Run Out Of The Shadow

When model student and class president Xie gets caught cheating in the final exit exam, she must help her opportunistic nemesis Iris escape the locked-down boarding facility during the next exam, or risk ruining her reputation and her future.

  • Kaile Liu
  • Kaile Liu
  • Yuanze Huang
  • Yidi Liu
    Editor & D.O.P
  • Mengxin Cao
    Key Cast
    "Yuan Xie"
  • Qianer Chen
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student
  • Runtime:
    14 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    June 16, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    3,500 AUD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital, Panasonic, SONY
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - University of Sydney
Director Biography - Kaile Liu

Kaile Liu is a Chinese-born filmmaker, who has a strong focus on performance direction and female-centric stories. With a deep passion for storytelling and a strong commitment to advocating for gender equality, Kaile's work as a director revolves around telling empowering narratives that highlight the experiences and voices of women.

Kaile has always been fascinated by the power of storytelling. She refined her skills by studying film and media and gained valuable experience as an editing assistant on Bondi Rescue S17 for CJZ Production. Her work in the film industry has allowed her to explore her feminist beliefs and weave them into her characters and narratives. She also founded Kaile Studio, where she has been instrumental in helping start-up companies such as Vidup, VCMM, and Digital Reserve create compelling commercial promotional videos. Her expertise in editing and her creative vision have contributed to the success of these projects.

As a trailblazing young female director, Kaile Liu continues to make her mark in the film industry. With her talent, dedication, and unique voice, there is no doubt that Kaile will continue to make a lasting impact in the film industry. Her Master's thesis project, Run Out of The Shadow, showcases her ability to tackle challenging subjects and deliver thought-provoking storytelling.
As the director of the film, Kaile exhibits her unique artistic vision, exploring themes of self-discovery and overcoming adversity.

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Director Statement

Is there a place scarier than prison in this world?

In a boarding school in China, students are granted a mere two days of vacation every two months. They sport identical short haircuts, wear deep blue uniforms, and adhere to a strict military-like schedule. Waking up at five in the morning, they have seven minutes to gather on the playground, hands raised above their heads, reciting classical poetry. They even have to eat standing up, all in the name of efficiency.

Each student is like a screw on an assembly line, diligently working and afraid to make the slightest mistake.

In such an environment, Yuan Xie was born naturally. With her short student haircut and the name of her dream university engraved on her desk, she obediently follows every reasonable or unreasonable command from her teachers. I hope she is braver than I am, so I named her Yuan, which means "eagle." I hope she can soar to great heights but also occasionally pause beneath the evening sun to feel the breeze.

In this film, tentatively titled "Run Out of The Shadow," we aim to explore the suffocating nature of conformity and the longing for freedom and self-expression. Set against the backdrop of a rigid educational system, we follow Yuan Xie's journey as she grapples with her own desires and the expectations imposed upon her.

At its core, "Run Out of The Shadow" examines the complex dynamics of trust and betrayal. Xie's initial intention to cheat and frame Iris sets the stage for a thrilling cat-and-mouse game, where the power dynamics constantly shift. The film explores the moral dilemma faced by the characters as they navigate their choices, ultimately questioning the boundaries of right and wrong.

Throughout the narrative, we wanted to highlight the importance of genuine connections and emotional vulnerability. Xie and Iris, initially adversaries, gradually develop an unexpected bond as they collaborate on their escape plan. Their shared experiences and vulnerabilities forge a unique friendship that transcends the superficial competition within the school.

I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the incredible behind-the-scenes team who brought this film to life. Kimmy, the producer, played a vital role in ensuring the smooth execution of the production, while DP Haven captured the essence of the characters and their emotional journeys with stunning visuals. I am also thankful for the guidance and mentorship provided by George and Anna, whose wisdom and expertise were invaluable throughout the filmmaking process.