Cheryl Wong Ye Han is a Singaporean filmmaker, at the moment based mostly in Los Angeles. She obtained her MFA in filmmaking from New York College’s Tisch College of the Arts in 2020 the place she was a Willard T.C. Johnson fellow in addition to a recipient of the Tisch College of the Arts Masters Movie Future Fund Scholarship. She wrote and directed, “Stigma, Type”, which premiered at Palm Springs Shortsfest 2021, and went on to play at LA Shortfest and City World Movie Pageant.
She has labored as a Manufacturing Coordinator and Manufacturing Supervisor in Singapore and throughout the US on narrative and documentary sequence’ and movies. Cheryl additionally plans to provide, write and direct her personal narrative initiatives in Singapore and within the Southeast Asian area.
On the event of “Stigma, Type” screening at Osaka Asian Movie Pageant, we converse together with her in regards to the biographic components of the film, the title, her cooperation together with her actresses and the casting course of, the response of the viewers to the movie, and plenty of different matters.
Stigma, Type screened at Osaka Asian Film Festival
As I perceive the mission has a deep connection to your individual biography, extra exactly your childhood. May you clarify this connection just a little additional?
It does! But additionally, don’t all of us simply like to romanticize the previous just a bit? My reminiscence of my girlhood is in these comparatively carefree days with pals. Sticky warmth, mango bushes, swimming, kick scootering from home to deal with. One of many difficulties in making this movie was whittling down that complete expertise and but, conserving that languid feeling and essence of the time. I’ve positively taken some liberties within the setting and Kerri’s dwelling circumstances to make some dramatic moments stand out extra however the meat of the movie – Kerri’s relationship together with her physique and impending womanhood, her friendships, her curiosity about Clara – isn’t removed from my private expertise.
What’s the which means of the title “Stigma, Type”?
The stigma and magnificence are a part of the feminine reproductive system of the flower. I believed it apt for the movie on quite a few ranges; the primary, to sign that Kerri is approaching puberty and womanhood, the second, in selecting to focus on simply the feminine reproductive elements of the flower, I allude to Kerri’s curiosity about Clara. But additionally, it jogs my memory of my mom educating me in regards to the totally different elements of the flower after I was 12, learning for the Singapore nationwide exams.
How did you talk the somewhat complicated problems with the movie to your actresses, most significantly to Gabby Tay, who performs Kerri?
I most likely ought to start by speaking in regards to the casting course of. Firstly, an enormous thanks to our casting director Angel YJ, and our Affiliate Producer Sam Chua Weishi who had been with me all through the casting course of. We discovered our actresses by way of Fb, casting web sites, expertise companies (Faces Jr.), casting companies (Good day Group) and thru suggestions, and what I used to be actually looking for had been actors who may very well be comfy with me (a sensible stranger) and will take route properly. Then I put everybody collectively for a script learn and a cookie baking session, they usually actually simply hit it off.
In explaining the complicated points…I suppose I didn’t wish to over complicate issues for the women. Going into pictures, every of them had entry to simply their pages. I’d omitted the scenes that they weren’t in, wanting them to be centered on their very own traces and scenes, not the story as a complete.
What’s the most troublesome facet in capturing rising up and the carefree days of childhood on movie?
Encapsulating all of it in 13 minutes. The piece had been written longer (maybe 3 or 4 minutes longer than it ended up being), and there have been extra moments with Kerri and her pals that we ended up taking out, as a result of it distracted from the primary factor. It was a darling to kill as a result of my relationships with my pals rising up – nonetheless enjoyable, nonetheless tenuous – had been such a big a part of my youth and self-awareness, and the actresses Azirah, Nikita and Hannah who performed Lilia, Yasmine and Jessica had been so fantastic to look at.
What was probably the most shocking viewers response to “Stigma, Type” to date?
That such a various viewers understands it and pertains to Kerri. In writing it, I believed the themes to be fairly common however saved the moments particular to my expertise, and I really like that audiences can join with the movie so deeply. It’s all the time so heartwarming to be requested questions on Kerri and to be instructed that they bear in mind feeling the identical manner she did rising up.
Do you’ve got any plans in exploring the themes of this brief additional, maybe in an extended characteristic?
I positively see myself revisiting the identical themes in future work however in smaller methods, not because the central theme. At this level, I really feel like I’ve explored it and have glad one thing inside myself. Not ruling it out however I’m at the moment growing one other concept for a characteristic movie.
What’s your opinion of the Singaporean film trade in the mean time?
I’m so longing for it. There are a rising variety of distribution platforms; streaming platforms shifting to or already arrange in Singapore, and cinemas like The Projector. It’s been so thrilling to see Singaporean movies and TV on Netflix and on Singapore Airways flights. Lastly with the ability to entry these movies, and the movies with the ability to attain wider audiences, hopefully imply that individuals will need extra locally-made items. I’m so excited to see the trade at dwelling rising, and that I’ve not too long ago met so many Singaporean filmmakers round my age, world wide. I’m excited for us!