Yihui Hu A Creative Journey through Cinema
Photo Courtesy: Yihui Hu

Interview with Yihui Hu: A Creative Journey through Cinema from a Cross-Cultural Perspective

By: Anne Schulze

Behind the scenes of cinema, each frame hides countless stories and creative souls. These moments, captured by light and shadow, are both presentations of art and transmissions of emotions and thoughts. For Yihui Hu, cinema is not just a way for her to express herself but also a bridge that connects her with the world. This article explores her creative journey through her perspective, from her initial dreams to her entry into the film industry, and how she captures inspiration from the nuances of life to create movies that touch the heart.

We are delighted to speak with the widely acclaimed and award-winning filmmaker, Yihui Hu, today. Greetings and salutations, Yihui! Before we dive into the Q&A, can you share how 2024 has been for you so far?

Yihui Hu: Thank you for the invitation! 2024 has been great so far. Recently, I’ve been busy completing a project about a little girl who gets lost in a dream garden. It tells the story of how her childhood doll guides her to gradually emerge from the dream and return to reality. I am passionate about this story because it evokes beautiful memories from my childhood and requires me to delve deeply into expressing the emotions and imagination of a child’s world. I’ve invested a lot of effort into this movie, communicating with different departments and going through numerous designs and revisions to ensure it turns out the way I envisioned. Another project I’m preparing is my graduation work. I feel a deep connection to this script; it’s a story based on my imagination and assumptions, and the characters are designed after the people around me, making each character very real to me. I have a very vivid imagination for this work and am looking forward to the final product. I’ve already started a lot of preparations. This is a story about women and Asians, and I finally have the opportunity to tell a story about my identity and background. I’ve always been a bit timid, worried that I might not tell it well or that it might be too representative of my personal thoughts. But as my script developed, I felt that this is my story, and I have the right to tell it and let everyone listen to my story.

What initially guided you to choose the film industry? Did you have an interest in becoming a filmmaker during your childhood or early life?

Yihui Hu: My interest in filmmaking began with my childhood love for storytelling. I enjoyed expressing my thoughts through writing and painting, so I tried writing novels and learning to paint. Later, I joined the school’s film club, where I discovered my passion for filmmaking and solidified my decision to pursue this profession.

How do you usually get inspiration for your stories during the creative process? Can you share an experience of developing these inspirations into a complete movie story?

Yihui Hu: My sources of inspiration are varied, including dreams, stories I’ve heard, scenes I’ve observed, or even my own experiences. When I come up with a new idea, I immediately write it down. Sometimes, these ideas develop into a complete story or screenplay, while other times, they require time to think and refine. For example, my university graduation project originated from a peculiar dream. During my university years, I turned it into a short story, and eventually, I decided to adapt it into a movie.

Yihui Hu A Creative Journey through Cinema_3

Photo Courtesy: Yihui Hu / @onestash_officialfilm

What does the process and outcome of filmmaking mean to you? What roles do they play in your personal and professional life?

Yihui Hu: To me, filmmaking is a process full of challenges and excitement. I eagerly look forward to the process of each movie gradually taking shape, from the initial concept to designing scenes, preparing props, and finding the right actors; everything is so thrilling. Even though there may be various problems during the production process, I still treasure each filming opportunity. I firmly believe that, although a perfect movie doesn’t exist, through continuous effort, each work can be improved, making this process of growth satisfying and fulfilling.

What impact have the awards you’ve received in the film field had on you? Have these achievements affected your career as you expected?

Yihui Hu: I’ve won some small film awards and had the honor of participating in some renowned film festivals, such as the Canada Shorts Film Festival. My university final project was submitted to many major film festivals, including the Oscars. Although I’m well aware of the gap between myself and renowned directors, these supports and recognitions are significant to me. They motivate me to dive more bravely into film creation. During my graduate studies at DePaul University, I continuously felt my growth and looked forward to presenting my works to a wider audience.

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Photo Courtesy: Yihui Hu

Regarding the future, what plans or dreams do you have? In terms of filmmaking, what new areas or themes do you hope to explore? What do you think are the big challenges and opportunities in modern film production?

Yihui Hu: In the future, I hope to overcome the challenges brought by cultural and language differences to present more diverse stories to the audience. Although there have been some excellent films focusing on Asian culture in recent years, I believe there is still a huge cultural gap in the film industry. Meanwhile, whether it’s female directors or Asian culture, these are topics that have been increasingly attracting attention recently. So, I feel this is a great platform and moment to tell my story. I also want to contribute to eliminating cultural and gender barriers. My ultimate dream is to become a director who can represent women and Asians, telling our stories. We need more female directors. I believe that through step-by-step efforts and progress, we can change the film industry, letting more people hear our voices and see our stories.

Published by: Martin De Juan

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