Apple got famed director Peter Chan to make a Chinese New Year short film – and it’s a real tearjerker

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Reunions are a big deal for Chinese people during the Chinese New Year, and Apple is clearly aware of that.

With the Chinese New Year holidays coming up, the American tech giant has unleashed its latest marketing weapon – a tearjerker video centred around the idea of family reunions during the Spring Festival.

The emotional film was directed by famed director Peter Chan Ho-sun, who has in the past been called “the most valuable filmmaker” in Hong Kong for creating some of Chinese cinema’s greatest hits, including He’s a Woman, She’s a Man; Comrades: Almost a Love Story; and Perhaps Love.

Filmed entirely on the iPhone X, with support of additional hardware such as drones, the film “Three Minutes” is said to be based on a true story.

The seven-minute clip tells the story of a train attendant who gets just three minutes to reunite with her son during the holiday season.

As she works the holiday shift helping people get home to their loved ones for the holiday, she herself is unable to reunite with her son during one of the busiest periods of the year.

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With a tinge of guilt, the attendant admits to being stern with her son because she hardly gets the chance to mother him, and is worried he will misbehave when in the care of his aunt.

The film follows the woman’s emotional journey as the train she is serving on pulls into the station where her son has come to meet with her. But the train is bound to depart again, and all they have is three minutes to find and greet each other.

The young boy first fails to see his mother calling out to him on the arriving train, then has  trouble wading through the crowd to get to her.

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When he finally meets her, all he wants to do is recite the multiplication tables she had last instructed him to memorise.

Though she tries to save precious time by stopping him, the boy seems determined to show his mother what he has accomplished, and he continues all the way until she is forced to board the train and shut the door for departure.

It may have been a short reunion, but it probably meant the world for the duo.

With the release of “Three Minutes” ahead of Chinese New Year, Apple’s film has the potential to appeal to an audience much larger than mainland China.

Apple Singapore’s YouTube channel alone has so far registered close to 1.2 million views for the video in less a week.

Watch the full video below: