A VILLAGE CALLED VERSAILLES, picked up eight awards and aired on the American PBS series, Independent Lens. Leo’s work has received funding support from the Sundance Documentary Fund, the Tribeca Film Institute, and ITVS. He also collaborates with other documentarians as editor and a cameraman. Leo received a MFA in film production from University of Southern California. He is the co-founder of A-Doc, the Asian American Documentary Network, and a documentary branch member of the Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences.

OUR TIME MACHINE will open on September 11th in over 35 cinema across the nation in the virtual cinema space including:

No Festival RequiredPhoenix, AZ
Rialto Cinemas ElmwoodBerkeley, CA
Rialto Cinemas CerritoEl Cerrito, CA
The Lark TheaterLarkspur, CA
Laemmle TheatersLos Angeles, CA
Mendocino Film FestivalMendocino, CA
The Roxie TheaterSan Francisco, CA
Smith Rafael Film CenterSan Rafael, CA
Rialto Cinemas Sebastopol Sebastopol, CA
Cinema Art TheaterLewes, DE
Tower Theater MiamiMiami, FL
Tampa TheatreTampa, FL
Hawaii International Film FestivalHonolulu, HI
Gene Siskel Film CenterChicago, IL
Cabot Street Cinema TheatreBeverly, MA
ArtsEmersonBoston, MA
Images CinemaWilliamstown, MA
SNF ParkwayBaltimore, MD
Michigan Theater FoundationAnn Arbor, MI
MSP Film SocietyMinneapolis / St. Paul, MN
Bozeman Film SocietyBozeman, MT
The CarolinaDurham, C
a/perture cinemaWinston-Salem, NC
Museum of Moving ImagesAstoria, NY
BAMBrooklyn, NY
Maysles Documentary CenterNew York, NY
The NeonDayton, OH
Hollywood TheatrePortland, OR
CinéSPEAKPhiladelphia, PA
Rangos Giant CinemaPittsburgh, PA
Austin Film SocietyAustin, TX
Utah Film CenterSalt Lake City, UT
Northwest Film ForumSeattle, WA
SIFF CinemaSeattle, WA 

S. Leo Chiang (Director), Yang Sun (Director)

YEAR 2019 | COUNTRY China | RUN TIME 81 mins

Instagram @timemachinefilm
Twitter  @timemachinefilm


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