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Caribbean Life, November 13-19, 2020 17
Xin Fang Brings Awareness to Important Issues at Film Festivals
With a talent for meshing important issues into film, Xin Fang is not letting 2020 be an issue to slow
her down. If anything, Fang has pushed through the global pandemic with grace, attending numerous
film festivals and events highlighting her latest film, BEFORE HE STARTS.
Her documentary has gotten attention across the globe for the culturally and socially relevant
content portrayed in it. Her ability to incorporate diverse stories with appropriate and impactful film
editing has made way to the successful year she has had.
Fang answers questions regarding the many festivals her film has been involved in as well as the
content she currently is working on and what the future holds for her work. Her ability to open up
about difficult subject matter while humbly speaking of her success shows just how fearless Fang is
in the film industry.
Q: What interviews have you been involved with recently?
A: I just finished a virtual Q&A with Cliff Froehlich, the executive director of St. Louis International Film
Festival. I also did a virtual Q&A with Michelle Dezember, the director of the Contemporary Art
Museum in St. Louis, Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020.
Q: Who inspires your work and why?
A: I am inspired by Zhang Hongtu’s artwork, philosophy, and experience as an immigrant artist who
came to the United States in the late ‘80s. I’m equally inspired by his experience as a Chinese
American, something I share with him living between America and China as a resident alien. The more
time I’ve spent with Hongtu, the clearer I know what my film will be about.
Q: Do the immigration challenges from your past impact how you prepare and edit film?
A: The challenges I experienced being an immigrant in the United States eight years ago, play a part
in my vision as a filmmaker and editor.
Q: What festivals will showcase BEFORE HE STARTS?
A: I’m grateful that my first film has been viewed, selected, and recognized by many film festivals - not
to mention St. Louis Film Festival. I received praise for the balance I create with art focusing on
Zhang Hongtu’s heavy history as well as Hongtu’s current situation. This film will be screened at
Cinema St. Louis online on Nov. 6, and has already been screened at the Tallgrass Film Festival, which
is another great opportunity to screen my film.
Q: Who do you recommend watch your film?
A: I’m thrilled that my film can be recognized by a wide range of audiences. I’m excited and looking
forward to making documentaries that speak for my community and to my community.
Q: What projects are you working on?
A: I am currently working on a few film projects and they all talk about the issues that I care about:
women, identity, race, gentrification, a rapid growth of elder population and etc. Right now, I’m a video
journalist for the South China Morning Post (SCMP). It is the oldest and one of the most prestigious
newspapers in Hong Kong, founded in 1903, and covers news in Asia. I pitch, produce, film, and edit
video news for SCMP daily.
On the filmmaking side, I’m currently working on a film that talks about the right, and price, for
women to choose their reproductivity. It takes place in mainland China - I am working as an editing
consultant for this project. This film is a feature-length documentary that is currently involved in
several pitching forums in China, such as ONEIWFF, the only film festival in Asia that aims to support
films that are directed and produced by woman-identifying filmmakers.
This new film will discuss how it feels to be a young, educated woman encountering opinions and
voices from family, society, and from within. It will be a good representation of the new generation in
China and it will attract attention in the global film market.
Q: What are your plans when it comes to editing film and spreading awareness of these important
issues in the United States?
A: There’s a project that is still in the pre-production stages called SAVING CHINATOWN (working title).
I’ve been working with the producer since the beginning and it will be a hybrid style of verité and
historical documentary discussing the past, present, and future of Chinatown after a catastrophe.
Personally and professionally, I’m well-connected with the Chinatown in New York for many reasons,
so I’m very excited about this project to work as an editor and to work with producers and director.
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