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Program Highlights 2014

Interview with Byron Q, writer/director of Las Vegas Story

by Shen Xingzhou

Recently I had the opportunity to chat with Byron Q, an up-and-coming Chinese American filmmaker, because his film Las Vegas Story will have its Asia premiere in this year’s PUFF.

Initially from LA, he moved to San Diego and then San Francisco. Among these three cities, San Diego remains his favourite because of its beach, sunshine, beautiful scenery and relaxing mood.

“LA is just a big culturally mixed city, San Francisco is too “techie”, everyone there wanna create an app! ”

So why did he choose Las Vegas to be the background of the film?

“I used to go vocations in Las Vegas when I was still living in LA. I found this place very interesting, quite like Picasso’s paintings: real and surreal goes hand in hand. The real part is the gap between the rich and the poor. People live outside, far away from the casinos, lead sort of normal lives. But most people there, they do effect by gambling and try to survive.”

Like a quote from the film: “this place (Las Vegas) eats you up. ”

“The surreal part includes the neon light and the stripper clubs, but also, the people. When people came to Las Vegas, they act differently. Remember there’s a black guy in Las Vegas Story? When you first saw him on the screen, the way he walked, talked, dressed, which make you think: What? Is he Snoop Dogg (a famous American rapper)? But no! Ha-ha! He is a normal guy. That’s the funny and weird part, because everyone in Las Vegas, they want to imitate others.”

Real and surreal, is not only a term which Byron used to portray Las Vegas, the city, but also a way to represent the film.

“The stories of the film, they are all real stories based on real people. I did a lot of research before shooting, nearly two years, asking local people, listening to their stories, writing them down then put them together. I had some professional actors and actresses in the film, which for sure can’t avoid certain acting, but for the rest: the family in the film is the real family. The leading actress, she is a real prostitute. The locations: casinos, motels, etc.…they’re all real, which really bring the story alive.”

Mixing real people with actors and actresses has always been Byron’s style. Las Vegas Story, the film title, will bring to the audiences’ minds strippers, money, drugs, gangsters, but in fact, it’s a story about a single mother.

“I have always wanted to make a film about a female character. I know Christina (the leading actress) as a friend for years. After hearing some of her stories, I made up my mind to do a film about her. Personally, I was also raised up by a single mother, that in a way, helps me to understand the character better.”

I asked Byron whether our heroine’s personality was made out to be too perfect to be real.

Byron emphasised: “It’s her! It’s just who she is. Maybe being perfect, becomes her only flaw.”

During filming, Byron rented a house for the whole crew to do shooting. Basically they lived there for one month. “It’s a unique experience.” said he.

They did several scenes inside the biggest casino of Las Vegas, secretly, without people’s knowing. “It’s unbelievable! We accomplished it! ” said he proudly.

Byron studied visual arts film under the renowned French New Wave Director Jean-Pierre Gorin. As a result, some people considered his style a mix of urban themes with French New Wave style.

About Las Vegas Story, the third feature of Byron, what he has to say is: “this film itself is not so much French New Wave, but it conveys somehow the spirit of it. For example, I didn’t focus too much on the plot. With Las Vegas Story, I was trying to build up my own style. Right now I am on my way to evolve, to make something different.”

Yes, at such young age, 29 as we spoke, Byron is now preparing his fourth feature, a sci-fi. “I am open to anything, and I will try different genres.” We, the audience, do have every reason to look forward to his future works.





在結束這次采訪之前,邵攀導演親自彈著鋼琴獻唱。一首約翰列儂的《Real Love》之後,帶著一種自謙,緊接著,跟上了一首自己的原創歌曲《每一種愛情都是一樣的悲傷》,帶著一些所觸,他開始講述這首歌背後的故事,故事裏的環境,環境下的人,人和人的事。

Continue reading “專訪”Bike與舊電鋼”導演邵攀”

PUFF 2014 will open with a local filmmaker night

Opening night of PUFF 2014

4th December 7:00pm at XXX Gallery


The Eve is a really cool music video of local independent electronic funk duo Sonic MSG and is directed by videographer Nicola Fan. This is a must see if you like us, are completely sick of watching those karaoke style Cantopop MV!


