Interview with Ashley Chin Chin IP

Ashley (Chin Chin) Ip, producer, writer and director based in Brooklyn, New York.

Ashley worked in the fashion world and later in journalism, now commercial directing and editing. Drawing from her rich Chinese heritage and juxtaposing it with modern society, Ashley seeks to share the tales of characters who overcome challenges with the support of compassionate humans and a leap of faith.

Could you briefly describe your project for our audience?

"The Calligraphy Lesson" uses the delicate art of traditional Chinese calligraphy to explore complex modern issues such as immigration, education, single parenting, and the universal desire for belonging and freedom.


What were your main aspirations or goals when creating this project?
When I create I try not to set certain goals but to express, this one I'd say it's to offer a message of hope and solidarity to women who may feel overwhelmed by their circumstances.

Share some memorable moments from the shooting process or any pleasant surprises.
When the child actors speak 'freedom' in my first language. That's a moment I will forever remember. Their enthusiasm and the way they connected with the cultural lessons were both touching and inspiring. Another pleasant surprise was the support we received from the local community, who embraced the project and provided invaluable assistance, making the filming process smoother and more enriching.

Who is the primary target audience for your film, and what do you hope they will take away from it?
I aim to inspire hope and resilience, particularly among women who might be struggling with similar issues.



How would you define your unique filmmaking style, and what distinct qualities characterize your film?

To be honest I'm still in an early stage of filmmaking, so it really doesn't have a clear style, I'm more focused on getting the projects finished and building up good relationships with people along the way for now.

Do you have a filmmaker or source of inspiration who has influenced your work?
I love filmmakers who unlock my feelings and reassure me that I'm not a dreamer, addressing my thoughts about humanity. I admire characters who start from ordinary backgrounds but become uncontrollable due to the limitations of their environments. I find these qualities in the works of Ti West, Luca Guadagnino, Julia Ducournau, and Alex Garland. Each of these directors excels at creating immersive narratives with complex emotions, pushing the boundaries of their genres, and sharing love, because we allow it to happen in cinema.

Share a couple of your favorite films and what resonates with you about them:
My favorite list has evolved over the years. In my late 20s, I would say "Mother" by Bong Joon Ho and "Biutiful" by Alejandro González Iñárritu stand out. These two films craft worlds filled with undiscovered emotions and dangers. They allow us to explore complex human experiences and intense realities from a place of safety, offering profound insights and stirring emotions that resonate deeply with me.

Where do you typically find inspiration for your film projects?
I find inspiration in everyday interactions, societal issues, and the resilience of individuals facing challenges.