The film stars celebrated indie actress Agnes Bruckner (A&E’s The Returned, ABC’s Once Upon A Time, The Anna Nicole Story, Murder By Numbers), who also executive produces, and Cuban-American actor Maurice Compte (End of Watch, AMC’s Breaking Bad, Netflix’s upcoming Narcos) in this personal yet universal story about a woman’s journey to self-identity.
“There is a New World Somewhere” begins when Sylvia (Bruckner) returns to her Texas hometown for a friend’s wedding. There, she meets Esteban (Compte), an electrifying stranger, who dares her to join him on a road trip through the Deep South. Although seduced by unknown adventure, the road grows long and Esteban’s mysterious past comes into light. At that moment, Sylvia must face the ultimate challenge – to find the strength to fight for her place in the world and stand tall.
The film’s journey is equally the filmmaker’s reflection on the landscape and culture of the American South. In order to authentically showcase the beauty of the region and its people, Lu purposefully filmed on location in several select Southern cities, with a special focus on the scenic city of New Orleans.
Lu is excited to return the festival and share her first feature film with audiences, especially considering it developed into a personal journey for the filmmaker herself. Lu explains, “At this stage in life, I feel as close to our heroine as I’ll ever be. Abundant in passion but lacking in ways to physically manifest it, this story was a way for me to try to understand myself and fight my own self-doubts.”
Lu has been building a solid reputation on the indie circuit, receiving high-praise and gaining new fans for her work. She has been touted as a rising talent by Short Notice TV and MovieMaker’s Stage 5; highlighted as a ‘Featured Filmmaker’ on Culture Unplugged’s “We Speak, Here”; and was named ‘Film Groundbreaker’ at HATCHfest 2012. Lu’s short films, “Autumn” and “Before the Flood” have earned ‘Official Selection’ nods at numerous festivals around the world, including New York’s Anthology Film Archives, Hong Kong Film Festival, and many others. She also utilized her skills directing and producing music videos, which have been shown on Nickelodeon, MTV Asia, and online with several surpassing 1 million views.
A self-proclaimed “gypsy,” Lu was born in Suzhou, China, and grew up in three very different places: Philadelphia, Eugene, Ore., and Sugar Land, Tex. Early on, she discovered a passion in visual mediums, first through photography, then ultimately into filmmaking. Lu received her BA from the prestigious University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts, graduating cum laude. Lu believes her experience being the constant outsider has allowed her to cultivate a wider, open lens when observing the people, places, and things that exist from place to place. This unique perspective is something she showcases through her work.