March 16, 2021
USA | 10 minutes | 2019
Drama short film directed by Kathy Meng
Starring Claire Hsu
Watch the Trailer
My Boyfriend’s Daughter
A young Chinese-American woman develops an obsession with the teen daughter of her older American boyfriend.
CineAsian Films (CAF): What was the inspiration behind exploring a story like this?
Kathy Meng: I wanted to present an unlikable female protagonist, which was challenging since female characters can be judged more harshly by the audience. The film also explores an interracial relationship with a large age gap, but through the younger Asian woman’s perspective. I wanted to capture the small acts of aggression that come from the older white man towards the younger Asian woman (with politics, gender, race, class and age all coming into play). Essie feels like an outsider within her own relationship. All kinds of insecurities and nuanced conflicts can be triggered by a relationship where there is this power imbalance. I like situations that cannot be easily resolved. Part of this story’s situation that cannot be resolved is due to Essie’s complex and contradictory feelings towards Sis. Essie feels jealous and angry about Sis yet hopeful to be her friend. In terms of mood, I wanted to develop a kind of creepiness and cold isolation that’s set in NYC winter.
CAF: What were some of the biggest challenges you faced during production?
Meng: My assistant director Evan Wood’s grandma passed away during one day of the shoot. They were very close. Evan had volunteered to work on my film for no pay since he knew it was my passion project; so he had every right to take time off to grieve. But Evan didn’t tell me what had happened until we finished filming at 1AM that day. I would’ve never known that something was wrong since Evan was working at the top of his game. I was very moved by his dedication to the film.
CAF: What do you hope people can take away from watching My Boyfriend’s Daughter?
Meng: I hope that the audience is genuinely surprised by the secrets and twists that emerge in the storyline. Despite Essie’s repulsive behavior, I hope that the audience can understand her motivation and empathize with her. Essie has a need to be seen and accepted. She is a normal person like us all. However, we can all be driven to insane behaviors when it comes to love.
CAF: Are you working on anything new?
Meng: My next script, Elite Match, is based on my mother’s experience online dating in her 50’s as a recent Chinese immigrant to Boston.
My Boyfriend’s Daughter 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: Kathy Meng
Co-writer: Spurly Lin
Producers: Isabella Jackson, Reid Hannaford, Nick Romano
Cinematographer: Sancheev Ravichandran
Also featuring: Grace Vensel, Guy Ventoliere, Annelise Hagen, Benjamin Ferrell