Private Project

Red

Zhuang, a young woman who longs to be a poet, is coerced by her auditor mother into a soul-sucking accountant job. She develops an odd vision of the color red after the death of her grandmother, the only person who believes in Zhuang’s poetic gifts. Drifting into a dream-like state, Zhuang writes more poems and jeopardizes her work performance. The morning after her mother destroys Zhuang’s notebook of original poems, Zhuang wakes to find her grandmother making her a bowl of red bean soup. Zhuang drinks the soup and makes a decision.

  • Yichi
    Director
    The Lucky One, Foreign Uncle
  • Yichi
    Writer
    The Lucky One, Foreign Uncle
  • Joyce Yueyi Xing
    Producer
    In the Dusk
  • Yichi
    Key Cast
    "Zhuang"
  • Liping Yan
    Key Cast
    "Mother"
  • Huanzhang Zhang
    Key Cast
    "Chen"
  • Shijun "Maomao" Chen
    Director of Photography
  • Beibei Hu
    Production Designer
    The Lucky One
  • Tong Wen
    Editor
  • Moni Jasmine Guo
    Original Score
    Summer Ends, The Lucky One
  • Jiaqing Audrey Gu
    Sound Designer
    In the Dusk
  • Project Title (Original Language):
  • Project Type:
    Short
  • Genres:
    Fantasy, Drama, Social Issue, Magic Realism
  • Runtime:
    23 minutes 49 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    April 1, 2022
  • Production Budget:
    35,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    China
  • Country of Filming:
    China
  • Language:
    Mandarin Chinese
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    Yes - UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television
  • Vancouver Asian Film Festival (Canadian Screen Awards qualifying)
    Vancouver
    Canada
    November 3, 2022
    World Premiere
    Official Selection
Director Biography - Yichi

Yichi is a Chinese filmmaker whose films explore the human predicament in fantasy and magical realism settings. Her previous works have been selected for the Palm Springs International ShortFest, Hollyshorts Film Festival, Vancouver Asian Film Festival and Flickers' Rhode Island International Film Festival (Semi-Finalist) among many others, as well as won the Jury Award at DGA Student Awards and the Audience Award for Best Short Film at the South Asian Film Festival of America. Yichi is a recipient of awards from the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and the Edie and Lew Wasserman Fellowships.

Yichi received her MFA in Directing from UCLA and her BA in Film Studies from Boston College. Yichi is currently in post-production for the short film Dream Lollipops, and is developing a feature screenplay based on her short film Red.

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Director Statement

Set against the backdrop of China's hectic 996/007 (9am to 9pm, 6 days a week or 24/7) work culture, the film Red explores the dilemmas many young Chinese people face - should we follow the crowd and bury our yearnings, or cling to our heroic dreams in this mundane and exhausting life?

The story originates from my recurring dream in which I am a pig who refuses to eat for fear of becoming people’s food. I used to have this dream whenever I felt trapped by my circumstances. Young people in China nowadays are lonely because they face challenges that are vastly different from those faced by previous generations. Under conventional expectations, we get lost in a fast-evolving culture as we live through our extended early adulthood. Individual dreams are trivial, and individual faces are lost in the haze. We are in danger of becoming cogs in a massive, fast-moving wheel far from our natural joys.

The irreconcilable generational gap, the difficult but priceless pursuit of dreams, and, most importantly, the courage and strength required of individuals to deviate from norms all come together in this magical realism story of lost love and reawakened dreams.