Experiencing Interruptions?

Apart, Together

A Chinese teenage girl travels with her mom to States as a translator, in order to find her abandoned sister under the One-child-policy. She’s faced with a decision when she secretly finds her sister——to tell her mom and risk their relationship or to forever keep it to herself.

  • Olivia Hang Zhou
  • Olivia Hang Zhou
  • Blanca Balleste
  • Shavvon Lin
    Key Cast
  • Leann Lei
    Key Cast
    "Jia (Mom)"
  • Micheal Sanford
    Casting Director
    The Artist, Casting Department
  • Lucia Zavarcikova
  • Zhongbo Ren
    Production Designer
  • Alexander Scarfe
  • Yifan Lin
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    18 minutes 46 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    September 22, 2020
  • Production Budget:
    35,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
    Chinese, English
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital 2k
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - American Film Institute Conservatory
  • Directors Guild of America Award

    United States
    Grand Student Prize for best Asian American
  • BAFTA GSA 2021
    Los Angeles
    United States
    Best Live Action Short
  • 44th Asian American international Film Festival
    New York
    United States
    August 20, 2021
    Best Live Action Short
  • Vancouver International Film Festival 2021
    October 8, 2021
    Canadian Premier
    Official Selection
  • Canne Young Director Award
    Los Angeles
    United States
    December 1, 2021
    Gold Screen Award
Director Biography - Olivia Hang Zhou

Olivia is a Directing Fellow at American Film Institute Conservatory. She received both education of film & TV production in China and Sweden. She had worked in fashion and contemporary art fields where she was exposed to different art forms and got a wide range of inspirations. Her passion for film had driven her to study under a famous Production Designer CAO Jiuping who worked as Art Director for KILL BILL. Her films are mainly exploring feminism and trauma from a poetic perspective. She was selected into director’s training camp at FIRST international film festival, her feature script The Reunion got into second round of 2021 Sundance Feature Development Track, and won the best project at 2020 Shanghai International Film Festival SIFF NEXT lab.

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Director Statement

Growing up knowing I have a passed-away sister is hard. As it’s a hole that can never be filled for the whole family, as I know I wouldn’t be born if she’s still alive under the ONE-CHILD-POLCY in China. As she’s this weird intimate stranger figure for me, and no matter how much I tried to be a good daughter, I can never compete with the guilt that my parents had towards her. Although I feel sorry for her, deeply I know, if there’s only one person who has the right to live in the world, that would be me not her, and I guess that’s the choice that everybody will do.
This particular story intends to portray deep consciousness on the loss of innocence, and more importantly—true humanity. What I want to deliver is--selfishness is part of the complexity of humanity, sometimes it comes out of love.
Thus, this is not only a film about this girl, who tries to hide the fact of finding her sister out of the fear of losing her own mom, but about any of us who once might have felt lost and invisible, ashamed of ourselves and have felt hatred towards others when all we hoped was to be discovered. And I wish the audience to feel both mad and sorry for them, but more importantly, to care and understand where the pain comes from. And I do wish that, after watching this film, we can all untangle any emotional block to embrace this sad yet beautiful world.