Fan Xun Lilac is a Chinese film director, screenwriter and music composer. She was born in Sichuan, China and residency in Singapore since 2008. As director, screenwriter, composer of the film “Rekindle” （2020), she received the Platinum Award of Best Film and Best First Time Director(Female),Outstanding Achievement Award (Drama Short), Best Film Of Runner-ups ( Best Short of The Season) and Best Original Score of ISF (LA) International Film Festival, best director in the 19th season of World Film Carnival Singapore(WFCS)– Singapore. Nominated Best Original Score January Award (2021) The Gold Award for Best Original score,Best film of the month( Runner- ups) ,Best Director of Feature Film of ISA (LA)International Film Festival, The winner of Best Composer Toronto Film Channel, also as a Semi- Finalist of Chicago Indie Film Award and WIFT V-FEST ( Australia). Others official selected by Carmarthen Bay Festival(UK), Tokyo Life-off Film festival,Toronto International Woman Film Festival, Florida Family Film Festival.
What is the story behind your film? The inspiration for the film came from my own experience. It was the day ten years ago, when I was desperate to say goodbye to my beloved mother, that Chopin's music gave me a weak but powerful power, even though it was almost rejected by my mother at the time.
What should people take away, gain, realize after watching your film? I hope this film can bring us an aesthetic understanding of life and death. My goal is to make movies that help people survive, even if they are sometimes unhappy or feel heavy. Film is a pure art. I think the purpose of art is to let people touch all the qualities of pure beauty and kindness. Under the onslaught of art films, the soul unfurls.
Do you think that films can change people for the better or for the worse? For me, watching a movie is like living someone else's life. I've never been far from convinced that movies have at least tripled the human lifespan. Therefore, watching a good movie is a process of thinking, feeling and cognition, and your values and way of dealing with people will change to some extent unconsciously. How was the creation of your project at the time of COVID-19? ‘The Nocturne ’ was being filmed at a time when the epidemic was spreading in Singapore and the vaccine had not yet been widely available. In this case, it was very difficult for us to prepare from the scouting to organize the team, cast and finance. There have been some major setbacks, such as the departure of the main staff, major mistakes in preparation, over budget and so on. Even though it turned out to be a movie, but there are still a lot of regret in it. But I've always encouraged myself that the past is a prologue. I hope I can do my best to minimize regrets and disappointments in the next project.
What creation style did you use in the production of your project? What cameraman elements did you use? ‘The Nocturne’ uses a combination of poetic and realistic style. For cinematography, we used slow -motion, time- lapse and dissolves and other effects to create poetic subjective effects.
How did you select the actors for your project? So far, I think my approach has been more emotional, like finding the man of my dreams. When I write a screenplay, I usually have an idea or ideal state of the character in my mind, and then I use my intuition to look around the people and resources to find an actor or an actress who can match it.
Why do you think your film should appeal to distributors? In addition to the story, the new classical music and poetic visual elements in the urban context in this film are a kind of sensory artistic enjoyment that I want to present to the audience. I believe this may help me reach an audience and get noticed by distributors.
At which festival has your film been screened.？ ‘The Nocturne’ has yet to be screened at any film festival.
How did your acquaintances react when they first saw the film? Some of them said it was better than my previous shots. Ha ha. Some like the texture and atmosphere of the movie, and some are moved by the music, plot, and the interpretation of the characters for the redemption and relief of life and the continuation of love. Of course, some people viewed it and didn't offer any opinions.
If you could change something in your film, what would it be? I think the texture of the artistic conception of the dream in the film lacks the heaviness and beauty like oil painting, and the innovative latitude of narration with memories is still not satisfactory.
Which movies are your favourites and why? I love every Andrey Tarkovsky movie. Compared with those artists who linger in the personal spiritual world, although they have the depth to explore the inner soul, they cannot find hope and future in the high tension with the world. Tarkovsky's films can always give people hope for the future. He uses his vast and transcendent height of thought to tell us that the ultimate goal of art is consistent with the goal of human pursuit of spirit and ideal.
What topics do you like to address in your stories? The fate of mankind, the sorrow of life and the loneliness of searching for the light of the spirit.
What is your motivation in making films? I think it comes from an organic instinct, a human instinct to preserve life. This is somewhat similar to the "mummy complex" of ancient people. And through film, I can capture and perpetuate the movement of meaningful life. It was transcendent for me. It transcends my limitations as an organism, transcends the limits of time and space. Therefore, I guess making movies has a fatal attraction for me.
Which contemporary filmmakers motivate you the most? I would say there are many, if I had to name one. I think it's Chinese director Li Yang （Blind Shaft (2003). His sensitivity to reality and his ubiquitous humanity inspired me, and his figure of seeking justice for the society illuminates me like a beacon.
What projects do you plan to shoot in the future? Later, if have the chance, I think I will shoot the theme about the diaspora of Chinese.
Interview was published with permission from our qualifying festival Kosice International Film Festival