Life in a Chinese Orphanage

NEW FILM. Kaspar Astrup Schröder's Learning to Forget captures two years at a Beijing orphanage, where children of convicts are trying to find their feet in the world.

In China, more people are on death row than in all the rest of the world put together. Children of convicts are most often abandoned, stigmatized by their remaining family and living on the streets.

Learning to Forget centres on the Sun Village orphanage on the outskirts of Beijing. Founded by a former prison guard, Ms. Zhang, the orphanage is home to 100 children whose parents are either on death row or serving long prison sentences. The children learn to live without mom and dad and prepare for life in the outside world, where they have to disprove the prejudice against them.

"These children have been dependent on their parents all their lives and are now left with big scars on their souls. They have to adjust in the most difficult way imaginable. I want to create a nuanced portrait of the children, their legacy and the hopefulness they have to learn," says director Kaspar Astrup Schröder who spent two years following the children at Sun Village.

Learning for Forget is produced by Katrine A. Sahlstrøm for Good Company Pictures. The film has an expected wide release in fall 2016.

Kaspar Astrup Schröder is developing a new project about Danish architect Bjarke Ingels who has built his career on defying convention. Big Time is pithcing at IDFA Forum 2015.