Logline: "A Woman's Gaze" is a story about the struggle and growth of a lesbian tomboy. It realistically explores the bittersweet relationship between a popular lesbian and a previously straight girl. A genuine story spanning across 6 years about finding our identity and discovering the courage to love.
Director: Story Chen
Producer: Story Chen
About the director and producer:
Based in New York now, Story has producing and shooting experiences in Paris, New York City, and Beijing. She focuses on depicting true emotion and struggles of real life. Her films have been picked by major Chinese video websites for front page promotions. She also enjoys shooting fashion videos and TV commercials. Since sophomore year, Story has done four commercials showing on Hong Kong TVB international channel and a few MVs for Chinese pop singers.
Looking for (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists):
Sales agents, buyers, distributors, festival directors, journalists
Funders: ZHONG QING XIN YING
Made in association with: Peng Peng
Release date: May 27th limited release on a Lesbian platform in China.
Congratulations! Why did you make this film?
I made a 4 min short film in my freshman year, which depicts true love transcends nationality and gender. That was a small scope production but was picked up by a lot of lesbian platforms. People say they feel the warmth and encouragement from my work. Then I decided to make a real short film about this topic and keep supporting the LGBT group. As a Chinese filmmaker, I feel such content is really rare in China and most of them did not truthfully depict the situation lesbians face. I conducted lots of interviews to gather true story elements for this film.
Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?
The performances of the actresses are brilliant. They really convey the struggles and love at the same time. The plots in the film touche on their daily life – sex, fights, conflicts, self-dignity… It is a very realistic film about the dilemma lesbians faces. The actresses are cute too and the cinematography is great.
How do personal and universal themes work in your film?
Many of the plots and characterization comes from a very close friend of mine. What she faces is common in lesbians but very unknown to the world outside of the LGBT community. Being hidden away is the hardest part as a lesbian. Universal themes including finding the courage to love and never making yourself have regrets. Such courage is universal in every love relationship.
How have the script and film evolved over the course of their development and production?
The structure of the film evolves in the editing phase. To bridge three different times is a hard task. Some of the bridging elements in the script does not work as well in the real cut. We had to play with the footage. During the production, the time was really limited and the apartment location space is tiny and almost claustrophobic, which adds to the intimacy of the film.
What type of feedback have you received so far?
The MV for the theme song(edited with footage from the film) was well received by Chinese audiences. People love the cinematography and are intrigued by the story. The music also adds a lot to the tone of the film. People who have seen the film love the sex scene because it is not overdone but depicts the passion and dominance right on the spot.
Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
I was thrilled by so far the good comments. Many of the themes that I want to convey are actually picked up by the audience, which gives me great encouragement.
What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on www.wearemovingstories.com?
I am looking for overseas distributors. Also I would love to draw more attention to the Chinese LGBT market. My film is one of the first to be promoted in China and the situation in my country is opening up.
Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message?
I need buyers and distributors and journalist to create more buzz for the film as well as to show the film to more countries than just China.
What type of impact and/or reception would you like this film to have?
I would love the world to understand the dilemma of lesbians and how unfair it is for a girl to be judged and hidden away just because of her sexual orientation. Also I would love to advocate the courage to love anyone you love, and never make her feel shamed.
What’s a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a conversation about this film?
Is career an excuse to hide away your lover?
Would you like to add anything else?
I hope this film could bring more attention to the real situation of lesbians and encourage people to love freely and be proud of themselves.
What are the key creatives developing or working on now?
Director is working on her thesis short film now. Probably a short film set in the 1920s in Shanghai. Think of In the Mood for Love meets Gone with the Wind. It’s an excerpt from an epic drama feature film she wrote. She hopes to try the characters out and use this short as a gate to realize her feature.