Short Film Study Abroad 2: The Daydreaming Bunny Premiered in New York
Short film Study Abroad 2: The Daydreaming Bunny (Study Abroad 2) premiered on July 31, 2015 at the JCC Manhattan. Director Yung-Jen Yang, producer Cathy Jiang, director of photography Gordon Yu, assistant director Bianca Yeh, lead actresses Yi Liu and Claire Hsu, animator Pei-Jung Wang and composer Dong Liu attended the event to discuss the making of Study Abroad 2 and some behind-the-scene stories. More than two hundred people came to the screening.
Study Abroad 2 is a drama with animation about Xiaotong, a Chinese art student fighting for her printmaking dream in New York City. As in the Study Abroad debut, the heart-wrenching scenes are inspired by true events faced by students pursuing their dreams in a foreign place. The acting and production of this sequel are more professional than the previous one thanks to funding from Qubit Ocean Fund, Inc., executive producer Dennis Wu, and film sponsor CPT.
During the Q&A session, the audience was impressed by the more professional and higher quality film that the crew has made this time, and they were so touched by this inspirational film. One of the audience members, David Hou, co-founder of DramaFever and an experienced New York film producer, tremendously supported this film. He said: ”I am so happy to see the great improvement of the film as well as the growth of Asian filmmakers in New York. From my past 10 years of experience in this field, I am confident to say that they will have a bright future ahead for their wonderful work.”
Producer Cathy Jiang explains the motivation: “I hope it will give those in China a better picture of our lives abroad so they can understand and encourage their friends overseas.”
Writer & director Yung-Jen Yang approached the sequel with an image in mind: “I saw a forlorn art student in the luxurious streets of New York, dejectedly left to sell her artwork on the street. Anyone who has ever left their home hopes their hard work and talent receives recognition; hopes they can not only survive, but thrive, in this new city; just as artists hope someone who will understand their art will find their artwork.”
The director-producer pair reprised their collaboration to bring their visions together. Director Yang received notable recognition from media outlets including，NBC News、CCTV、China Daily、Sinovision for Study Abroad after its New York City premiere on December 5, 2014. His previous work includes the directing horror short film Sweet Sixteen, which was recognized by Cityvisions, the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival, the L.A. Thriller Film Festival, the Winter Film Awards and by New Filmmakers NY. He is also known for being the director of photography of My Hair Is Not Black, which was rewarded the “Most Original Award” in the Asian American Film Lab 72 Hours Film Shootout.
Lead actress Yi Liu shares the same vision for Study Abroad 2 to deeply influence the Chinese international student community. Yi joined the production after reading the script that seemed to describe parts of her own story. In the last scene of the film when Xiaotong’s mother acknowledges the dedication it took to produce the art exhibition and says that “taking care of yourself is not easy,” Yi shed tears because she had many similar conversations with her parents about pursuing a career in film. Like her character, she has overcome obstacles to star in the SXTVS film Swim With Me and Adan Aliaga-directed film The Walker. Liu Yi’s other acclaimed work includes the drama Murphy’s Law: Group Therapy Gone Wild and the documentaries Winter Chronicle and Woman.
Study Abroad 2 will be released on Youku and Youtube immediately following the screening. The production team is working on the script for the next film, and the Study Abroad platform is being developed to support future projects. All sponsorships and donations are currently welcomed.
About Study Abroad Film:
Inspired by 2012 USC-Gun-Shooting event and the untrue media report along with the negative comments by mass public on Internet, STUDY ABROAD is a “based on true stories” short narrative. Released in December 2014, the short film has caught the attention of more than 50 major media outlets including NBC News, China Daily, CCTV and Fortune. The topic of the film is about correcting untrue stereotypes of international students, a topic that has received more than 3 million mentions on social media. Now this short film has been transformed into an online platform for all international students to participate and raise their own voices.