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Pan-Asian Film Festival Premiere + Live Q&A with Ya-Che Yang

Monday 11 March 2013, by Jacques Breen

The Pan-Asian Film festival kicked off last night with a unique, UK premiere of Ya-Che Yang’s GF* BF (reviewed here) followed by a Live Q & A with the director.

Click here to find out what’s showing at the festival.

Transcript of the live Q&A with Director Ya-Che Yang:

Q: How did you get such intimate performances from the three actors?

I’ve known them since I was 17 years old. Especially two of them. But I didn’t really know them that well, so I got to know them better via drinking with them before we shot the film.

Q: Is all the dialogue scripted? Or were there improvised elements?

Of course to start with I would give them a tight script but that’s only the one version - the actual script is within myself. And I would only tell one of them from the start, so they can’t prepare with the other actors.

Q: The sense of recent Taiwanese history is very strong in parts of the movie, less so later. But it’s always there. Is this from your own experience or from those of the actors?

I was growing up within part of the history, the very end part. But I think that history is important for Taiwan and it was a very energetic time. Everyone at that time beleived there would be a better tomorrow...

Q: How did you approach directing the western looking Rhydian Vaughan?

He’s the one Actor I really wanted to be in this film. He has this western face and It would be really special for a western guy to say ’I love Taiwan’. And this really allows the Chinese people to think about who really are the Taiwanese people.

Q: During the film, you often let the camera linger on actress Gwei Lun-Mei’s face. And she’s the one who has the cool expression with the emotionality underneath the surface. Would you be able to explain a little further?

So Gwei Lun-Mei, she doesn’t really look like she looks in the film and her adverts. She finds it very hard to express herself. So I make it a point to drink with her to find the real Gwei Lun-Mei. She’s very controlled, a bit British in that sense, so I keep the camera on her face so the audience can see what’s inside her or what’s underneath the surface.

Q: Is the Mabel character based on anyone in particular? Or is it a composite of people?

I have a friend who has the characteristics just like her and the character herself is named after my friend.

Q: This is the first time the film has been screened in the UK. Can tell us what the future plans are for distibuting GF* BF? And also, what are you working on in the future?

I’m absolutely grateful for my film to be screened in the UK. My next film will concentrate on the dark side of business and government in relation to the antiques trade in China.

Any message or comments?

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