Two MU students to screen their films at Cannes Film Festival in May

Two films entitled “Moments” and “Her Diary” produced by MU seniors to be shown at film festival.
Two films produced by MU seniors Fanxi Sun and Roxanne Wan will be shown at the Cannes film festival. Two films produced by MU seniors Fanxi Sun and Roxanne Wan will be shown at the Cannes film festival.

Junior Roxanne Wan and senior Fanxi Sun have been given the opportunity to showcase their films in May at the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France. Both films were selected by jurors, and this festival is seen as highly prestigious.

Wan’s film is entitled “Moments,” and is seen as paying tribute to Chinese mothers and children in Columbia. Sun’s film, “Her Diary,” is based on passages from her personal journal.

Sun knew she wanted to major in film studies in high school, but her love for films started at a young age.

“I didn’t realize I wanted to do film until in high school when I made a music video for my high school,” Sun said. “Then I thought, ‘Oh I’m very interested in digital storytelling, and I want to do something more than just music videos’.”

Sun first participated in Campus Movie Fest, which is a nationwide film festival and gives students a week to film and produce their work by allowing them to use their equipment.

Sun learned to take advantage of opportunities while participating in Campus Movie Festival. She also feels like this experience has prepared her for her future career.

“I learned that you need to seize the opportunity when you still can,” Sun said. “I [also] feel like this is a big milestone in my filmmaking journey.”

Sun feels like this achievement is both an acknowledgement and a way to encourage herself to do more. Overall, her experiences with accomplishing this milestone has prepared her for her career in filmmaking.

“[This accomplishment] encourages me to do more work and be stricter to myself, because while I have accomplished this, I can also work for better things,” Sun said.

Wan’s filmmaking journey is a bit different than Sun’s. She started as a journalism major, but while on the Missouri International Student Council she made videos and publicized events which led her to realize she actually had an interest and talent.

When Wan entered her film into the competition, she did not expect too much out of it, but was given more than she expected. Both her and Sun won the Jury Award and then competed in the national level, in which they were selected to present their films at the Cannes Film Festival.

Wan was the co-director of her film and worked among a team of people who helped her with her film. This was the first time she worked closely with someone like this.

“The first time I made a film, I did it all by myself,” Wan said. “This was the first time I actually made a film with somebody and we all had different roles and jobs.”

According to the MU News Bureau article, Sun and Wan also participated in the 2020 Visual Art & Design Showcase. Sun submitted photos entitled “Somewhere,” while Wan submitted a film entitled “Cigarette in Love.” Wan’s film received the Ragtag Cinema Video Award at the festival.

Wan plans to go to grad school in Los Angeles or New York after she graduates from MU in December. Sun will graduate from MU in May and plans to take a gap year before applying to grad school.

At first, Wan and Sun were unable to receive funding to go to Cannes to see their films, but their professors ensured they would get the chance to see their films at the festival. Wan said developing a relationship with your professors is beneficial. Without her professors, Wan is unsure if this would have been possible.

“Get close and be friendly with your advisers and professors,” Wan said. “This can be a big deal [for potential careers].”

Edited by Alex Fulton | afulton@themaneater.com

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