NEW YORK — Leslie Kwon, a Korean-American filmmaker from Seattle and now based in New York City, is seeking public backing fro her latest project, “If You Lived Here,” a film she is directing with the goal of broaden conceptions of Asian-American identity, and particularly female Asian-Americans.
The goal of the film is about advancing the topic using artistic integrity, and an agenda to present with a sophisticated approach to the subject matter. The film’s story does so first in its protagonist, ”Emilia,” who is not only Asian, but also a particularly dimensional character who is incomparable to even the most well-intentioned stereotypes that are depicted over and again in film and television. Emilia is played by Japanese-Australian actress, Siho Ellsmore.
This surprising, hyper-reality romance is a short film about two strangers deciding to meet to get rid of old furniture. From this, a questionable connection becomes manifested between the two characters.
“If You Lived Here” examines how mundane, everyday decisions betray our deeper-set motives. In its entirety the film gives testament to the strength of Asian-American females in the arts. The visionary team is comprised of prolific and professional female Asian-American artists; from Kwon as the director and co-writer, to Cindy Ho, a Chinese-American designer at The American Reader, who is also the art director for the film, and Tess Kim, a Korean-American stylist of Tess Money as the costume designer.
The director of photography, Matthew Mendelson, has received several awards and special mentions at festivals for his previous work in China and Japan and for his collaboration with some outstanding, rising Asian-American directors. The production is working with Ran Tea House, a progressive arts venue that unifies and empowers like-minded Asian filmmakers and musicians in NYC, China, and beyond.
At this point, the production is just beginning shooting, and is reaching out to the public for its kickstarter campaign. There is still over $6,000 to raise to help see the project through. The Kickstarter page is at www.kickstarter.com/projects/lesliefake/if-you-lived-here-film. For information contact Leslie Kwon at [email protected] The teaser for the film is online at https://vimeo.com/lesliefake/ifyoulivedhereteaser.
Kwon is now living in Brooklyn. Her previsous films include the lesbian tragicomedy, “Rebound,” in the summer of 2012. The story is based on a Daniel Kim screenplay and follows Kate (Dawn Collet), a smoker, who decides it’s time to get back in shape. She starts training in track field but finds herself distracted by another runner, Jackie (Christine Ahanotu). The chase ensues.
The film captures the onset of their relationship as well as their future power dynamic. The film employs a dreamy, and at times, eerie mood, using extreme close-ups. Kwan’s other film is a surreal short, “Track Meet” in 2011. Previously, she collaborated on the Seattle Civil Rights & Labor History Project.