Xiaohui and his cows
Xiaohui and his cows
Xiaohui and his cows
Xiaohui and his cows

Xiaohui and his cows

Xiaohui he ta de niu

Subtitles available: English, Italian, Spanish
Except for mountain landscapes, magical rocks, and a few other kids, the village where Xiaohui lives with his grandfather and two cows has nothing to offer. The nine-year-old sorely misses his parents who work in the city. When grandpa has to sell a calf, the clever grandson tries everything to prevent the separation of mother and child. A soulful cry for love in times of capitalism.
Xiaohui es un niño que vive con su abuelo en un pueblo en el Suroeste de Cine. Sus padres trabajan lejos de casa. El abuelo quiere vender el ternero para tener un sustento económico. Para evitarlo, Xiaohui hace todo lo posible para esconder las vacas en las montañas.

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Festivals & Awards

Berlin International Film Festival(Germany, 2023) – SPECIAL MENTION OF THE GENERATION KPLUS INTERNATIONAL JURYAcademy awards® qualifying festival, EFA Qualifying Festival

Hamptons International Film Festival (USA, 2023) – BEST SHORT NARRATIVE –Academy awards® qualifying festival

BOGOSHORTS (Colombia, 2023) – Academy awards® qualifying festival

Drama International Short Film Festival (Greece, 2023) – Academy awards® qualifying festival

Chicago International Children’s Film Festival (USA, 2023) – Academy awards® qualifying festival

Annual Urbanworld Film Festival (USA, 2023) – Academy awards® qualifying festival

International Short Film Festival of Cyprus (Chipre, 2023) – EFA Qualifying Festival


Film Festival della Lessinia (Italy, 2023) –  WINNER LESSINIA D’ARGENTO BEST SHORT FILM

Molise Cinema Film Festival (Italy, 2023) – SPECIAL MENTION STUDENT’S JURY AWARD


Near Far Film Festival (Australia, 2023) – BEST NARRATIVE SHORT FILM

Vittoria Peace International Film Festival (Italy, 2023) – BEST SHORT FILM

Macau International Short Film Festival (Macao, 2023) – BEST STUDENT SHORT FILM


Heart of Gold International Short Film Festival (Australia, 2023)

YOUKI – International Youth Media Festival (Austria, 2023)

Dhaka International Film Festival (Bangladesh, 2024)

Carrousel International du Film de Rimouski (Canada, 2024)

Shanghai International Film Festival (China, 2023) – Out of competition

Pingyao Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon International Film Festival (China, 2023)

Oulu International Children’s and Youth Film Festival (Finland, 2023)

Festival Tous Courts (France, 2023) – Séances Scolaires

Poitiers Film Festival (France, 2023)

Travelling Film Festival (France, 2024)

One Country One Film (France, 2024)

Kurzfilm Festival Hamburg Mo&Friese (Germany, 2023)

Kinderfilmfest München (Germany, 2023)

KUKI 16th Young Short Film Festival Berlin (Germany, 2023) 

up-and-coming Int. Film Festival Hannover (Germany, 2023)

Landshut Film Festival (Germany, 2024)

Bunter Hund – International Short Film Festival of Munich (Germany, 2024)

International Asto Short Film Festival (Greece, 2023)

Psarokokalo International Children and Young Film Festival (Greece, 2024)

Blue Danube Film Festival (Hungary, 2023)

OFFline Film Festival (Ireland, 2023)

Giffoni Film Festival (Italy, 2023)

Corto Montagna (Italy, 2023) – Finalist

Cactus International Children’s and Youth Film Festival (Italy, 2024)

International Film School Festival of Tetouan (Morocco, 2023)

Nepal International Film Festival (Nepal, 2024)

Chinese Short Film Night – Show me Shorts (New Zealand, 2024) – non competitive

Women International Film Festival (Pakistan, 2024)

Lima Alterna Festival Internacional de Cine (Peru, 2023)

International Young Audience Film Festival Ale Kino! (Poland, 2023)

Porto/Post/Doc (Portugal, 2023)

Play Festival (Portugal, 2024)

Ajyal Film Festival (Qatar, 2023) – POSTPONED

Ulsan Ulju Mountain Film Festival (South Korea, 2023)

Catholic Film Festival (South Korea, 2023)

BUFF Malmo Film Festival (Sweden, 2024) – ‘Short Film Panorama’

Black Movie Festival international de films indépendants (Switzerland, 2024)

International Film Festival of Uruguay (Uruguay, 2024)

First City Film Festival (USA, 2024)

UPIKE Film & Media Arts Festival (USA, 2024)

xiaohui and his cows, poster, locandina, short film, shortsfit, shortsfit distribution, shortsfit distribucion, distribucion de cortometrajes

Director’s notes

The story of Xiaohui and the two cows is a reflection of the reality that children and animals are currently experiencing. In my hometown, Guangxi, people usually raise two cows – a mother cow and a calf. The calf is sold when it reaches one year old, and the mother cow is impregnated again to produce another calf for sale. Each year, the mother cow is forcibly separated from her child. Similarly, in most rural areas of China, children are left behind while their parents work in distant cities, with only a brief reunion each year. During the summer of 2021, I participated in a short-term teaching camp in a village. Through our conversations, I sensed the children’s hidden longing for their parents. This short film conveys the longing for connection felt by children and animals alike, in the hope of resonating with those who have experienced separation.

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written and directed by

Xinying Lao


Haozheng Li, Xianglian Wei


Xin Wang, Zhigang Lao

executive producers

Ruiqiang Dai, Jiajie Lu, Yu Wang


Hark Xu


Youmin Kang, Xinying Lao


Evan Roth

sound design

Bobo Lau

production design

Qianyu Jin

assistant director

Li Qiu

production manager

Ziyu Zhou

festival distribution and world sales

Xinying Lao's bio

Xinying Lao was born in Guangxi, China in 1997. Xinying Lao is a Chinese filmmaker and a third-year Graduate Film student at New York University. She is a director, writer, and editor. She has made several doc shorts and narrative shorts. She studied journalism as an undergraduate, which brought her into contact with people from different classes in society. In her films, she is dedicated to conveying the vulnerability that people are afraid to express in reality. Xiaohui and His Cows is her second-year film project at NYU.