Anita Lee_Hiatus_Short Dance Film



Short film
6 mins


A woman returns home to visit her ailing father, longing for a connection.


How did Hiatus come about?
As an Australian-born Chinese filmmaker I really wanted to create an authentic story that drew on my cultural heritage. I also wanted to create a universal story; a story that explored ideas around aging, the passing of time and a child’s longing to completely understand their parents. No matter who you are in the world, there are always things that you wish you could say or communicate to your parents. Some people go through their whole lives not being able to say how they really feel and sometimes that disconnect will just always be there. It’s something we need to come to accept.

Why did you choose dance to represent your story?
I really liked the idea of communicating this disconnect between father and daughter through wordless action. So much can be said without words. A look, a body gesture. I am really interested in how dance, movement and music can express what we are unable to express through words. Working with our composer, Cassie To was a dream. She just knew how to emotionally translate the story through instrumentation and rhythm._

What was it like shooting in Hong Kong?
The experience of shooting in Hong Kong was something I’ll remember forever. My bro and I always wanted to shoot overseas and then one day we said ‘let’s just do it!’ Hong Kong was a perfect backdrop to our story. A lot of the old buildings look aged and weathered. There is so much texture and clutter. It is a filmmaker’s dream.

What was it like collaborating with Hong Kong artists?
I found our choreographer, Tze Shen and his partner, Christy through a deep search through the internet. I reached out through email and then Alex and I had a facebook video chat where I shared the vision for the story and the dance we were hoping to create. All the casting happened virtually, and were all connections of Shen’s. The day of the shoot was the first time we all met. Unfortunately we didn’t have the luxury of rehearsing with them before hand. So, it was one of those things where we just worked through with what we saw on the day. It was very go with the flow (especially when it started pouring with torrential rain when we were about to shoot).
I immediately connected with the dancers, David Leung and Zoe Chou. It honestly felt like I was hanging out with family. They understood the vision and emotionally connected to the concept. It was amazing to watch them breathe life into Shen’s choreography and the story.

Anything else?
This film was a proof of concept to a longer form film we want to make. Fingers crossed we can make it happen one day …. maybe we can continue to shoot it in Hong Kong.

DIRECTOR / Anita Lee

DOP / Alexander Leeway

POET / David Seet

COMPOSER / Cassie To