Another Home is the beautifully shot graduate film from Director Khanh Dang Xuan and Writer Anna Vu; students studying Film at Queen Mary, University of London.  Starring Kimin Suh and Robert Metson, the short explores the idea of finding a new home in London and the emotional journey that comes with it.  Impressed by this showcase of talent by young, up-and-coming creatives, Film Curiosity grilled the team on the process of making their first film.

  We thought Another Home was beautiful and moving.  What was it like creating the story and making the film itself?

Khanh:  I come from Vietnam and I live in the Czech Republic, so the idea and the concept of Home is a really significant topic for me.

Anna:  We both moved away from home, and we also met a lot of friends from Vietnam who also moved far from home.  We wanted to show how hard it is to adapt to a new environment, and the struggles and obstacles that come with it.  We also wanted to mix this with a story of romance and some elements of sci-fi.  I don’t know if it’s clear from the film but the part where she is playing with the pocket watch is an important scene.

As it was our first film, it was quite challenging but definitely rewarding as we learned a lot.  It wasn’t perfect and there are things that could be improved but we’re proud to have made this film happen.

  Why did you choose London?  We see some stunning shots of the city during the film.

K:  We finished school and during the summer, we were both based in London.  One of our other goals for the film was to show some of the landmarks and beautiful sides of London.  We did some location scouting and we tried to look for some of the most iconic landmarks.

A:  London is a beautiful city and also very big, so people can get lonely.  At the beginning of the film, when the main character played by Kimin Suh speaks in the voiceover, we can also see how overwhelming London can be with the shot of the tube, and she describes how she feels so small among the masses of people. She feels lost in London.

  It can be isolating living in a city, and the relationship between the two main characters is a story of love and loss.  Is this something you hoped would come across, and what do you want the audience to take away from the film?

A:  I hope that the audience will reflect on what Home is and what it means to them.  We wanted to show the audience that although there are obstacles in life that can make adapting difficult, there is always hope for a better day.  Despite her struggle, [the lead character] doesn’t give up.

  It’s a great message.  How was the creative process and Production?

K:  It’s our first film, so it was a small team: just 4 of us on set!  So myself as Director, Anna as Producer and the two actors.  As you can see in the film, we had to travel around London a lot to get to the locations and landmarks.  We actually did all the filming over two days!  We didn’t have a big budget at all and we had to pay the actors.

  The result is incredible as the film is very professional, showcasing visually impressive shots and sleek editing. Do you plan to enter the film into festivals and what are your plans for the future?

K:  With this film, our initial idea was to submit to film festivals.  Overall, our main goal is to learn and gain as much experience as we can from making it, however we did submit it and so far we have been accepted into Los Angeles Cine Fest.  We’re waiting on other responses.  We’ve also been writing the script for our next project!

A:  Our next project is very different.

K:  This time we tried to focus on pure emotion.  With Another Home, we mainly focused on cinematography over the narrative.  Our next film, we have concentrated more on the narrative and emotion.

A:  The new film will be longer, giving us more time for story and character development.

K:  The focus will be on mental health and bipolar disorder.  We believe it’s important to focus on mental health issues through cinema, as a lot of people in society now are experiencing mental health problems, but not many people know enough information about the struggles people face.  We want to raise awareness.

A:  We think not many films out there deal with mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder in an accurate way. K:  Our ultimate goal, one day, is to create a feature film.   Another Home is polished, visually beautiful and has a profound message.  It seems you are well on your way to achieving your goals and we look forward to seeing more from you.

K:  Thank you.  We think the topic is interesting.  If I could go back, I’d make the element of [the lead character] reliving the past a lot clearer.  It’s an idea I’d like to repeat in my next film.

 

You can see more films by Khanh Dang Xuan on his YouTube channel.