By Kelly Strodl
Today we talk with Kayin Cheng, director or LIFE IS SO WONDERFUL a film about two women who dance to win a man, not realizing that what they covet is not exactly what they expected... LIFE IS SO WONDERFUL is screening as part of the In Your Dancing Shorts showcase today at 6PM.
Q: How did you hear about the Newport Beach Film Festival?
My partner pointed it out to me, he came across it through surfing the internet and Newport Beach Film Festival had good reviews.
Q: Tell a little about the story of your film and the production of it.
The story is about two women fighting over a man, it uses dance form to unveil the story. We had a meeting to talk about the story and Raquel, Ruth and Quiqui (the cast members) are all professional dancers, they choreographed all the dance sequences and when they were ready they presented the dances. I only made a few adjustments to ensure it portrayed the emotions required to tell the story.
It was shot in a little village called Arucas about 20 mins away from Las Palmas of Gran Canaria. (Spanish islands of west coast of Africa). The cast and crew were amazing, despite the fact I didn’t speak Spanish very well.
Q: Tell a little about yourself and your story in filmmaking.
I worked in social housing in the UK before I got into film. I studied at Northumbria University, North East of England. I majored in script writing but was also interested in cameras hoping to become a DOP. However, since graduation, I worked in various positions and settled into editing. For 10 years I honed by craft of filmmaking through working as an editor, and camera operator and as a hobby I wrote short scripts.
Q: Your take on the performances of the lead actors, (set backs, triumphs, impressions, good surprises, etc.)
I think one of my main objective was to ensure the performances told the story especially as there is no dialogue. As Ruth, Raquel and Quiqui are professional dancers and not actors. I was a little concerned - I was aware to watch out for their performances and emotional associations for each scene. Working with them and finding that emotional associations they were able to find it.. They can dance, they can act they have natural acting abilities – even though they never studied acting. I was blessed with casting!
Set backs…mmm I think the only set back was me – not knowing how to speak Spanish, Ruth and the Rosa – the first AD spoke English. So, on set there was a lot of translating going on.
Q: What do you do when not making a smash indie film?
Ermm… I like to play chess, collect stamps…no – only joking! I loving eating and learning how to cook food from different cultures. Which forces me to go to the gym – which I don’t really like.
LIFE IS SO WONDERFUL screens Tuesday, May 3 at 6PM at the Triangle Square Theater 8, as part of the In Your Dancing Shorts showcase. Other films showing at that time will be:
· Dad | Gabrielle Lansner
· Salome' 23 | Craig Oty
· Pas de Deux Glacé (Ice Dance of Two) | Natalie Xavier
· Sick Wid It | Ryan Malloy and Briar March
· Nrityagram: For The Love Of Dance | Nan Melville
· Thought Of You | Ryan Woodward
· Unforgotten | Rick Rose
To purchase tickets follow the below link:
Watch the trailer for the film here: