That’s right, folks… You may thing we’ve been writing ad infinitum about this, but we’re totally passionate and gung-ho to find the next talented group of Asian American filmmakers! The final deadline is this Friday, July 15 to submit your short film entry to Interpretations. You’ll have until 11:59pm PST to enter this contest, and win a chance to work on a digital project produced and mentored by YOMYOMF Founder Justin Lin!
Now, Justin is currently on his press tour around the world, promoting his latest directorial effort, STAR TREK BEYOND (to be released next Friday, July 22), but when he gets back, he’ll be knee deep in viewing all the selections, alongside other jury members, to pick the semi-final 15 and then the final 3, who will show their winning shorts at the NBCUniversal Short Film Festival on October 19 at the Directors Guild of America and also develop and produce a said digital film project with Justin to be distributed on Comcast and NBCUniversal’s digital platforms.
We’ve been getting some great entries so far, which you can view over at the Interpretations website. There’s some great talent out there, but we’re sure there’s a lot more and hopefully, you’re putting the finishing touches to your amazing short film to be prepped and ready to submit by the Friday deadline.
So, what can be said that we haven’t already written about on why we think Interpretations is so important in building an Asian American creative community?
I’ve been organizing film festivals for over 15 years now and I know how it’s important to build an nurture a community and network for indie filmmakers. As it gets easier to make films, thanks to the digital technology revolution, it’s also more difficult to get your film seen and distributed. Also, as we get inundated with digital content everyday via our Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and other social media feeds, as well as consuming content on our mobile phones and tablets, the marketplace has changed so much that it may seem impossible to forge ahead with a filmmaking career nowadays.
That’s why Interpretations was created. The goal is to make this initiative sustainable and scaleable so that we can build a filmmaking community, work together, crowd resource, and also find opportunities for emerging and talented filmmakers in the new digital landscape, because this is actually an opportune time for Asian American content creators to get things made, produced and distributed.
How, do you ask? Because with our inundation of digital content on a daily basis, we are going to need specially curated and catered content to the consumer/viewer, and that can be something organic via film festivals, initiatives like Interpretations, or YOMYOMF.com’s POV blog section. But, in a world where Netflix algorithms determine what we want to see, niche programming is becoming more relevant and desirable.
Gone are the days where a film or TV series needs to hit every quadrant to be successful. This leads to watered down content that is not authentic. We now live in a time where content needs to be authentic to be relevant and the Asian American experience, however diverse and evolving it is, is here and relevant now. MASTER OF NONE and FRESH OFF THE BOAT are perfect examples of how the Asian American experience has hit the mainstream. Wongfu Productions, Ryan Higa, and Freddie Wong are other success stories that show that Asian American content creators can be successful on their own terms. And course, Hollywood directors like Justin Lin, Jon M. Chu, James Wan, Cary Fukunaga, Karyn Kusama and Jennifer Yuh Nelson are a growing list of successful Asian American directors working it in Hollywood.
There’s definitely a momentum, but at the same time, we need to continue to steer the ship and the only way we can do that is to be making a shit load of content. I mean, lots and lots of content. Tastemakers like Hollywood agents and managers don’t have to leave their desk anymore to find and recruit new talent. They share YouTube and Vimeo videos to each other, where a kick-ass short film online can garner you major attention and a movie deal.
Hey, it does happen and more frequently that you may think. Just on the YOMYOMF side, we’ve secured deals from short films that have been produced under the YOMYOMF aegis that have opened doors to several filmmakers, including participants from our first Interpretations contest.
That’s why the Interpretations concept is so dear to YOMYOMF because we want to provide an opportunity by awarding the 3 winners with a chance to make something (with a budget) and to be mentored by industry pros like Justin. It’s more substantive than a cash prize and a pat on the back. Of course, as the millennials say #YMMV, and it’s up to the winner to seize said opportunity to come up with an amazing concept and produce something very cool and in the end, that’s innate talent as a storyteller.
So again, what are you waiting for? The deadline for Interpretations is this Friday, so get cracking and submit your entry!