Q&A with Ivy Chin

Ivy’s short film ‘Yet;’ is the June winner of our monthly short film contest and an official selection for our 2021 festival. You can watch the trailer below.

What was the inspiration behind making this film?

I’v always been pushing the importance of destigmatising mental illness, and film is a good medium to reach greater audience. Yet; was written without dramatized plots, as it aims to be as authentic and relatable to anyone with mental health concerns would feel. It also aims to act as a reminder for us to be more attentive to our loved ones by truly communicating with them.

What did you learn from the experience making the film?

The greatest takeaway was about my personal growth as a director. Making a film is so much more than just technicality, emotions must be invested heavily too. Especially working on such sensitive topic, I had to ensure I did not misrepresent depression/mental illnesses, I had to put in extra effort in research, reading, and consulting professionals. Furthermore, while directing my main lead, I had to not only deal with my own emotional state, I had to lead her to dig deep into the character, which honestly was very emotional draining. But all these hard work paid off, and I'm thankful for the collaborative effort that came from all crews and talents.

How has the film been received?

I am honored to be selected as the June 2020 winner of Breakout Film Festival, and at the same time receiving several Official Selections for other Film Festivals. I am sincerely grateful.

Personal, I would say the film was a success in delivering the intended message. I have received many comments saying that the film was indeed relatable, that they could really feel the helplessness and pain coming from the main lead. And at the same time, the ignorance and stigma coming from the family members were real too in reality. Hope that Yet; can continue to reach more audiences, and perhaps offer some encouragement to the struggling ones.

What do you love the most about the filmmaking process?

I honestly cannot rule out one process which I love the most about filmmaking, just like filmmaking itself is never a solo job, it is always the collectiveness that makes it so special to me. And I love to surround myself with passionate people, people who constantly inspire me to better myself.

As for Yet; it was fascinating to have plenty open discussions with both the talents and crews, it allowed us to explore all possibilities in different perspectives and point of views of the topic. It also warms my heart to know that there are many people genuinely care about raising mental health awareness.

What is your advice to budding filmmakers making their debut short film?

Write and film a story that you feel strongly about and explore all possibilities in making it come to live. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, and never let opportunity pass you by. Be bold and wild, it is your story, it is your world, only you can own it. Just remember to not lose yourself in the process, stay passionate and stay true. You will eventually be seen.

What are you up to next?

I’m currently working on a few commissioned projects, and at the same time at an early stage of developing my next short film. And ultimately working towards making my first feature. Hope to share more Asian content with all of you soon!