HK / 2013 / 92min / Color / 2.35:1 / Mono
In Cantonese with Chinese and English Subtitles

導演 Dir: 陳英麟 Stephen Chan
演員 Cast: 岑榮駿 Norris Shum, 林雪穎 Klarus Lam, 柴國燊 Samson Chai, 梁嘉進 Eric Leung, 顧嘉琪 Kaki Ku


Discovering a good movie and meeting the right person in your life are similar in many ways, as just one single look, is to change your life.

The story happens when Chan and Mok met in a cinema; one, wimpy and delicate, the other bold and straightforward. Yet, their madness love towards movies, tied them together, to endless conversations, like they have always been together.

The two worked hard to overcome their different personalities and obstacles in their relationship. Together, they held hands, shared laughter and wonderful, theatrical memories, marking the beginning of their absurd but romantic relationship.

As time goes by, Chan tried his best to provide Mok with everything he could in his own way, however things did not turn out the way they wished it would be. Slowly, the difference between them became more and more apparent and their relationship is hanging on a tenuous string.

This movie dedicated to them, is walking towards a finale or merely just a prelude, the reality is yet to be foreseen so easily by Chan…

Director’s statement

“Movies that spread love, faith and joy are all great movies.” – Derek Kwok Chi Kin, director from Hong Kong.

As one that directs a film, also directs the emotions felt by the audience. While some would have the theme of helplessness and darkness, but left a ray of light behind, captivates the audience. While some would have the theme of belief and declaring the power of love, but highlights how the couples’ indiscretion caused them to paint lies over lies.

I didn’t realize nor hope that the people nowadays would get used to such twisted, distorted way of love.

When we were filming this movie, most of us were merely students or fresh graduates. Despite of the tools, we had no more than 10 thousand to film this movie. We have heard many people talking, saying ‘ If you are so confident in the script, why don’t you work on selling it instead so that you could film it with less limitations and a bigger budget?’

Through this movie though, what we would like to accomplish, besides from completing a worth mentioning deed even after 10, 30, 50 years; more importantly is because in the recent years, a few romantic films spreading the message of such ‘Values of New generation’, created such depressing feeling that sends shiver down the spine.

What we wanted to do isn’t something epic or world-changing; on the contrary, we would like to use the romantic movies that grew up with us, in the most cliche way, to lit a tiny flame.


遇到Mr./Mrs. Right,就如看到一套好電影 – 瞥見一眼,足已改變一生。

陳家富(岑榮駿 飾)在電影院巧遇莫敏兒(林雪穎 飾),二人一個柔弱怕事,一個口直心快,卻湊巧地瘋狂迷戀電影,以使二人滔滔不絕,一見如故。


時間流逝,陳家富一心以自己的方法,努力給予莫敏兒最好的一切,卻偏偏事與願違 – 二人的性格差異逐漸浮現,關係變得若即若離。










Screening of the Bridge with director Alia Diab

PUFF presents as a prelude to this year’s main festival, a screening of the short documentary “The Bridge” with the director in attendance to discuss her project.

The Bridge (23 min, USA, 2013) is a documentary about the cross culture conflicts between Arabs and American and the role of media in creating this image and stereotypes.

The Bridge Talk

It’s about what inspired the documentary and incidents that created the need for it. Also about the process of making it and the challenges of being an independent filmmaker.

Location: The Hive Wanchai, 21st Floor, The Phoenix Building, No.23 Luard Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong

Time: 7:00 – 8:30pm

Free Entry


Director’s Bio (Alia Diab)

Born in Bahrain in 1982 and raised in the United Arab Emirates. She started her career in media as an assistant to the Executive Producer for a Reality television show in MBC, one of the largest media channels in the Middle East. Upon project completion Alia moved to the United States to pursue her Masters in Film and Digital Media in the University of Central Florida, Orlando Florida. During her stay she directed short films mostly about the Middle East in order to inform people in the United States about the reality in that part of the world. “The Bridge” is her first documentary, which was inspired by her own life in the United States as an Arab, and by the issues she faced.

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