ABOUT THE PROJECT
I have always known that I wanted to make films that predominantly feature people of color – as a woman of color, I’m the protagonist of my own story, and I know that my friends are hungry to see themselves reflected on the screen. “M. Virgin” began as a nascent idea three years ago. Part of the inspiration came from Jessica Hagedorn’s essay “No Joy, No Luck”; she recounts that during a viewing of the Joy Luck Club, a Chinese Filipino writer asked, “Must ethnicity only be equated with suffering?”
I decided that I wanted to write a comedy. Asian Americans are frequently invisible in popular culture (Fresh Off the Boat is a start), and part of shattering that invisibility necessitates making a film that revolves around an Asian American cast. I wanted the world I created to resemble the one I knew: several complex characters of color, all three-dimensional, all with their individual quirks. Comedy, I thought, could also be instructional; the best kind of comedy is subversive, and I believed that seeing women of color who could also be driving forces in pop culture was one of the most subversive works of art I could ever create.
One year ago, I went to the Sundance Screenwriters Intensive to workshop the feature script of “M. Virgin.” For the short film, I am adapting three scenes from the feature draft, all of which deal with the intersection of protagonist Muchun Zhang’s race, gender, and sexuality (themes heavily explored throughout the feature). I hope this film inspires people to see the Asian American community similarly to the way I do: not as a monolithic community, but rather one that allows for the full depth and breadth of the human experience, and one that deserves a plethora of filmmakers who can translate the diversity of those experiences to the big screen.
Muchun Zhang, a Chinese American woman in her late 20s, shops for sex toys with her best friend, Tabitha Yang. Tabitha encourages Muchun to explore her body and sexuality, even though she is a virgin. Muchun runs into a former classmate, Josh Pinto, a white American man in his late 20s. While Muchun is embarrassed during the encounter, there is mutual interest between the two.
Muchun decides to go on a date with Josh in the hopes of losing her virginity. During the date, he gradually reveals himself as an Asian fetishist.
Thursday, July 23, 2015 to Sunday, July 26, 2015
The distribution plan of “M. Virgin” will be two-pronged. Firstly, we will be applying for numerous festivals (both those specifically geared toward shorts and otherwise), such as:
Sundance Film Festival
SXSW Film Festival
Slamdance Film Festival
BronzeLens Film Festival
Asian American International Film Festival
Los Angeles Asian Pacific Festival
We are going to apply to high profile film festivals, as well as film festivals oriented around the Asian American community, women, and women of color. Our producing team will continue to flesh out our film festival submissions plan.
Secondly, we will be submitting to various streaming sites, such as:
Vimeo on Demand
Depending on the film’s festival run and on demand viability, we will create YouTube and Vimeo channels so that it can be viewed widely.
AMOUNT YOU WANT TO RAISE ON SEED&SPARK:
During a date in which she hopes to lose her virginity, Muchun Zhang learns that her white partner is an Asian fetishist.