Given the diverse backgrounds of New York Film Academy’s students and instructors, it’s no wonder we’re well represented in this year’s festival. See which members of NYFA are representing this year’s Cannes Film Festival!
Cannes Finds Liana
New York Film Academy’s filmmaking student Jimmy Chen’s thesis film Looking for Liana was accepted to the prestigious Cannes Short Film Corner. The film follows Steven, a young composer struggling to complete a new piece of music, who wants nothing more than to escape Los Angeles to be alone with his thoughts and find inspiration. His plans are thwarted when he is kidnapped by Gary, an old man with a failing memory and a mission of his own: to scatter his wife’s ashes at the lighthouse where they first fell in love.
Jimmy attended film school in Beijing before joining the New York Film Academy at Universal Studios. Of the school, he says, “It’s amazing. The school [taught] me a lot. I’m really glad I came. There’s loads of opportunities to shoot.”
He says he came up with the concept for the film, which he wrote and directed, while facing troubles in his own life, explaining, “I was struggling with my career and emotions and went [for a drive]. I imagined myself as an old man, reviewing my life and what was important to me.” Inspiration hit him and he went home to start work on the story.
Jimmy shot the film in the summer of 2011 with help from his producer and co-writer, Paris Bauldwin, who we featured on our blog a few weeks ago. Jimmy also worked as art director on Paris’ film, Chrysalis. Both filmmakers were accepted to Cannes and will attend the festivities in May. “Paris and I are going together,” he said. “It’s my first time going to Europe!” Looking for Liana will also screen at the Long Island International Film Expo in New York in July.