News Miraculously successful debut. Celine Song told the audience about Past Lives

Published: July 04, 2023| 04:41 PM

Before her feature debut, Celine Song has not made any short film or participated in major festivals, she only spent years in theatre and working on a TV series. Although she had to learn a whole new craft when she moved from theatre behind the camera, Past Lives reflects her artistic maturity – it was selected for the competition at Berlinale and premiered at Sundance. 

Behind the success, Song says, is the advice of her screenwriting teacher. “He told me that for a story to be successful it must affect me personally. If that’s the case, I know the film is good. After all, I’m not an alien – somewhere in the world there must be a person who sees things in a similar way as I do,” she recalled. 

On its journey to the world film festivals, the film was supported by producer Christine Vachon. “She was the first real judge of quality my story came across on its production journey. And she liked it,” Song explained. This, she says, is another prerequisite for a story to become a good film. “Your colleagues are basically your first audience. For a film to win your audience, it must first win the hearts of your colleagues,” she added. Past Lives was presented at the 57th KVIFF in the Horizons programme section and there will be a second screening on Thursday at 8:30 at the Grand Hall.


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