Angeltown follows the story of Lola, a Korean Marilyn Monroe impersonator, as she moves through a nighttime Los Angeles landscape of karaoke bars, seedy side streets, and colorful characters.
Interview with Writer/Director Nancy Liu
Congratulations! Why did you make your film?
I had watched an interview with a Marilyn impersonator and it struck me that a person would want to invest so much in being someone else. This got me thinking about Marilyn and how she’s seen as an epitome of glamour and feminine desirability. But where would that leave women of other ethnicities? Or all women who are not Marilyn Monroe? Out of these thoughts came the character of Lola, a Korean Marilyn Monroe.
Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?
This film is deeply personal and by the end of it, no matter what your age, gender, or ethnicity, I hope that something in the main character’s story will have connected with you.
How do personal and universal themes work in your film?
Angeltown is about the search for love and for identity. The circumstances of Lola's life led her to think that she was unlovable. So she decided to become somebody else – in this case Marilyn Monroe, “because everybody loves Marilyn”. But ultimately what she wants - and what we all want - is to be loved for who we are. Lola’s journey in the film represents that – it’s a journey back to herself.
How have the script and film evolved over the course of their development and production?
For me, this film has been about trusting in the process of discovery during each phase of production. The script went through numerousdrafts and the end result is still markedly different in several key moments from the shooting script.
What type of feedback have you received so far?
There has been positive feedback and good dialogue about the film.
Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
Yes, it has. There are several moments where the audience has interpreted something that is different from my original intent. That is always fun for me, because I think that’s a vital part of the viewing experience.
What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on www.wearemovingstories.com?
I would like to be able to get more exposure for the film because I am proud of the work we have done and I think it’s important to see diverse representation onscreen.
Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message?
Film festival directors and journalists would be great in terms of getting the film in front of more eyes.
What type of impact and/or reception would you like this film to have?
I would like to play at some more festivals and ultimately have it made available online.
What’s a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a conversation about this film?
If Marilyn Monroe is an iconic representation of beauty, where does that leave women of other ethnicities, or all women who are not Marilyn Monroe?
What are the key creatives developing or working on now?
I am currently working on the script for a feature-length version of Angeltown. All of the other key creatives are working on different projects in various positions within their discipline.
Interview: September 2016
We are moving stories embraces new voices in drama, documentary, animation, TV, web series and music video. If you have just made a film - we'd love to hear from you. Or if you know a filmmaker - can you recommend us? More info: Carmela
About the writer, director and producer:
Writer & Director
Nancy Liu was born in Taiwan and grew up in San Francisco. A recent graduate of Chapman University’s MFA program, she was a lawyer prior to starting filmmaking.
Emma Pek is from Indonesia and recently graduated from Chapman University’s MFA program. She has produced over a dozen short films.
Jon Komp Shin
Looking for (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists): distributors, film festival directors, journalists
Funders: Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, Nancy Liu, various Indiegogo donors
Made in association with: Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts
Release date: May 2016