I think that all Asian film fans can agree that a lot of films in our meager collections are firmly rooted in the past. Looking at the shelf of DVDs just above my computer, I see that only a small handful were filmed in the last twenty years, while the others are a firm mish-mash of films from decades prior. Because of our firm worship of the past, it’s easy to forget about new filmmakers and contemporary productions. I mean, why invest time and/or money in new filmmakers when Akira Kurosawa and Edward Yang films come off as the filmic equivalent of Shakespeare; i.e. what else needs to be said on film about Asian society after their films?
Well, even Yang and Kurosawa had to get their starts somewhere, as do all young filmmakers. Luckily for these youngsters, there’s no longer the reliance on the studio system, begging, or multiple credit cards taken out in pets’ names. Instead, they can take funding requests directly to the people using the very internet that you’re reading this article on. Case in point, Leon Cheo’s The Three Sisters (三朵花) short project.
Back in episode 21 of our podcast, we mentioned investing a few dollars into Leon’s latest – we’ve seen a couple of his past projects and can say the kid has potential – and, since then, he’s received several more backers, but as of us posting this, he’s still about $2500 down and there’s only just over three weeks left in his campaign. Donation, of course, includes several perks (copies of the finished product on DVD, invitations to test screenings and set visits) and, who knows, your investment in the future of Asian cinema might mean that Leon’s full length features might be sitting right next to those Kurosawa and Yang films on your own shelves.
Visit Leon’s page for more information.