Apple releases inspiring Lunar New Year film shot on iPhone


Apple is once again celebrating Lunar New Year with an inspirational film shot entirely on iPhone, created by TBWA\Media Arts Lab.

Directed by award-winning director Peng Fei, Through the Five Passes is a story about the Chinese virtue of resilience and one man’s perseverance in keeping the art of opera alive.

Set in 1987, Gu awaits backstage ahead of his big performance. As he chats with the other entertainers who left the opera to pursue contemporary dance and songwriting, he has flashbacks to struggles he has overcome while dedicating his life to the traditional art: being disciplined as a kid by his master, learning his father is in critical condition before performing, ruining his sister’s performance, and putting up with the jokes his friends and family make about the traditional art form.

As he is about to go on stage, the program manager reduces the hour-long performance to just five minutes. Despite all this, Gu is empowered by his hardships and determined to perform. The film closes with a short reprisal moment to represent the individuals and minor communities practicing the arts of opera in modern China. Watch the Apple film below:


Opera is a key part of Lunar New Year traditions, tracing back to the first dynasty of Imperial China. The majestic art form brims with color and motion and is the perfect subject for pushing the limits of iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max.

The powerful camera features — Action mode, low-light, and Cinematic mode — beautifully capture all the detail and intricacies from the performer’s colorful make-up and costumes to the pristine choreography.

Director Peng Fei helped bring authenticity to the story, drawing on his family’s deep opera background. 

Nominate Someone You know For 5th Annual The Reel Black List OR Reel Women