Filmmaker Spotlight: Kai Yu Wu

The X1 Asian American Film & TV destination will feature “The One That Got Away,” written and directed by Kai Yu Wu. You can find the film in the Lunar New Year collection this February. We had the chance to ask Kai about her inspirations, filmmaking journey, and how her Asian American heritage impacts her work.

Image Credit: Kai Yu Wu

Tell us about your film featured on X1 this month!

Kai Yu Wu: It’s a twisty romance! It was conceived and shot in 4 days while I was on set producing an episode of a TV show. I was lucky enough to get Justin Chon and Jessica Henwick to star in it. I also had an incredible crew that made everything happen within the span of 4 days.

Image Credit: Kai Yu Wu

How did you get into filmmaking?

KW: I made a bunch of shorts in college and fell in love with that insane process. I was always a writer and the idea that I can bring what I wrote to life, exactly the way I envisioned it, is something that’s very appealing to me.

What are some films and/or filmmakers that have inspired you?

KW: Wong Kar Wai is my favorite director and honestly every single one of his movies inspires me. I also love “Her”. Todd Haynes is incredible and I’m obsessed with “Carol”.

Do you have a favorite Asian and/or Asian American film?

KW: “Fallen Angels” by Wong Kar Wai is my favorite movie ever.

How does your Asian heritage influence your work?

KW: Restraint is something I love to explore in my work and I think that stems from my upbringing, being in a culture that is traditionally not very expressive. So much goes unsaid and I find that self-control very fascinating.

Image Credit: Kai Yu Wu

What is your outlook on the state of Asian American cinema?

KW: “Crazy Rich Asians” has opened a major door for Asian Americans in Hollywood and if we continue to push out great Asian American stories and characters, whether it be a comedy or drama or genre, I have very high hopes!

What’s next for you?

KW: I just sold a show to Freeform so I will be writing the pilot. On the directing front, looking to make a short in Taiwan sometime this year! And eat at the Taiwanese night market.


Come back each month when you want to know what to watch. Remember, if you’re unsure, just say “Asian American” into your X1 Voice Remote to discover more Asian American content. There’s more entertainment waiting for you!

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