USA | 15 minutes | 2019
Action, comedy, horror short film by Nancy Lin
Starring Tricia Fukuhara, Daniel Chung
Spunky teen Nova Dante has one job: caretaker to the Dante family cemetery and the ghosts that live within. With her parents away, Nova must balance her work and personal life as she and her inattentive Shinto priest boyfriend accidentally release evil ghosts that threaten to take over the world.
CineAsian Films (CAF): What inspired you to make Dante Falls?
Nancy Lin: I love ghost mythologies, so many cultures have their own take on it and I wanted to combine that in a comedy with an Asian-American female lead, which you don’t see very often. I wanted to carve out a space for Asian-Americans in horror/action roles because growing up, I’d only seen Asian-Americans in very stereotypical roles. I’ve been making many short films over the years and I wanted to create a pilot for a longer structured storyline, possibly a TV show, as well.
CAF: What were some of the genre films that served as inspirations for your film?
Lin: Horror has always been my favorite, there’s so much to explore, from the nuanced to the symbolic, and even goofy gorefests, it’s fascinating and a lot of fun! I was looking at a lot of adventure horror/comedy, like Hot Fuzz, X-Files, and even old Scooby-Doo cartoons.
CAF: What were some of the biggest challenges you faced while shooting this film?
Lin: We had a lot of setbacks, mainly accidents, including one where I was hit by a car as I was trying to cross the street two days before we were supposed to start shooting! There was also a lot of VFX, which I’d never worked extensively with before, but I definitely learned a lot about in the process, and it added so much to the film.
CAF: Have you been working on anything new?
Lin: I try to constantly write and create, the pandemic has made most of my ideas impossible to shoot, but I’ve been doing as much as I can within these limitations. It’s been great for learning new techniques and studying films, finally having the time to actually sit down and watch movies that have been on my “To Watch” list for ages.
Dante Falls is one of the many great projects shared with CineAsian Films through our submissions process. If you’d like to join them, submit your film.
Director, Writer: Nancy Lin
Producers: Michea Bryant, Don Ohmer
Cinematographer: Heyjin Jun
Editors: Nicholas Manting-Brewer, Nancy Lin
Composer: Jacques Brautber
Also featuring: Noveen Crumbie, Jesten Mariconda