UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN, 4min., Canada
Directed by Ngan Kim Luong
‘Until We Meet Again’ is a three minute animated short film exploring the process of grief and the struggle to find acceptance. The film is set in a fantastical setting, with mystical elements and a magical atmosphere, but remains grounded in the very human and real experience and emotions unique to the human experience. The story follows Mai, who embarks on a journey to find her missing sister, only to realise at the end she has to let her sister go.
Get to know the filmmaker:
1. What motivated you to make this film?
This film was inspired by the loss of my mother in 2019. The film was heavily inspired by the process of grief and acceptance I went through trying to come to terms with the sudden and une expected loss of a loved one. I wanted the film to be a comfort for those struggling to move on and learn to accept that death is also a cycle of life and sometimes you have to let things go.
2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?
This film was my thesis film project. The idea came to me during the Summer of 2022, so if you were include my initial ideation the film took me just under a year to complete
3. How would you describe your film in two words!?
4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
The biggest obstacle I faced was controlling the scope of the film. There was a lot of cutting, rewriting and the film went through various major changes simply due to changing circumstances with production limitations. In my opinion the film is not perfect and I'm not sure if I will ever get it to a point where I am completely satisfied. I'm sure every artist can relate to that. There are a lot of things I would love to revisit when time permits.
5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?
I was extremely nervous at first. I've never had such direct commentary and feedback from a setting outside of academia so it was definitely nerve wracking for me. I was so grateful for the thoughtful insight and it really made my day to see people enjoying and reacting to my film. It's one thing to see people watching from a distance, but it was so much more meaningful to really hear directly from the audience.
6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?
I've always loved stories. As a child I grew up with my head buried in a mountain of books. I also grew up watching cartoons like everyone else, and was very much inspired to draw at a young age. When I realised animation was a path I could pursue, it just seemed like the perfect marriage between storytelling and visual arts, two things I have a lot of passion for. Whether it be through illustration, writing or animation, I always try to incorporate a narrative in everything I do. To me the story is the heart of the piece, and no matter how beautiful something is, it feels empty without a narrative at its foundation.
7. What film have you seen the most in your life?
I am a big fan of Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli. I would say Spirited Away is a movie I find myself always coming back to. Everytime I watch it there is always something new I notice that gives me food for thought. I find that a lot of Ghibli films have a unique sense of whimsy that gives me the feeling of childhood nostalgia, but there is a maturity and realism when considering the film's message and philosophy. I think that is why these films are so special to so many people.
8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?
I love the audience feedback. I think that is something very unique that the festival lean in on.
9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?
The experience was a positive one for me, I found everything very easy to navigate and it was a smooth process, no complaints here.
10. What is your favorite meal?
One of my favourite meals is Vermicelli noodles with Lemongrass beef. It is a Vietnamese dish that is very easy to prepare and something my mother would always make for me
11. What is next for you? A new film?
I think for now I am looking for opportunities in the industry. I want to improve my technical skills, because I noticed that was a barrier I faced during the process of making my film. I definitely see this film as something I will revisit because the story is something I deeply care about. Hopefully I can come back to it when I am more able to put on paper what I see in my mind.