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FLEFF Intern Voices

The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival from the interns' point of view

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Posted by Matthew Reis at 4:16PM   |  Add a comment
Portrait of Karin Chien

Blog was written by Matthew R. Reis, Cinema & Photography with an Art History minor, '13, FLEFF intern, Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey

So what are your plans for the future? Are you content with where you are now?

To be honest I think its good never to be content. So I try never to be in that situation. I think that dGenerate films will continue to grow. There are a lot of opportunities and a lot of need for work to be done within China [in terms of] growing their infrastructure for independent filmmaking. So that’s something that’s really interesting to our company right now and something that we’ve been approached about. But there’s still a lot of growth that can take place in [terms of] our core mission which is, to bring these films to the US. We’ve just started to make a dent in the market here so we want to keep doing that and keep pounding the pavement.

Do you plan of staying with dGenerate films since you founded the company or do you want to embark on other areas outside of the film industry? 

Potentially, but I don’t think I’ll get tired of producing. I think producing allows a great lifestyle because it’s very free and its independent and you work in film, which is a very collaborative environment and you have access and exposure to really amazing things that you don’t get in other jobs and other industries. But the crux in the work to me is kind of this intersection of story and political concerns. Political not meaning like democrats or republicans, but just kind of some of the major issues of the day. That intersection of story and politics I feel is my interest. So whether that’s in film or in any of the arts or in another field altogether I will follow that passion. And I predict my passion will take me outside the film industry.

When you started dGenerate films did you have much support from your family and friends? Also did you have any contacts in Mainland China or did you have to initiate contact with the people over there by yourself?

Well I don’t know if my family really knew what I was doing. My family left China during the Communist Revolution so I think that their first instinct was [to have me] not get involved in that environment. So I wouldn’t say that they were supportive. They also maybe just didn’t understand what I was doing to give me any real feedback.

My other three partners at dGenerate films are friends of mine so there was a lot of support from them. They’re actually the ones that got me to do it because it was not something I was looking to do at the time. In terms of in China I knew one person there and I think when I realized that this was an idea that had to be tended to and invested in I flew myself to Beijing, China. I knew this one guy but basically I said, "I’m going to Beijing please introduce me." I would tell my friends in the US to introduce me to anyone they knew in China and when I met those people I would also ask to them introduce me to more people. So I just kind of went through like 2nd and 3rd and 4th degrees of people that, you know, my friends in the US knew. I was very lucky that people were willing to help me. Very quickly I met [some of] the key figures in China. But I went there not really knowing anyone.


To continue reading please look below for part 3.



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