Experiencing Interruptions?


An 8-year-old Sophie Cheung from Hong Kong is abandoned by her mother, which in turn forces Sophie to live and connect with her grandmother. Sophie searches for her mother, but her search leaves her more abandoned and more alone.

  • Alexandra Hsu
  • Alexandra Hsu
  • Dominique Holmes
    Fragrant Rice (Feature)
  • Alexandra Hsu
    Tortoise (AFI DWW Short), Returning Home (NYU Short)
  • Malay Prakash
    Choote Saab (Director, Writer, Producer)
  • Alannah Ong
    Key Cast
    Double Happiness, New York Minute, Long Life, Happiness & Prosperity
  • Charlotte Nam Nam Cheung
    Key Cast
  • Siuman Joanna Ko
    Key Cast
  • Project Title (Original Language):
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student
  • Genres:
    Family, Drama, Children
  • Runtime:
    13 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    March 31, 2015
  • Production Budget:
    15,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    Hong Kong
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Asia
Director Biography - Alexandra Hsu

Alexandra (Alle) Hsu was born and raised in Orange County, CA. She is currently an MFA Candidate '15 at NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Asia. Prior to Tisch, Alle earned her Bachelor of Arts from Scripps College of the Claremont Colleges, double majoring in Media Studies (Film) and Asian Studies. Her thesis documentary for her undergraduate degree was entitled, "Women: Cultural Revolution to Capitalist Revolution" and receved the Payton Watkins '09 Media Studies Award and also the Pomona College
Museum of Art, "China Insights" Exhibit Grant in 2011. Alle is currently developing her thesis film, POP!, a mother- daughter dramedy, about a mid-30s Chinese American woman who is suffering from adult acne.

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Director Statement

SOPHIE is a family drama centered on a young girl named Sophie and the new relationship she has with her grandmother, Shirley. The film is about acceptance and the learning to adapt to a new place and a new home. At the start of the film, Sophie is abandoned by her mother, Mary and left at Shirley’s house in Kowloon, Hong Kong.
My own mother, Lily grew up in Kowloon, Hong Kong. She was born in Shanghai and raised in Hong Kong. I wanted to do a story that had some sort of connection to my mother’s time in Hong Kong. The film and the story went through many ideas and concepts over a period of 8 months of writing. However, I wanted to tackle a social issue that I think is prevalent in many parts of Asia, but particularly in Hong Kong and Mainland China. Many children in these areas end up being raised by their grandparents for a few different reasons – mainly because both parents are working and spend their days in the offices. As a result, many children in Asia end up forming an even stronger connection to their grandparents. I wanted to tackle this in SOPHIE.
Actresses Charlotte Cheung and Alannah Ong were great assets and gave me incredible performances throughout the 7 days that we shot the film. Both worked well with one another in creating the grandmother-granddaughter dynamic. Cinematographer Thomas Wood and I worked closely in establishing the style and look of the film. We were both inspired by different films from the region in creating the feeling in the imagery.
The film is a character study on a young girl in a large city who misses her mother, and has a simple want of just wanting to get her permission form signed to go to the zoo. There is an essence, a feeling of the mother throughout the film because this is a moment in Sophie’s life that she will never forget – these are the first moments of the relationship between her and her grandmother, Shirley.