By Fan Huang
When filmmakers talk about their “passion project”, they usually mean something that is deeply meaningful or relevant to them. But, three out of four dentists filmmakers agree—their passion is nothing compared to Binder Jigjid’s passion in PASSION (say that one three times fast). Byamba Sakhya’s PASSION–now my favorite film of SFIAAFF—documents the decline in Mongolia cinema and how Binder Jigjid desperately tries to rekindle the nation’s appreciation for film by traveling all over the country to promote and screen his film, HUMAN TRAFFIC. Binder Jigjid’s remarkable optimism and perseverance, in spite of seemingly hopeless circumstances, show us that once again it is the courageous will of filmmakers that triumphs and makes inspiring independent works possible. This film is also a perfect example of what the SFIAAFF is all about: enriching and engaging audiences with topics that are ignored by the mainstream media and also both fresh and relevant.
Filmmaker’s Brunch led us to have the wonderful opportunity to chat with producer Anderson Le and director Stephane Gauger of SAIGON ELECTRIC a day after their world premiere. They mentioned how they managed to authentically portray both the Vietnamese and breakdancing culture in the film. Also, there was the discussion of the immense potential of Asian cinema in places like: Phillipines, Mainland China, and Vietnam. The sky is the limit for these nations’ film industries, and jumping on board early would be an adept choice for aspiring Asian filmmakers.
This day shows us that no matter how hopeless it may be for small independent movies to compete against the Hollywood machine, there will always be individuals like Anderson Le, Stephane Gauger, and Binder Jigjid to bring these unique stories to light.
Fan is a participant in this year’s Verizon Student Delegate Program