top of page

"I believe that the main function of film art is to awaken people’s consciousness"

An interview with OLIVER YAN | HOME AWAY | VMA 2022 BEST DRAMA | May Edition


In many globalized nations, we can see how money and economic interests take the place of what should be inescapable moral values, effectively deteriorating the quality of connections and relationships even among what should be considered 'family'.


If we were to consider only the social aspect, we would quickly realize that economic growth corresponds to a decrease in social and human values. An increase in violence, theft, and loneliness in which the weakest groups lose out the most. It is as if we lose sight of what really matters for balance and healthy and sustainable collective growth.


HOME AWAY by Oliver Yan, a recent winner at the VMAs with his fine feature film, is about the delicate condition that rages in China, where the lack of a safe housing system, and rapid economic growth have led many Chinese to profit from the raw materials economy, bringing a climate of indifference and cynicism even into their own families, leaving weak categories such as the elderly without care and without the human warmth they need.

 

• Hello Oliver and welcome to this space dedicated to our winners and their wonderful projects. First of all, congratulations on your wins at the VMAs! Would you like to briefly introduce yourself to our audience?

Hi Everyone, my name is Oliver Yan. The writer and director of “Home Away”.

• Your path initially started not from cinematography, but from physics, with a bachelor's degree. Would you like to tell us about when you realized you wanted to be a filmmaker and how this change of direction came about?

Yes. I majored in physics as an undergraduate. The change comes from my university. During that period, I read a lot of books and watched a lot of movies. Especially those great movies in the world. They shocked me so deeply. That period made me think about the meaning of life, and the value of human existence.


In the past, when the economy was not developing so fast, our houses were not big, but the distance between people was very close. Now we may have more space to live in, but the distance between people has become bigger.

• Your career began in 2008 and since then you have won several awards on the film festival circuit with shorts, experimental films, and ultimately features. What have been the most significant growth moments for you and what challenges have you faced?

The biggest challenge is the uncertainties. With a new project, you have to start all over again. Again, you got nothing to rely on. But the uncertainties can also be the most beautiful part, isn’t it?

• What, if any, were the most important mentors from whom you drew the most inspiration for your artistic style?

Steven Spielberg.



• In your feature film you tell about a Chinese reality that is certainly little known in the West, and you address many sensitive and important issues. How did the idea for "HOME AWAY" come about?

The story was inspired by a real news report which happened in Shanghai.


"HOME AWAY" is very much about deep loneliness, a serious loss of moral values and self-love, and love for our loved ones. What have you been most passionate about telling this story?

The most passionate about telling this story is that what we mean by HOME is a physical space, the size of the house, or where we belong in our hearts? In the past, when the economy was not developing so fast, our houses were not big, but the distance between people was very close. But now we may have more space to live in, but the distance between people has become bigger. When someone watches this movie, when the cinema lights go down, it makes him or her think what are we looking for right now. What we are looking for is to make our life better or make our future better?



• What were the personal and professional challenges you faced in making this feature project?

As I said before, you have to start by yourself, from the original story, wrote the script, look for finance fund, look for cast and casting, final cut and promotion, and distribute it. It’s been a very long journey, but it’s been very meaningful. I am truly grateful for those years.


• You define "film art primarily as a means of awakening the mind." Would you elaborate on this concept?


In this age of the image and video explosion, the main function of film art is to awaken people’s consciousness. I believe that true film art is to make people have the courage to wake up from their dreams.


• What are your future professional plans?


We are planning a documentary project this year.


• Thank you Oliver for this interview and your film that restores the priceless meaning of human value as "non-negotiable." Would you like to dedicate these closing words to someone dear to you?


Thank you to all who supported me. Because of them, my dream comes true. And at the same time, because of them, I enriched my life. Thank you Vegas Movie Awards™. It’s been my great honor to get these awards. Thank you so much!





- OFFICIAL TRAILER -

 

0 views

Comments


VMA_LogoTOP.png

WHERE ONLY THE BEST

INDIE FILMMAKERS SHINE.

THAT PRESTIGIOUS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

TRUSTED BY THOUSANDS OF FILMMAKERS AND SCREENWRITERS WORLDWIDE

bottom of page