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 Jury (World Premiere) – Academy awards® qualifying festival

Kurzfilm Festival Hamburg Mo&Friese (Germany, 2023)

Kinderfilmfest München (Germany, 2023)

Giffoni Film Festival (Italy, 2023)

Film Festival della Lessinia (Italy, 2023) – Lessinia d’Argento Best Short Film

Molise Cinema Film Festival (Italy, 2023) – Special Mention Student’s Jury Award

Orvieto Cinema Fest (Italy 2023)

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

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

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.