Harrison Kwong is a filmmaker funded by The Film Fund. We asked him some questions about filmmaking, his inspirations, and the world of independently-funded filmmaking.
Can you tell us a bit about your film, and how you first got involved with it?
The film is an exploration into Asian American Identity and the struggle to look, behave, and talk a certain way. I first got involved with it about a year and a half ago when I first started writing it. As I was conceptualizing the story, I had finished reading Cathy Park Hong’s Minor Feelings and in doing so, gave me the self actualization to finish the script.
Why do you write, direct, or produce?
I write and direct because I feel as though being Asian American and having the privilege of being able to create films, I have a responsibility to myself to help people feel seen and in doing so, make myself feel seen.
Who are some of your favorite auteurs, and which of them inspire you the most? How?
Wong Kar-Wai and Spike Lee are some of my favorite auteurs. Wong Kar-Wai’s approach to filmmaking, which heavily focuses on feeling/inspiration rather than preparation, and Spike Lee’s ability to take on controversial subject matter and find art in them, are the things that inspire me the most in both film and in life.
What’s your toughest challenge when raising funding for a film project?
The toughest challenge when finding funding to me is the aspect of getting another individual to buy into your story. I feel that it is quite difficult to convince someone that this intimate story that you put days/months of time and heart into, is, at the very least, a second look.
What are you working on right now?
Right now I am still working on the pre-production of Minor Feelings.
What do you like about The Film Fund?
The biggest thing I like about The Film Fund is that it somewhat negates the challenges of traditional fund searching. They take a lot of the prejudice out of film funding and reward creativity on its own.
What’s your advice for filmmakers who are just starting their careers?
If there is any advice for upcoming filmmakers, it’s that you should never wait for someone or something to make art. Go out and direct, shoot, write, etc. because no matter how good or bad it turns out, you will always end up learning something about yourself that will make the projects you do in the future that much better.
If you want your own project funded, check out our funding opportunities for the chance to win up to $10,000.