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Meet the Finalist: CAO Yiwen, "Chubby Cafe"

Tell us about yourself, and about Chubby Cafe.

I'm the producer, screenwriter and main actress in Chubby Cafe. And I put on 30 pounds to act as Chubby, the cafe owner. Chubby Cafe is a suspense comedy, which focuses on choosing the most important emotion among friendship, lover and family. And in this film, there are lots of beauties with different personalities. Because I want to show more modern Chinese girls to the world.

Share a memorable moment you experienced working on this project.

Share a memorable moment you experienced working on this project?I think the memorable moment is about our challenge. A big challenge is that we had to work at night constantly, due to limited budget. When I first heard that we had to work at night, I felt excited because I never did this before. But some other actresses didn’t have good expressions. On the first shooting day, the weather in Beijing suddenly turned cold. So the actress who acted as Illusion got high fever. In next days, several actresses also got cold and some staff ran away. So we had to keep recruiting new staff and taking care of actresses. Since I am not only the actress and screenwriter of this film, I’m also a producer. These things distracted me. But luckily, the other producer Wang Weiqing helped me a lot. We encouraged each other and got over difficulties. But next time, I will not take that risk again. Because actors’ performance will be influenced a lot if lacking of enough rest.

Name 3 collaborators that you'd take with you to any other project.

I want to thank more than 3 collaborators, like the producer Wang Weiqing, the actress Hong Hong, the director Li Qia, the editor Wang Lingyu and so on. Many people made contribution to this film. And I will be the director in the next film. It's an original crime comedy. And I will reunite some core collaborators in that film.

3 tips you’d like to share with aspiring artists in your field:

Most of all, you should have a screenplay with potential, I mean, the script should be in depth, because screenplay is the core factor for telling a good story. So it must be meaningful. Then you can find some collaborators who understand you well and have abilities to make contribution to this film. Next, you should get enough money. Get enough budgets and never let your employees suffer unnecessary negative influence is very important.

What do you hope to achieve in your career in the next 5 years?

ctually, I wrote a TV series named Chubby Café before this movie. That is a comedy which I wrote for 2 years. Before we began to shoot, a main investor changed her mind and asked me to make a movie first. So I used 3 days to write a totally different story but still named Chubby Café to memorize that one. So I will film it in future. But for the very next step, I will be a director and direct my screenplay. It's a creative crime comedy. And I will show audience a new world that you have never seen. My teammates and I are very expect this film and I hope distributors can connect me so we can show this unique film to audience around the world..

Chubby Cafe is nominated for Best Narrative Feature of the Year at the New York Film Awards.


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