PLEASE DO NOT TELL HER played to rave reviews at the April 2022 FEMALE Film Festival.
1. What motivated you to make this film?
When I was in my third year of high school, my sister was born. I have witnessedher growth and now her sense of independence; I also occasionally pick her up fromextra class institutions. I saw parents swiping their phones and waiting in groups there, or comparing with subtle gestures and emotions; these turned into harmony after their children came out, which is absurd. A child who graduated from kindergarten in China, wearing blue-light glasses and carrying a schoolbag that is almost tall, has to run against the time. A few years later, they also become “former parents”, waiting and competing in their thirties. The strange circle of human education seems to never be suspended, euphemistically called: talent.
2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?
About 5 months. I started to independently think about my first MFA short film in December 2020. Then I chose this idea from the other three, and I started scouting and shooting from January to March, and I finished my editing in May 2021. It is such a long run but I enjoy having this flexible and memorable experience.
3. How would you describe your film in two words!?
Free & Flow
4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
For me, the biggest problem is my lack of experience. I started to independently think about my first MFA short film in December 2020. I was a little nervous at that time because I was a theater background in my undergraduate university, while my classmates had more experience than I. I also have to take online classes at home as COVID-19, so definitely, I am kind of lonely to build up my crew in my city without my film friends’ in-person help. So I have to make this film almost by myself. But each time I rethink the shooting process after this film was seen by different kinds of audiences, I realize that the biggest obstacle brought the biggest freedomto me. I could express myself in the way I wanted as my instinct flows through. I could film footage whenever I found the connection between the surrounding environment and my film. I could also edit it and make all these connections happen to show how I link the story in my style and make it fully land. Most importantly, lots of non-professional people start to love film either by performingin my film (some are my students, some are my relatives) or by doing props.
5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?
I was a little shocked because the feedback usually shows in words format. It is the first time that my film was screened outside China, facing audiences from different backgrounds. So honestly, I did watch it after a cup of coffee. And I found that I enjoy hearing a lot of new voices, such as the explanation about the film pace can be understood in a talent thinking pace. That is quite an inspiring video.
Watch the Audience Feedback Video:
6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?
When I am confident to finish a full and clear story talk myself, I am not disturbed and worried about the story itself. It means that I was pushed by a story. It gives me motivation and nutrition to develop and visualize, so I am ready to face all potential problems and beat all these challenges.
7. What film have you seen the most in your life?
I love seeing comedy, especially black-humor films, like Woody Allen and Wes Anderson.
8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?
I really appreciate there are growing number of film festivals comes out, which means filmmakers can have more opportunities to show their films and get feedback to make progress in their filmmaking career. For me, that would be more supportive for me if the financial help can care for us , like the filmmaking bonus and the filmmaking training camp.
9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?
I love the FilmFreeway platform. I made new friends, and I also saw the diverse films here. I will continue to post my film here and make more connections happen globally.
10. What is your favorite meal?
I love Steamed buns. My mom was a baker and I really enjoy eating her homemade buns. It is better than any desserts. I even dream to have a buns-cafe shop in the future.
11. What is next for you? A new film?
I am not sure frankly since the pandemic background. I am now in quarantine in my hometown. I am still revising my first feature script and hope it can be seen and get cooperation with more film festivals. I also plan to make my next short before I go to America this September.