Interview with Filmmaker/Animator Siena Kuan (LEMONS)

LEMONS played to rave reviews at the August 2021 Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

First I wanted to make a film with my friends. Quarantine was a wake up call to my fast approaching end of my college career. We hadn’t seen each other or been able to feel the power of teamwork and networking while apart, even with zoom and similar technologies. That being said, I was feeling quite inadequate during quarantine, as I had time to self reflect and unfortunately compare myself to my peers and the world around me. Being close to graduating, I felt an unease that I hadn’t reached “perfection” quite yet and this search is very very tiring. And with social media we are bombarded with people and things that appear perfect, but I began to question what perfection really is. What is my perfection? And I still don’t have an answer. In short I wanted to create a film that reminded, not only me, but everyone that perfection is not what everyone else has, but it is for you to decide.

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

This project took my team a month. I challenged my team to make a film during our winter break.

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

Self Kindness

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

I had never directed a film before. I made it up as I went: recruiting, pitching, creating an animation pipeline, compositing, etc…

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

I was relieved that the message I wanted to send was received. Also I was so touched by everyone’s kind words that I immediately sent the video to my team, because I wanted to show them what we did. 🙂

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?

In college, once I decided to pursue animation. Although when I started I didn’t know I wanted to write and share stories. I didn’t know I could be a leader.

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

It might be “Song of The Sea” or “The Spongebob Movie”.

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

I liked the FilmFreeway process. Everything was clear and straightforward.

9. What is your favorite meal?

My Grandmother’s Steamed Fish.

10. What is next for you? A new film?

I hope to enter the animation industry, most likely as a visdev artist. But if I get that chance I would like to enter the writers room one day. In the near future I am planning on creating a children’s book.


By matthewtoffolo

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

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