MAY 19, 2022
USA | 17 minutes | 2021
Drama, family short film directed by Jeremy Hsing
Starring Nikki Soohoo, Patrick Zhang, Howard Young, Rachel Kho
For copyright purposes, the film requires a password for viewing.
When a college-bound Chinese-American artist has a confrontation with his traditional, first-generation father, which triggers his first panic attack, he has to use art to express himself so that he can better understand and connect to his family.
CineAsian Films (CAF): What was the inspiration behind the story for Iridescence?
Jeremy Hsing: This past year has been an unprecedented era of hate and violence towards the AAPI community, and our generation is no stranger to this hostility. As an aspiring writer, I felt compelled to use my voice and tell a story that humanized my culture so that other people wouldn’t view us through the lens of a stereotype.
After a lot of soul searching and careful introspection, I wrote Iridescence from the heart, a story of family and love that destigmatizes mental health while shedding light on stigmatized issues such as toxic masculinity and intergenerational trauma.
CAF: What were some of the challenges you faced during production?
Hsing: I initially only wanted to be the writer of Iridescence as I had never directed before, but my producers convinced me that with how personal the story is that it had to be me directing to capture the nuances and intricacies of the script. I did my best to prepare by taking a directing class at UCLA and getting advice from my film friends, but nothing truly can prepare you for directing like actually directing.
I was presented with several creative challenges regarding framing and blocking a scene as well as logistical challenges when we ran behind on time or were short on crew. It taught me firsthand that so much of filmmaking is about compromise and problem solving, but also that deviating from the plan can sometimes lead to something more beautiful.
CAF: What do you hope people can take away from watching this film?
Hsing: I believe that hate comes from a lack of empathy, and film gives the viewer that glimpse into someone else’s life, finding a universality in the personal. I hope to instill within viewers that empathy, that emotional catharsis to have those tough conversations with their family around taboo topics like mental health and intergenerational trauma.
Members of my cast + crew have already reached out to me that working on the film made them open up to their family, and I hope that Iridescence is able to have the same effect for people who get to experience it as a viewer.
CAF: Are you working on anything new?
Hsing: I’m currently on the revision stage of a sci-fi pilot I wrote titled Pandora’s Box. Whereas Iridescence came from my lived experience, I wanted to try writing something from my imagination. I combine elements of Greek mythology and Christian iconography to create a world with the following logline: When the leader of the underworld plots to wage a war against her maker, it is up to the last descendant of the Freeman bloodline to protect the world from the apocalypse.
I am also in the outline stage of creating a feature version of Iridescence centered around the life of Arnold Huang that will follow the structure of Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight, which I currently have titled as The Pursuit for Panacea, so stay tuned for that!
Iridescence 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, Producer, Editor: Jeremy Hsing
Producer: Ken Rudnick, Tiffany Hue
Cinematographer: Jacqueline Gerdne
Composer: Chris Asperin