About the movie director, Travis (Zhuofei) Song…

Travis Song got the inspiration for the movie “Best Friend” when he heard the story about two young people so extremely different that they were never supposed to become friends in the world we live. One youth had a disability called autism, and the other was lost and looking for purpose after several traumatic events that took place in his life. Fate brought the two together and they became best friends.

At the time Travis heard the story, he recently graduated from Chapman University, majoring in film production and was living in Hollywood. He wanted to become a movie director, but became quickly disillusioned with what Hollywood had to offer and was searching for a meaningful project. In March 2016, we attended the “International Filmmakers” meetup group where we met Travis.

At that meeting we talked about our autism journey and told the story about our family member, Adam, who had autism and who formed a special friendship with his caretaker, Cole. Travis was interested in our story and we invited him to meet at our place in Santa Monica where we shared our story in more detail.

We learned that Travis wanted to make movies that would bring people meaning, joy and hope, and that he decided to return to his native Beijing where he wanted to produce and direct his first future film. After returning to China, Travis decided to explore autism and soon we learned that he began working on the movie “Best Friend”, which was inspired by our story. The prototypes for the main characters became Adam and Cole.

In Beijing, Travis became a volunteer for the public welfare autism institution “Starlight Yicai” under the China Social Welfare Foundation. There he taught autistic children to sing and play different musical instruments. In addition, Travis formed a band, which performed different gigs. He established a deep friendship with these children and their families.

Travis and his friend with autism, perform together.

In this video Travis, who sings and plays the guitar and a youth with autism who plays drums are preparing for a gig.

Travis and his friend with autism perform together.

Travis’ music band “Not Alone”

Travis put together a music band “Not Alone” that includes youth with and without autism. In this video they’re playing a gig in August 2023. The vocal, drummer and violinist are youth with autism. Travis plays the guitar.

Travis plays with his music band “NOT ALONE” at a gig in August 2023.

Travis had to go through many challenges to make this movie, but he was determined to do what had meaning for him and would bring joy and hope to people. In April, 2022, in spite of great obstacles with the movie, he wrote to us: “… I think my movie has a great message about understanding, respect between people on a universal level, and I will do my best to make it happen!” And he did make it happened! Travis’ movie “Best Friend” premiered in April 2024!

Travis’ sketches for “Best Friend”

In April, 2022 Travis sent us four sketches that he did for the movie storyboard. In the descriptions he used the name Adam for a youth with autism and Cole for his friend.

Cole found lost Adam in a police station
Sketch 1: Cole found lost Adam in a police station
Cole sitting with Adam’s adopted sister, sitting on the curb after a dramatic family conflict
Sketch 2: Cole sitting with Adam’s adopted sister on the curb after a dramatic family conflict
Adam and Cole working together performing magic
Sketch 3: Adam and Cole working together performing magic
after the performance, all the main characters watching fireworks of the 21st century.
Sketch 4: after the performance, all the main characters watching fireworks of the 21st century

Travis’ Background…

Travis Song received a bachelor’s degree in economics and a master’s degree in statistics from the University of St. Andrews in the United Kingdom. He graduated from the Department of Film Production at Chapman University in the United States. His short film “Chameleon” won the Platinum Award at the Houston International Film Festival and was included in the film channel “HD Shorts HD”. Another film was short listed for many international film festivals, at one of which it won for “Best Film”.

Travis, shared the article (below) about the movie premiere of “Best Friend” in China in April 2024.

Below is the magazine article about “Best Friend” movie premiere…

posted on April 21, 2024

NOTE: All text is translated from Chinese to English by AI program so the translation is as close as the program can translate it.

The movie “Best Friend” starts today and the powerful lineup interprets a different healing of youth. Posted: 2024-04-21 17:53 Beijing

The campus youth group portrait film “The Best Friend” produced by Xiamen Xingyingshang Culture and Art Co. , Ltd. officially started today. The producers Zhang Huijun and Yu Weiguo, the art consul tant Huo Tingxiao, the chief producer Wei Long, the director Song Zhuofei, the producer Wang Yunzhi, and the leading actors Yang Zhihe, Cheng Huili , Duan Aojuan and other main creators appeared collectively. Machine ceremony.

Out-of-group teenagers broke into the autistic world, and the innocent youth staged a two-way healing. The movie “Best Friend” tells the story of Zhao ( played by Yang Zhi he) , a lonely 17-year-old high school student , who accidentally met her autistic brother Xia Xia ( p l ayed by Cheng Hui official ) in the process of getting along with his classmate Xia Qiu ( played by Duan Ao juan) .

The three of them formed a sincere friendship, redeemed each other and moved towards a better future life. The story of the spring group. In the film, Zhao, who has been without the company of his family since he was a child, lives obediently; the autistic teenager is locked at home all year round in summer, and has serious obstacles to communication with people, but has a hear that perceives beauty;

Xia Qiu, a girl, is eager to dance freely, but gives up her dreams for the sake of her relatives and picks up the maturity that does not belong to this age. The teenagers met by chance. With the continuous inter twining of each other’s l ife trajectories, they gradually established their dependence on each other, supportedeach other, healed each other, and finally found their lost puzzles in this flashy journey.

The film released a pilot poster today, presenting a fresh and healing atmosphere of youth. In the poster, boys and girls walk on the backlight path, guarding teenagers immersed in their own world from a distance.

