Xinyi Zhu’s Coming of Age Drama Kindling shares a story of estranged friends who are briefly reunited

Director Xinyi Zhu’s Kindling focuses on two women who come together for a life-changing event. This brilliant film which won the Best Drama Award at the 2020 USC First Look Film Festival will be screening online for 2020 Indy Shorts International Film Festival – Heartland Film.

Two estranged childhood best friends confront each other about who they were and what they have become when one drives the other to get an abortion. 

Director Xinyi Zhu’s most recent short Kindling was selected for the 2020 Palm Springs International ShortFest and won the Best Drama Award at the 2020 USC First Look Film Festival. Xinyi is co-directing a USC-Warner Bros. feature Phantom that is looking to be in production in August 2020 and is developing her first feature film Nanzhou Brothers, which she also wrote. Zhu works with non-fictional content as well and worked on Quaran-Zine Connections, a mini-documentary she made with the Asian American Documentary Network (A-DOC). In her work, she aims to explore intimate relationships, genders, and topics about trans-corporeality and poststructuralism.

Producer Emily Meyers is a Los Angeles based filmmaker and a current M.F.A. Production student at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts. During her time there, she has directed and produced several projects, one of which Oatman Goes South is currently showing at film festivals. Emily has worked at several production companies, including her most recent position in development at FlynnPictureCo.  Emily has a passion for telling stories that have a social and political focus.

Production Designer Yuelin (Jolene) Zhao has worked on Award-winning films and music videos including Where Dreams Rest, Kindling and Paradise. She also worked on a Tesla 3 Spec Commercial and collaborated with Jubilee Media on their web series. Jolene believes that film is a medium where her imagination can come alive, from building worlds of dystopia and fantasy to observing people and ordinary things.

Cinematographer Fannong (Vanon) Li started his path as a filmmaker by making several Award-winning documentaries at Zhejiang University where he got his BA in Landscape Design. Inspired by Asian filmmakers such as Lee Chang-dong, Edward Yang and Yasujiro Ozu, Vanon found himself a unique eye for lighting, framing and camera movement. Being an independent cinematographer, his other credits include feature film A Portrait of A Young Man and short films The Midsummer’s Voice and Nobody’s Boy.

Kindling will be screening online for the 2020 Indy Shorts International Film Festival – Heartland Film on July 21st – July 26th. It will also be screening online for Nevada City Film Festival from August 28th – September 4th.

Kindling Teaser from xinyi zhu on Vimeo.

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