Private Project

Tender is the Kiss

Will he find the mysterious woman who might be the only one to prove his innocence?

  • Longwei Deng
  • Longwei Deng
  • Elaine Wong
  • Jessica Q Yang
  • Cindy Wu
  • Travis Hammer
    Key Cast
    True Detective, Twin Peaks, Westworld, Godless
  • Chloe Hurst
    Key Cast
    The Nice Guys, I Feel Pretty
  • Tony Amendola
    Key Cast
    Annabelle, The Mask of Zorro
  • George Tsai
    Key Cast
    The OA, Mayans M.C.
  • Project Type:
    Experimental, Short, Student
  • Genres:
    Sci-fi, romance
  • Runtime:
    15 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    February 6, 2020
  • Production Budget:
    30,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
    Black & White and Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Longwei Deng

Longwei Deng was born in Henan, China. Then he moved to Shanghai with his family when he was nine. He came to the U.S. in 2010 and studied Television, Radio&Film and Mathematics at Syracuse University. After graduation, he worked in Beijing as a scriptwriter for two years. He co-wrote a Chinese hit TV show Lao Ba Dang Jia and also multiple film scripts with other established writers. After that, he came to USC School of Cinematic Arts in 2016 Spring to pursue his dream in directing. His student shorts films have won multiple international awards. Besides directing, he also produced other projects recently, including a VICE documentary 'Generation Gravity' with Tencent, which gathered 120 million views so far.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

I wrote and directed this film, Tender is the Kiss, after a four-year relationship. I blamed myself for not trying hard enough in that relationship. I started to believe I don't deserve any love because of my flaws. It was the worst and loneliest feeling I have ever had.

The main character in the film, Kamon, has a similar experience. He is between either killing himself or living with guilt for the rest of his life. He doesn't want to feel anything, but he doesn't have any choice as a human being. Emotions are a blessing but also a curse. We'll eventually create something that surpasses us, but there'll always be a part of us in what we create, just like there's always a part of the Maker in us. Which part will be passed on?

We were lucky to find the lead actor Travis Hammer, who was genuine, intense and vulnerable to his own belief. After making the film, we still don't know what's the answer to all the pains people have to go through. I guess if nothing we do matters, all that matters is what we do. To hope is not a bad choice.