The shadows of the trees were mottled, and the three of them were in light and warmth, as i f they had pushed away the shadow of the world with each other, implying redemption and healing. What kind of story is about to happen to them? What kind of secret things do they have? Itmakes the audience full of curiosity and expectation for the film.

Young actors perform healing youth films, and the behind-the-scenes team escorts them.

The film “The Best Friend” is the first film directed by director Song Zhuofei. Song Zhuofei graduated from the Department of Film Production at Chapman University in the United States and studied with Johnny Johnson, a famous Hollywood photographer. His short film “Chameleon” won the Plat inum Award at the Houston International Film Festival and was included in the film channel “HD Shorts HD”. Another short film was short listed for many international film festivals and won the “Best Film“.

Before going to the United States, Song Zhuofei had a bachelor’s degree in economics and a master’s degree in statistics from the University of St. Andrews in the United Kingdom. After returning to China, he was admitted to Beijing TV Station with a high competitive rate with a non-professional background and became a sports reporter. When the notice from Chapman University came, he was preparing for a physical examination to become an international journalist stationed abroad. But what he often says is: “Movies are just my sideline. My dream is to become a rock star, haha.”

The summer actor in the film, Cheng Hui , once starred in the best film “The Thief Family” of the “Golden Palm” at the 71st Cannes International Film Festival, showing excellent acting talent. Six years after “The Thief Family”, it is worth looking forward to how the 17-year-old city of ficial will interpret a sensitive and beautiful teenager. In addition, the joining of the new generation of influential idol Duan Aojuan and the new actor Yang Zhihe makes the film collide with new sparks and make the audience feel the pure and youthful atmosphere.

At the same time, the behind-the-scenes lineup of the film collection – Zhang Huijun, the former dean and doctoral supervisor of the Beijing Film Academy, and Yu Weiguo, a famous director, producer and screenwriter in Hong Kong, served as the producer of the film. Wei Long, a famous curator and artist, served as the chief producer.

He was a famous art director and participated in “Hero” and “The City with Golden Armor”. Huo Tingxiao, who has been an art consultant for many films such as Ambush on Ten Sides and Changjin Lake. Xu Guiting, who has participated in many film and television works such as “Tropical Past”, “Want to See You”, “Mr. Red Carpet” and “You on the Left Shoulder”, has been the art director.

The casting director has selected for “Don’t Te l l Her”, “Kung Fu Dream” and “Mustang’s Mane”. Kang Yan, an actor, has the biggest advantage that she is par t icularly good at amateur cast ing. Yang Zhihe, the actor who starred Zhao Fei, and Wang Hongtian, who played Zhou Fang, are a l l amateurs who stand out from the audi tion.

The heroine Duan Aojuan is also the leading role in a big screen work after her transformation from an idol. She uses her natural perception. Force and understanding of the role compete for the role for themselves in the audi tion with the excellent handllng of complex characters without any prior training. In addition, there are more behind-the-scenes strength in different fields to escort the creation and shooting of the film.

Focus on the theme of autism and see “the light of the stars”

The theme film “Best Friend” focuses on the rare theme of autism in China, which is strongly supported by the Chinese Red Cross Society and the China Charity Federation, and strives to show the real life situation of the autistic youth group. Autism, also known as autism, is a group of neurodevelopmental disorders caused by genetic factors and interaction with environmental factors.

According to incomplete statistics, there are more than 13 million people with autism in China, accounting for 1/8 of the total number of disabled people in China, and the prevalence rate among children aged 0-6 is 40:1, and it is on the rise. Their growth, employment and life are related to the families of 13 million patients, which is an important social issue at the time. However, the public generally lacks a correct understanding of autism.

In order to get close to and perceive the autistic group, director Song Zhuofei has been a volunteer ing for the public welfare autism institution “Starlight Yicai” under the China Social Welfare Foundation for many years.

As a music teacher, he taught autistic children to sing, learn musical instruments, form bands, perform everywhere, and establish a deep friendship wi th children and their families. Song Zhuofei said that he did not want to look at the autistic group from the perspective of “looking down” and “alms”, but wanted to tell the story from an equal perspective.

This is a life that depends on each other. Everyone and every family has their own difficulties and limitations. The story does not focus on compassion and misfortune, but believes in the beauty of disability and sincere feelings. This time, real autistic patients participated in the performance as an important role.

The movie “Best Friend” will show the innocence and beauty of the 17-year-old through the stories of this group of teenagers, awaken the audience’s youthful memories, and recall their good friends who walked through their youth together.

At the same time, through in-depth discussion of friendship, family affection and dreams, the attention to the growth and health of marginalized groups of teenagers is integrated into the nature of youth movies. We believe that love can cure everything, and call on everyone to understand and accept the marginalized groups with a more rational and open attitude, showing full humanistic care.

The film “The Best Friend” is produced by Xiamen Xingyingshang Culture and Art Co. , Ltd. , and jointly produced by Mythical Beast (Beijing) Film and Television Technology Co. , Ltd. , Youth Film Studio Co. , Ltd. , Beijing Xingyingshang Cul ture and Art Co. , Ltd. and other uni ts. I t is supported by the China Red Cross Society and the China Charity Federation. It has been officially launched. Looking forward to See you soon and be your best friends!

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