Tell us about yourself. What inspired you to become a filmmaker?
I learned painting in my childhood. I studied graphic design and modern art in my university. With the experience in diverse forms of art, I can go beyond the boundary of graphic design and develop my skills in multimedia, animations and digital video. Finally, I was deeply fascinated by film, a comprehensive form of art and expression. At that time, I liked Steven Spielberg’s films E.T. and Close Encounter of the Third Kind. I was greatly shocked by the two films. In 2004, I came up with the idea of making a film which was never made. So, I started writing my first screenplay "Spirit of the Earth Lula". Last, this screenplay was adapted into a fiction.
When we are kids, we must have watched the starry sky in the deep night. We would point at a star and ask, “Where is it?”
Talk about your last work. What are some of the challenges you faced during production?
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many things to be postponed and abandoned. New filmmakers can have a hard time finding funding. As much quality as possible on a very low production budget. A lot of things need to learn to do, so that their various aspects become more professional.
What makes you want to tell stories? In other words, what are the themes/issues you want to incorporate into your work?
Traditional culture and spiritual growth. I think we can explore and combine the elements of diverse culture. For example, make a film in the way for western audience to tell a story about Eastern culture and philosophical ideas。 In one word, to apply the film making and operating experience to develop more Eastern and Chinese stories.
Please tell us about your vision and your method of approaching a new project?
I hope that in the coming years, new works (short and feature) will continue to be made. Can have better results in international film festivals. The new project will be based on the existing conditions and limited budget. I will first find actors who are interested, and then communicate with them to complete the script together.
Who are your filmmaking influencers? What are the films that were influential for you?
Steven Spielberg: E.T., Close Encounter of the Third Kind, Purple, Schinder’s List and Saving Private Ryan
Alfred Hitchcock: Rear Window, North by Northwest and the Birds
Ingmar Bergman: Wild Strawberries
Federico Fellini: Eight and a Half
Clint Eastwood: Million Dollar Baby and Gran Torino
Wu Yonggang: Goddess
Cai Chusheng: The Song of Fishermen
Akira Kurosawa: Dream, The Seven Samurai, In the Woods, Chaos
Hirokazu Koreeda：Our Little Sister，Shoplifters，Nobody Knows
Ryûsuke Hamaguchi：Drive My Car，Wheel Of Fortune And Fantasy
Park Chan-wook: Old Boy
Sang-soo Hong：The Woman Who Ran
Santosh Sivan: Ashoka the Great
How do you think the industry is changing? How has COVID affected independent filmmaking/creation?
COVID-19 has created a crisis and an opportunity to reallocate resources across the industry. The alternation of old and new. Many films will not be able to proceed normally due to financial problems and cycle problems, and the number of films will be greatly reduced.We need to better control the cost and reduce the cost while ensuring the artistic level.
What advice would you give to aspiring artists? What are some of the things they must follow/avoid?
Practice and experiment. Confident and humble. Start with what you can do. Start with small victories.
Do you think films/stories can bring about a change in the world?
I thought it would, but NOW I think it can change a few people and things.
What do you think people like to watch these days? Has the pandemic changed people's taste?
Comedy, light, reflect real life, spectacular alternative, spirituality related film.
The pandemic has led more people to watch movies online, but people are still going back to the cinema after the pandemic. The pandemic has temporarily changed the focus of attention.
Please tell us about your upcoming projects.
《Madonna of the East Jinggu Chen》Documentary and《The Legend of Mo Xiang》Book of Changes Documentary is in post production.
《The Crane of Kunlun》a short modern Chinese kung fu film that also serves as a sample film. The coming-of-age story of a Kung fu girl.
《Gemini 》 the story of a beautiful writer whose souls swap as she searches for meaning in life.
《The Family Of Soul》 an international co-production film in preparation, English dialogue, a story about an immigrant family in China.
We are going to hold a short film week in Shanghai to help more young Chinese directors go to international film festivals.