Hey APC! I am Caitlyn Phu, an 18-year-old filmmaker, and writer from Huntington Beach, California. I’m a first-generation Asian American, with Vietnamese-Chinese immigrant parents, who is currently attending college with a major in Television Writing and Production.
My short film, Durian is extremely personal to me because the challenges that Clara Chu, the protagonist, faces throughout the film are all based on my own life experiences and real interactions I have had with both friends and family. The screenwriting process for Durian initially began as just a way for me to digest and dissect my own cultural identity crisis that I was struggling with, so I basically laid out experiences I have had that had affected my understanding of my identity and said, “How do I translate this into a film that sends a message bigger than myself?” Durian was my chance to make a statement that I haven’t had the guts to say before, so the film means a great deal to me in the sense that it gave my voice the megaphone that it really needed. I kind of see Durian as my child now, because it took a lot of labor and love to create, and it sure does look a lot like me (or, my life, I should say). And, following its release, Durian became my way to connect to many others that were undergoing the same cultural identity crisis that I had initially felt so alone in dealing with.