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June, a standby dancer, is obsessed with dancing and wants to learn solo choreography with the lead dancer Lauren. However, as soon as she wins the opportunity from Lauren, she is distanced by the group. Thus, she decides to cancel her rehearsal schedule with Lauren and fixes her relationship with the others. When she thinks her life returns to normal, Lauren gets injured during the rehearsal for unclear reasons and has to quit the practice. Feeling guilty about Lauren’s injury, June wants to fill her position as the only person who learned her part to secure the coming show. However, she has to face the same isolation again when she does so.

  • Xueni YANG
    Director
    Fishbowl; "Mother"
  • Xueni Yang
    Writer
    Fishbowl; Selfish Me
  • Xueni Yang
    Producer
  • Daria Vlasenko
    Producer
    "Mother"
  • Adéla Sluková
    Key Cast
    "June"
  • Klara Hovorkova
    Key Cast
    "Lauren"
  • Jin Yuan Liu
    Cinematographer
    Cornered Rat; "Mother"
  • Claudia Cazzorla
    Costume Designer
  • Emmanuela Mastora
    Set Designer
  • Camila Fawape
    Music Composer
  • Michelle Tseng
    Editor
    Fishbowl; "Mother"
  • Hana Kašpárek Vyšínská
    Sound Designer
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student
  • Genres:
    Coming-of-age, drama
  • Runtime:
    15 minutes 3 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    June 3, 2021
  • Country of Origin:
    Czech Republic
  • Country of Filming:
    Czech Republic
  • Language:
    English
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital
  • Aspect Ratio:
    1.85:1
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    Yes - FAMU - Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague
  • FEST - New Directors New Films
    Espinho
    Portugal
    June 25, 2022
    World Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Flicker's Rhode Island International Film Festival
    Providence
    United States
    July 29, 2022
    Semi-Finalist
  • Young Director Support Project
    Beijing
    China
    June 27, 2022
    Asian Premiere
    Finalist / Official Selection
  • Greenpoint Film Festival
    New York
    United States
    August 6, 2023
    North American Premiere
    Official Selection
  • YoFi Festival
    New York
    United States
    November 18, 2023
    Official Selection
Distribution Information
  • FAMU - Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague
    Distributor
    Country: Czech Republic
    Rights: All Rights
Director Biography - Xueni YANG

Xueni Yang is a dancer and filmmaker born in China. She has received her B.A. at Sarah Lawrence College where she concentrated on animation, performing art and literature. In 2018, She continued her education at Film and TV School of Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (FAMU) as a film directing student. In 2019, she worked as a script development at Xi’an Film Studio. The following year, she became an assistant director for Ran Li’s feature film Till Love Do Us Part. She also has worked with many other film professionals and artists such as Fan Zhang (Bridging The Dragon), Daniel Fu Dong (The Monkey King 2), Margret Murphy (Leonard Soloway’s Broadway), Ernest Abuba (You For Me For You), Robin Starbuck (The Stag’s Mirror).

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Director Statement

When I wrote this film, it was the time that the China-America relationship got worse. At the same time, increasing censorship was enforced in China. As a Chinese who spent the past 10 years in the U.S., I felt pressured to censor myself and to choose a side. It reminds me of my time in the dance company of my middle school. Everyone was expected to follow the rule, be silent during the training, and not speak against the head. There was one girl who was an excellent dancer but was disliked by everyone for being too different. I found Czech dance groups have the same collective culture. So I decided to combine these experiences together and explore the relationship of an individual with her group through dance. June is pushed to choose between her friends and the lead dancer Lauren. As June tries to get along with the group, she eventually realizes her true want. Finally, she decides to go her own way after witnessing Lauren’s injury in a seemingly accident. In the film, everything becomes so silent because of the authority. A person will have to observe closer to learn the truth.