Private Project

Sugarland

Motherhood, music, and melancholia. Jennifer Liu and her son, Sam, have spent more than half their lives together on the piano. Now, one week out from their audition at Juilliard, they are closer than ever to achieving their dreams. Or so it seems.

Sam is hesitant. His practice is sloppy, distracted. And the once proud team seems to be falling apart. Join them in a day in their lives, where we discover something entirely simple.

Moms are human too.

Password: Bellbottoms

  • Jason Chiang
    Director
  • Jason Chiang
    Writer
  • Yirou Yu
    Writer
  • Dave Zhou
    Producer
    The Condo (2017)
  • Mike Lew
    Key Cast
    The Condo (2017)
  • Stephanie Ho
    Key Cast
  • Pascal Yen-Pfister
    Key Cast
    Experimenter (2015), Sully (2016), The Defenders (2017)
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student
  • Genres:
    Drama, Musical
  • Runtime:
    16 minutes 23 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    December 19, 2018
  • Production Budget:
    5,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
    Chinese, English
  • Shooting Format:
    RED
  • Aspect Ratio:
    2.37
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    Yes
  • Student Project:
    Yes
Director Biography - Jason Chiang

Born in February of 1997, Jason Chiang grew up in Austin, TX. He's traveled all over the world as a concert pianist and played as part of the drumline in his high school, Westlake High School. In 2015, he decided to go to Columbia University over Manhattan School of Music in order to pursue his passion of filmmaking. However, he has always considered music to be a major inspiration and will always cherish playing and sharing that passion with others.

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Director Statement

My Mom is one of my best friends, but it hasn't always been an easy relationship. She's tough on herself and the people she loves. Growing up, I was very much raised the Tiger Mom way. Piano 30 hours a week (during summer), math competitions, get into an ivy league, earn a medical degree, and have a “successful” life.

Telling her I wanted to do film didn’t go over too well. The week I moved into my college dorm was filled with deafening shouts and holes in hotel room walls. Last year, I decided to take a gap year and it helped me gain some perspective. I’d been told my mother’s story as a kid. She grew up dirt poor, living week to week just for the delicacy of scrambled eggs. Her parents had barely enough to afford her an education and she turned that into a job at Beijing Hospital, one of the most prestigious in all of China. Even after all of that, she decided to move to America to provide me the better opportunity.

It seems blatantly obvious now, but I realized how incredible and inspiring she was. She'd moved to a whole new country, given up everything she was familiar with. All for the sake of her kid. It all made sense suddenly, why she’d been so tough on me.
Skip to now and she’s not only accepting of my passion in film, but completely supportive. It just blew my mind. She’d lived and struggled so much just to be financially stable, and her son looks at her and throws it all out the window, for a humble chance in the film industry. People say you stop growing up by the time you’re 25 but for my mom, that’s simply untrue.

That’s why I wanted to make this project. I think the perspective of mothers isn’t seen enough in films, especially the tough ones, and I want to use music and filmmaking to show that they are appreciated. It’s easy to blame our parents for our problems, and personally I just want to be able to show my mom this film and tell her “I understand.”