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WONDERLAND
 
WONDERLAND
 
East Coast Premiere

Director: Tiffanie Hsu

United States, 2017, 14min
Format: Digital (screening) - Arri Alexa 2K (shooting)
Festival Year: 2019
Category: Short Narrative
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Cast:  Joan Chen, Audrey Hui
Crew:  Producers: Pin-Chun Liu, Domenica Castro - Screenwriters: Tiffanie Hsu -
Email:  markusaugohr.de

synopsis
Twelve-year-old Adeline Tang struggles to navigate America's adult playground and keep her mother's gambling under control, all for the promise of that perfect family Christmas holiday once her father arrives. But as the days unfold, Adeline realizes that growing up might not hold all the excitement she'd been hoping for.

director
Tiffanie Hsu spent her childhood in Wisconsin, California, and Taiwan. Her fascination with narrative first blossomed in university where her thesis film, THREE BEAUTIES, was awarded the Thomas T. Hoopes prize at Harvard. Professionally, she worked as a director's assistant first with international performer Leehom Wang on his directorial feature film debut LOVE IN DISGUISE and then with Ang Lee for three years on LIFE OF PI. Tiffanie's first short film, SUTURES, was made with AFI's prestigious Directing Workshop for Women and has garnered several awards including Excellence in Short Filmmaking Award at the Asian American International Film Festival and the AFIDWW Showcase Jean Picker Firstenberg Award. As an MFA candidate at UCLA, Tiffanie was selected as a recipient of the Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowship, a premier graduate school fellowship that offers academic support in the amount of $90,000. Tiffanie's films strive to tell stories that show people overcoming their own isolation, coming at last to make connections that propel themselves forward.
Filmography   

filmmaker's note
Las Vegas was created as a wonderland to encourage adults to leave their responsibilities behind. Countless stories have been told about the glitz and glamour, the schemes and cons, even the absurd comical hijinks adults get themselves into while escaping to Sin City. But when the adults are at play, what happens to the kids? At age twelve, Adeline feels the burden of keeping her mother’s gambling under control in order to keep her parents together. Faced with her mother’s need for love and validation on one side, and an impossible commitment to her father on the other, she feels trapped. The stakes are further raised when she learns that her father has abandoned her to this fate. There is no escape - or is there? My hope for WONDERLAND – both the short and its attached feature – is to engross audiences with genuine characters whose dilemmas provoke a dialogue about an ongoing social issue. Compared to a national rate of 5%, the rate of gambling addiction soars to over 50% in certain Asian immigrant populations, a group whose voice so often goes unheard in the American zeitgeist. WONDERLAND turns up the volume on the issue while also touching upon the magic and hope of a young girl’s quest for her place in an alien world.

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