Interview with Director Elen JI (DINNER FOR TWO)

DINNER FOR TWO was the winner of BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY at the March 2018 Female FEEDBACK Film Festival in Toronto.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Elen Ji: The film is based on my real life. My husband is a strict vegetarian, but I am a meat lover. When we got married and moved in together, the problems of different habits kept popping up, and each of us wanted to be the “Boss”. This impact forced me to examine my marriage, and to think about the way to get along with each other in a relationship. This experience triggered my desire to create, and I decided to tackle this subject in a light and humorous tone.


2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this short?

It took about three month to finish the work. During the production, I was actually carrying a baby (7month), so I needed to finish everything before the delivery. Fortunately, the whole crew is very open and efficient, and we come up with a lot of interesting ideas during the making process.


3. How would you describe your short film in two words!?

Fresh & sincere.


4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

There are two facets. Physically, I need to work intensively under the time pressure by carrying a baby. Mentally, I need to think really precisely about how to arrange the structure and delivery the message in a 15min short film.


5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

I feel really happy and grateful. The audience and the host provided varying interesting perspectives, bringing more meanings to the film itself. 

To my mind, the greatest meaning of making a film is to communicate. To see people around world who could access to this film and echo with it, that’s really the greatest encouragement to a filmmaker. I will share the feedback video with my crew.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

6. How did you come up with the idea for this short film?

Please see Q1.


7. What film have you seen the most in your life?

Different genres. But most of them are related to human’s real situation.


8. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are you feelings of the submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?

It’s very handy and informative. It introduces to me different kinds of film festivals and provides a channel for me to release my work around the world. 


9. What song have you listened to the most times in your life?

Jazz, folk and Classical.


10. What is next for you? A new film?

Yes, I’m now preparing a new film. It’s also a story coming from my own experience, but it’s about another kind of relationship in a family. Let’s wait and see~



Interviewer Matthew Toffolo is currently the CEO of the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival. The festival that showcases 20-50 screenplay and story readings performed by professional actors every single month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto, and Los Angeles at least 3 times a month. Go to for more information and to submit your work to the festival.


By matthewtoffolo

Filmmaker and sports fan. CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival


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