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An Interview with Xin Li

Awarded Indie Film Producer & Director Filmmaker

Meet Xin Li:

I'm Xin(Shin) Li. I'm an awarded Indie film producer and director filmmaker living in Los Angeles, CA. I have two short films that have received several international film awards. One is a short documentary called “Paradise: Nature Hasn’t Mercy But People Have” (2019). Another is a short comedy, “The Translation” (2019). I currently have two films I'm working on: A short animation called "Uninvited Guest", a Sci-Fi genre style story, and a feature documentary about the Fukushima radiation issue.

When did you decide that you wanted to become a film producer?

My dream of becoming a producer started in 2017 while studying at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, CA. My favorite things to do at that time were watching TV series and movies. Watching either helped me forget of all the annoyances in my life. It is still one of my favorite pastimes. Growing up, I regularly watched multiple Korean TV series on the internet. I even memorized most of the series' dialogues by heart. However, I generally felt that certain dramas weren’t as good as I wished. This led me to soon find motivation to start up my career as a TV series maker! For that, the US has proven to be the best place for training and working in Motion Pictures & Television Industry.

What attracted you to begin your career as a producer and later a filmmaker?

The idea of becoming a producer or filmmaker came to me during my studies in Art Management for several years. My first undergraduate major was in Cultural Industry Management. While attending the Academy of Art University in San Francisco for graduate studies, I focused solely on producing. I have gained many valuable film and video making experiences, tried many different filmmaking roles on film sets- from directing to production design- but producing is still my biggest passion.

Who are your biggest influences?

There are many people who helped me throughout my time at film school and still do. My teachers: Jana Sue Memel, an American Academy Award-winning film producer, director and writer who taught me the basic rules of filmmaking. Jonathan Crosby, whose documentary was elected for the Sundance Official Selection of 2019 and enlightened me to make documentaries. Janice Engel, whose documentary was elected for the Sundance Official Selection of 2019 and gave me vital advice in regards to editing. Others include my mentor Andrzej Bartkowiak, director of Romeo Must Die, who continues to encourage me to have bigger ambitions, and of course, my parents who are always supporting me.

Yeah... so many people!

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What is your strength as a producer?

This is a good question. I feel my biggest strength as a producer is my ability to use my lens in order to capture the reality of today. I have a strong confidence in myself that always persists to express this passion. I continue to be cautious when making decisions, but once I have chosen my path, I don't give up or stray from my destination. It's always been important to me to have diversity represented in the film industry. As a young Asian female filmmaker, I know of the challenges that come with the power from my ethnicity, gender, and my generation.

How difficult is it to establish yourself in the film industry?

Wow, there's been many difficult moments for me: Miscommunication through language, different ways of thinking often leading to misunderstanding, homesickness, a women's personal safety concerns and much more. The exhaustion of creative inspiration was one of the hardest difficulties, as well as taking care of tons of meaningless, boring work that needed to get done in order to make a living for myself… However, this kind of "failure" is so common, so normal... just give yourself time. Maintain a peaceful mind, live comfortably, but stay persistent in your endeavors and don't rely on shortsighted shallow goals! Find your passion and your unique angle to tell a story.

What's your dream or ultimate goal? Do you feel like you're on the right path in achieving this, or do you feel as if you've already have?

In the future, my dream and goal is to run my own production company. I want to make films and TV series about women, seeing as they could use more representation in the Hollywood film industry. How do they overcome the difficulties and obstacles presented to them in their tough lives? Through my films, I want to vividly show the psychological impact of encouraging women, especially young women, to be more confident and more independent.

What is your message to all your fans?

If you really want to achieve a goal, do not believe or give in to the negative words of your opposers. Find the right and experienced people to talk to... give yourself time to grow up and trust in your own choices.

More About Xin Li:

Documentary by Xin Li: "Paradise: Nature Hasn’t Mercy But People Have":





Facebook: Xin LI


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