The Last Year of Darkness

Cannes Docs

Project curated by: Vision du Réel

The Last Year of Darkness

Original title: The Last Year of Darkness

Directed by: Ben Mullinkosson

Produced by: Sol Ye (Florence, Chine)

Country of production: China

Runtime: 90'

Expected release: January 2023

Production stage: In-production

Budget: $583,000

Budget in place: 49%

Looking for: Funding, International Sales Agent, Distribution/Pre-buys, Festival Programmers


Growing up, throwing up, love, loss and finding freedom in China.
This documentary follows four of my friend’s unique personal stories in Chengdu’s underground party scene during the last year before the Chinese communist party shuts down their secret “freedom” spaces forever.

Director’s profile:

This is Ben’s second feature length documentary and 6th year coming back to Chengdu. He speaks Chinese. His first feature DON’T BE A DICK ABOUT IT won the 2018 Audience Award at IDFA and is being distributed by Oscilloscope. He now works directing commercials and music videos. His works include Cannes Silver Lion Advertising award, Vimeo Staff Picks, NYT Op-Docs, and some of his films have millions of views. His previous short films have gotten into 50+ festivals around the world including Tribeca (GNARLY IN PINK) and Slamdance (WHAT I HATE ABOUT MYSELF).

Producer’s profile:

Sol Ye is a bilingual producer based in Beijing, China where she earned her B.F.A degree in Creative Producing at Chapman University. Her past works have won awards at Cannes Critics’ Week (SHE RUNS, 2019) and generated over 150 million views on the internet (GENERATIONAL GRAVITY, VICE Media/Tencent Video, 2019). She lined produced the first China-Serbia co-production, and has worked on major Hollywood-China productions including Disney’s MULAN, where she served as the China Assistant Production Manager. Sol’s most recent short HAVING A GOOD TIME was officially selected into the 67th San Sebastian International Film Festival.