This is Sanlitun
This is Sanlitun

This is Sanlitun

Gary is trying to make it big in Beijing. After failing to impress his Chinese inventors, he takes up English teaching instead and learns some life lessons from Frank, an incompetent mentor. Gary's real reasons for staying in Beijing become clear when his son and Chinese ex-wife enter the picture.


This is Sanlitun is an independent film shot entirely in Beijing: The film is offers a humorous and timely look at the bizarre world off expats trying to carve lives for themselves in modern China. It follows the travails of Gary, a balding and delusional expat who flies to China to make it big in business, not mention win back his ex-wife, Lin. When his business plans go awry, Gary meets Frank, an incompetent mentor and China know-all who promises to teach him about the real China, for a small fee of course! They hatch a series of madcap schemes to win his Lin back, failing time and time again. They never get the girl, but at least they learn a few things along the way: Just keep drinking!

About the film

  • Type: Feature Film
  • National Premiere Date: October 7, 2013, Háskólabíó
  • International Premiere Date: September 8, 2013, Cinema 4 - Bell Lightbox
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Length: 95 min.
  • Language: English
  • Original Title: Svona er Sanlitun
  • International Title: This is Sanlitun
  • Production Year: 2013
  • Production Countries: Iceland, China
  • IMDB: This is Sanlitun
  • Website:
  • Icelandic Film Centre Grant: Yes
  • Color: Yes
  • Screening format and subtitles: DCP



Company Credits


  • Beijing International Film Festival, 2014
  • Toronto International Film Festival, 2013
  • Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival, 2013
  • Reykjavík International Film Festival, 2013

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