Xiao Mei Won Critics Over and Accomplished Great Victory in Berlin
Xiao Mei Won Critics Over and Accomplished Great Victory in Berlin - Taipei Film Commission
Lead actress Cincin Jao (left), music composer Lu Lu-ming (center) and director Huang Rong-sheng (right)
Xiao Mei, the Taiwanese film chosen for the 68th Berlin International Film Festival, had its world premiere yesterday evening. After last year's Small Talk, Xiao Mei is another Taiwanese film that entered Panorma section of the Berlin International Film Festival. Director Huang Rong-sheng, actress Cincin Jao and music composer Lu Lu-ming were all invited to appear at the premiere ceremony. Due to overwhelming response, the Q&A session previously scheduled for 20 minutes continued for nearly 45 minutes. Shieh Jhy-wey, Representative to Germany, was also present at the screening and fully participated in the Q&A session after the screening, during which he contributed special insights about the shooting and content of the film. In his opening speech at the screening, Huang Rong-sheng mentioned that there are many young people in Taiwan who are addicted to drugs. He reminded everyone to pay more attention to these young people, as lack of communication would cause them to distance from others and put them in endless suffering. Xiao Mei has been scheduled for 6 screenings at Berlin International Film Festival, and even the host of the QA session commented that the film did represent many interesting innovations in terms of visual storytelling.
Xiao Mei tells the story of a young girl from Taitung named Xiao Mei, who mysteriously disappeared after moving to work in Taipei. By interviewing 9 subjects, the film tried to piece back the life of Xiao Mei through memories of 9 people around her. To make this film, Huang Rong-sheng personally interviewed several drug-addicted girls and created a script based on their stories. “Screen International”, a world-renowned media in film commentaries, praised Xiao Mei for its rich texture and meaning, adequate mood-setting, and excellent performance of the cast. Meanwhile, critics of the renowned online film media - The Film Stage - also applauded for the film’s demonstrated empathy and expansive imagination; interactions between the performers are especially attractive.
Xiao Mei's Q&A session after the screening at Berlin International Film Festival
Cincin Jao was very pleased to watch her own performance along with the audience in Berlin. Cincin Jao said that the character she played was a collection of people's memories and not a real person she could observe, which made it all the more difficult to perform. Not only did she try to imagine the minds of a drug addict, she also purposely lost weight to 36kg and was very satisfied with the outcome. Music composer Lu Lu-ming said that the corresponding sound effect, score and voice-over of the 8) different characters appeared independent but actually connected with one another. Elements from each of the 8) scores were further condensed into the ending theme song, performed by Sam Yang, which has been a very distinctive experience in his career as a music composer. Shieh Jhy-wey, Representative to Germany, pointed out that Xiao Mei in the film is a girl in diapers who has no control of her bladder. It is an interesting analogy of how the helplessness of the society and culture for marginal people, which further demonstrates the rich essence of the film.
After the world premiere, the production team of Xiao Mei received overwhelming interview requests from the media, while the audience also responded enthusiastically and asked for autographs and group photos. The production team will be meeting fans and admiring films from around the world during the film festival. The precious experience they gained in this trip and brought back to Taiwan would make the best present for the Year of the Dog. (Text and images: Mirror Stage Films)