Interview with Director Yantong ZHU (MY MILK CUP COW)

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK for the Short Film MY MILK CUP COW:

Matthew Toffolo interviews director Yantong ZHU:

Matthew: What motivated you to make this film?

Yantong: My Milk Cup Cow is made as an graduation film of my MA in Tokyo University of the Arts. I thought that it is the best time for me to make this film, which I thought for many years, make a film about father. I was inspired by my father a lot when I was a child. I think he showed me what the best father did for a child. I wanted to turn my memory into something, that’s why I started to make this film.

Matthew: From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?

Yantong: About 2 years.

Matthew: This film feels so much like a real life story. It has a documentary feel to it. Is this based on your real life?

Yantong: Yes, it is based on my childhood with my father. We are in a single family at that time, but I remember my father gave me a very happy childhood with full of imagination. That story about the cow is real, I hated to drink milk when I was a child, so he pushed me and told that lie. I tried to make this more like a story, not just a documentary of my childhood, which maybe not enough for a film. So I created some lies in the script actually, I think they’re more suitable for this animation.

Matthew: What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

Yantong: Animation project usually goes slowly. We draw every frame of every movement…it was kind of hard. Sometimes I forgot what I wanted to do at the beginning, lost in so many frames. But we have a good professor Mr Koji Yamamura, who is also a great animation director, he always helped us to find out what we really want to do, it is very important. I can’t thank him enough.

Matthew: How is the film scene in your city and country?

Yantong: It is still the 1980s in the SouthEastern part of China. I went there and took some pictures, it really changed in city parts, but countryside it is the same as my childhood.

Matthew: What were your initial reactions when watching the Toronto audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

Yantong: I thought it was great. I never have a chance to record audience comment, so I’m very happy that people from Toronto gave me such single-hearted comments.

Matthew: What film have you seen the most in your life?

Yantong: It is hard to say. Yuri Norshtein and Priit Parn are my favourite animation director. And I like films of HOU Hsiao-Hsien and Ozu Yasujiro. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is my favorite one recently.

Matthew: What is next for you? A new film?

Yantong: Yes, I’m trying to make a children’s book as well. I don’t know maybe it will become an animation too. I’m trying to make both of them.

    * * * * *

Deadline FEEDBACK Toronto Film Festival:

– FULL FEEDBACK on your film from the audience. Garner an audience feedback video on your film.

By WILDsound Festival

Submitters reactions to their feedback on their stories. New testimonials coming each month! Watch this month's winning readings. At least 15 performances a month: Submit your script, story, poem, or film to the festival today:


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