Aleta talks with Parida Tanti about her short film Young People, Old People & Nothing In Between that screened at the 43rd Hawaiʻi International Film Festival (HIFF).
This episode is part of our weekly series of WĀHINE DIRECTORS @ HIFF 43 - a series of interviews that are a great opportunity to learn more about the directors' films that were screened at HIFF and their creative process. Also available on our podcast.
PT: My name is Parida Tanti, and I wrote and directed Young People, Old People and Nothing Inbetween, which is a short that played as a part of HIFF: Ties that Bind. The film is about a girl named Juice. She's trying to help her best friend Grandma Lovely remember things because Grandma is starting to slowly forget and forget who she is. So the grandma is developing Alzheimer's and she doesn't understand. She’s seven and so she spends the film trying to get her to remember her.
AH: What was your favorite part of the process? Are you a writer/director?
PT: Yeah. Yeah. Everything. I write and direct. Yes. I also edited it. This was my thesis project.
AH: What was your favorite part of the process?
PT: So it was definitely working with Dee Dee and Grandma. They just came to set, always ready and I filmed during COVID, 2020, in March. So the fact that we were even there and the camera was up, it was a miracle every day because everyone had to test negative every day, like 30 people. And so I think just getting to make the film was such a treat in itself.
AH: I really truly loved this film. It was so heartwarming and sincere.
PT: Thank you!
AH: Do you have any advice for up and coming filmmakers?
PT: Do it is what I would say. No one's going to come by and tell you you should. If you feel like you want to, the time is now, all the time. And then you just have to believe that you have it in you to make- seeing what you want to see and that your story is important enough to be told. That's kind of difficult for me and I still struggle with it. But I like to say it to other female filmmakers because it is absolutely true.
You could say that I had absolutely no idea it would come this far. I mean, you know, when I was writing it, I was, I didn’t know if it was going to exist or not because Covid. I could have done a smaller film that wasn't as complex and just film it, like in the house or something. But I just, I really wanted to make this film. And so I feel like if you have that voice that just won't stop, like you will do it, but you need a little push. You should definitely do it. I just had no idea, if people would like it, if you would relate. But I just needed to tell this story. And so I did it. No one will tell you. But I'll tell you.
AH: Oh yeah, you tell us.
PT: Yeah. Who am I again?
AH: Is there any struggle you had to overcome over the course of this film?
PT: I love thinkers... Ok, the whole, self. You won't believe it, every second is like: Why am I doing this? Is this going to go anywhere? The hundreds of failure scenarios running in my head, we just have to do it. It's crazy because ten years ago I was also looking around and just being like, how do people get into festivals? How do films get made? Like, if I ever get into one, I'll be so happy. I just feel like I was right there too. So you should definitely do it.
Parida Tantiwasadakran is a Thai-American writer-director whose films have premiered at multiple festivals all around the world. Her latest film, ”Young People, Old People & Nothing in Between" won Best Live-Action Short Film at the Academy-Award qualifying Center Film Festival, Best Performance at the Canadian Screen Award qualifying Vancouver International Women in Film Festival, Best Short Film at the KUKI Berlin Film Festival, and Best Student Short at the Porto Femme International Film Festival. She holds an MFA in Film Directing from UCLA and a BA in Poetry from Columbia University.
Learn more about Parida: paridatanti.com
Aleta Hammerich is a local filmmaker and graduate of UH Mānoa School of Cinematic Arts with experience in directing, cinematography, and editing. She has worked on projects such as Reel Wāhine of Hawaiʻi (2021), The ‘Ilima Lady (2023), and Homestead (2023). Aleta is passionate about using filmmaking as a platform to share women’s and LGBTQIA+ stories.