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Queens World Film Festival 2016: Patrick Chen’s ‘Underneath the Grey’ Screens on Mar. 19

Underneath the Grey
Underneath the Grey

Patrick Chen’s short film Underneath the Grey starring Michael Rosete, Tia DeShazor, Brian Reisman and Joe Chan is an Official Selection of the 6th Annual Queens World Film Festival 2016, and will have its U.S. Premiere screening on March 19th at the Museum of the Moving Image at noon. The film is nominated for Best Narrative Short Film. Tickets are $12 and now on sale at here. Museum of the Moving Image is located at 36-01 35 Avenue (at 37 Street) Astoria, NY 11106.

Festival Schedule

Directed by Patrick Chen,  who also co-wrote the screenplay with Shannon Ko, Underneath the Grey features cinematography by  Gordon Yu  and original compositions by Mike Kelly. Chen and Bingqiao Zhou produced the film .

Jessica is interested in Ethan a blind musician and as they discover they are kindred spirits.

Patrick Chen is a writer and director from Queens, New York. As a Chinese American filmmaker, surrounded by the immigrant lifestyle, he’s converted his estranged nationality into stories of art and pictures. His short film Love Express  has screened at various festivals, and was awarded with the Community Award for his dedicated contribution at the Queens World Film Festival. The film was praised by the Chinese community and described as heartfelt, nostalgic and a tribute to early Hong Kong cinema. His prior films were appointed as top finalists by the Asian American Film Lab’s 72 Hours Shootout competition. They were showcased at AAIFF, AOFF, SAG-AFTRA Showcase and NYC Media. He is currently producing his Chinatown based feature-length project.

A note from the filmmaker
The story came to me when I was learning techniques for film color grading. During this process I wanted to create a black and white picture with a blind person as the main protagonist. I was intrigued by the notion of their senses, e.g. touch, taste and smell, and how they adapt to their surroundings with the imagination that they have. Is the sky blue? What does green taste like? How does red smell? These questions came to mind that needed to be explored. The opportunity presented itself when my involvement with Asian American Film Lab’s annual competition. It challenges filmmakers to produce a 5-minute film with a designated theme spanning 3 days. I gathered up my research and team with the confidence of producing this unique perspective of a blind (Asian) man falling with a (Black) woman. I wanted to have a diverse cast and a story that doesn’t focus on the separation of race, religion or gender; and in this scenario, being handicapped. I wanted the world to see that we are not just one color but also a beautiful blend of lives. Underneath The Grey is the discovery of inner beauty through self-acceptance. The challenge was not only producing quality work in 72 hours but to also have characters that felt lifelike and inseparable. With the support from EnMaze Pictures and the opportunity given by the Asian Americans Film Lab, the production was given form. The 5-minute version was given praises by an audience of different ethnic groups. With this encouragement, I expanded the film to 15 mins with a small backstory and additional scenes of the characters’ relationship. I feel this story is now completed to further serve the audience’s fulfillment of these two wonderful characters.

The 6th Annual Queens World Film Festival (QWFF) returns to the Museum of the Moving Image, the Secret Theatre and PS 69 from March 15-20, 2016.
Turning six in 2016, QWFF includes an annual multi day/multi venue festival, youth-oriented educational initiatives and year round screening opportunities for QWFF filmmakers, past and present. The festival is programmed in thematic blocks with evocative titles, and each program is followed by a post-screening dialogue to engage audiences from the demographically diverse communities that comprise the borough of Queens. Each year the festival has a very robust submission session, with films coming from all over the globe, 54 nations to date, including Cuba, Spain, Korea, Bangladesh, China, Italy, the Ukraine, Iran, Belgium, Finland and the UK to name just a few.

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits
Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang is an award-winning filmmaker, a Best Actress nominee, a photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek, which will screen at The Women’s Film Festival 2016 in Philadelphia on March 13th and the Disorient Film Festival in Eugene Oregon in April. She is profiled in Examiner.comJade Magazine and Playbill.com.

Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

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