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An Interview with Film Director Yuchi Tian

Yuchi Tian

Speaking for Women Is Not Equal to Feminism

Yuchi Tian is an award-winning film director based in Los Angeles who graduated from the New York Film Academy. After she came to America, she realized the conflicts between Eastern and Western cultures and hopes to utilize her artistic expertise to speak for women. She said, I am willing to present female stories that may happen in reality from a female perspective, and I hope everyone can see women’s beauty in different aspects and hear their voices.

Yuchi TianTake her work, The Ray of Light, as an example. The film was shot in 2019. In this film, Yuchi conveys her thinking about women’s self-identity and self-consciousness. This work is adapted from a true story – the heroine’s mother died suddenly. She felt her spiritual support collapsed because her mother was the close one who encouraged her and accompanied her to learn piano from her young. She cried day and night, even avoiding touching the piano for a long time. However, her older sister gives her warm encouragement, and the girl has decided to start playing the piano again, even going to participate in a worldwide piano competition.

Yuchi hopes to convey that women will often burst out with incredible abilities when facing major changes and sufferings in life. An ordinary woman born in this world has her own talent. Clichi sat down with Yuchi to learn more about her work, thought process while directing and past inspirations that has helped her become talented and creative film director.

However, Yuchi believes that speaking for women does not mean that we have to stand on men’s opposite side. “I am not a person who advocates myself as a feminist. What I want to show is the inner strength of women,” she says.

C: What kinds of opportunities have inspired you to create works from a female perspective?

It’s because of a discussion with one of my professors in graduate school that inspired truly inspired me. I was told that film production is rooted in the process of understanding culture and sharpening social contradictions.  That there are fundamental differences in many basic concepts between the East and the West. Therefore, filming should start from the familiar culture to create work. 

C: What do you think is the biggest challenge facing women directors

Credibility. I feel male directors are easier to convince people/staff than female directors. I always contribute more time to communicate with my staff.

Yuchi TianC: What film did you enjoy directing the most and why?

The Wasteland. It is my first short film that was shot entire setting outdoor. Weather, lighting, and even scheduling actors are harder to control when we work outside. I learned a lot from this project.

C: Are you currently working on any new projects?

Yes, I am working on a new commercial video and my featured film as well, which will be published next year.

C: Did you have any mentors growing up that inspired you to want to become a director?

The best mentor for me is my grandma. She is a storyteller. I love to listen to her telling stories since I was a little girl, and I read books to find out more interesting things to tell her as well. She always encourages me to meet new people and inspires my curiosity about this world. And also, my professors in my university help me a lot with filming projects.

C: How does it feel to not only be nominated for so many awards but to have won 11 of them?

It is very exciting and encourages me to keep pursuing my dream in this industry.

C: Which award has meant the most to you and why?

Answer: It is hard to tell which one is the most important. They all mean a lot to me. And I appreciate each one of them.

Yuchi Tian has won eight awards for her masterful filming projects and scored twelve additional nominations. She knows that film is where her heart, and will continue this career path with no doubt.

Email Contact: Vera Zhuang

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