Fiona Lu is the director, art director, and animator of “To Be Fiona“. The film will be featured on the X1 Asian American destination in this month’s Coming Home collection. We had the pleasure of asking Fiona what inspired her filmmaking journey and how her Asian American heritage influences her work.
Tell us about your film featured on X1 this month!
Fiona Liu: When Fiona’s past-self showed up at the door, a bond between past and present begins to form. The story is based on my personal experience of childhood and growing up.
How did you get into filmmaking?
FL: I started to watch a lot of animated film in high school which changed my life completely. After I got into college and majored in industrial design I felt like my heart was longing for animation and film. So I just decided to transfer to America and study what I really loved. Here I am!
What are some films and/or filmmakers that have inspired you?
FL: My favorited animated film has always been “Mary and Max.” I watched it high school and couldn’t forget. I’m also a big admirer of Ingmar Bergman and Yasujirō Ozu. Basically, I just loved a lot of films from the old times.
Do you have a favorite Asian American film?
FL: I really like “The Wedding Banquet” and “Pushing Hands” by Ang Lee. I’m not sure they are considered Asian American films but I think they perfect examples of presenting the conflict and understanding between western and eastern culture.
How does your Asian heritage influence your work?
FL: My family and culture will always be a big support for me. I think there is still a lot to dig and explore in Chinese culture. To be able to tell a Chinese story universally and let the world see another bit of China would be something I’d love to work on in the future.
What is your outlook on the state of Asian American cinema?
FL: I think with the expanding community and more young people interested in the film industry Asian American cinema will definitely grow faster and do better in the future. Pixar’s “Coco” and the short “Bao” directed by the Pixar’s first Asian director is showing us more possibilities of how different culture could still be appreciated and loved. I wish there will be more and more stories like those be told and resonated with the wider audience.
What’s next for you?
FL: I still have a lot to learn. I plan to apply more motion graphic for my next short, so I’m getting myself ready for that which is very exciting. I will simply keep drawing, writing, and animating.
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