Meet IFFR Young Selector Xiang
Rotterdam creatives Xiang Yu Yeung, Davi Everitz, Boaz Schoevaars and Sara Muhametaj are the new IFFR Young Selectors. They take matters into their own hand by organising two film events: one before and one during the festival. From marketing to side-programming and production: these youngsters decide everything themselves! Who are the IFFR Young Selectors and what drives them? Let’s get to know Xiang.
Tell us something about yourself!
My name is Xiang, I am 25 years old and I study Media & Film Studies in Leiden and I studied Cultural Studies at the Erasmus University before. In between those studies I took some time to find out what it was I really wanted to do. I ended up with my biggest passion: film! As a visual artist, I work multidisciplinary: I worked as a photographer, I changed to moving images and ended up with film. At IFFR Young Selectors this all falls together. In my spare time, I hang around in the film theaters. Luckily, here in Rotterdam, we’ve got a few really good ones. My Cineville card is my lifesaver! And KINO is right around the corner so you can find me over there.
What makes you a true Rotterdammer?
I was born and raised here, I feel very much at home in Rotterdam. In the past, I found it difficult to consider myself a true Nederlander, or to see myself as a Rotterdammer. I have a diasporic background since my parents are Chinese immigrants. Last few years I became more conscious about the fact that all these cultures are within Rotterdam’s DNA. It’s a melting pot of different cultures that keep informing and inspiring each other. So it makes me very proud to be someone with a diasporic origin, who considers herself a real Rotterdammer.
What is your ultimate IFFR-film?
Wow, that’s so hard! Each year during IFFR I saw around 15 to 20 films. But the movie that had a great impact on me was Moonlight. In 2017, I also went to the Masterclass with Barry Jenkins. It was really fantastic! Shortly after, he won that Oscar, but I got to talk to him personally during that Masterclass. What makes this film so special for me, is that it’s a queer coming-of-age. It’s such a brave film since it’s partly autobiographical because Jenkins grew up in exactly the same neighbourhood as the main character and has the same background. The way he managed to translate this intimate story into a movie I find very special and inspiring. I was sitting there as a real fangirl, haha. And last year I saw this great animation film from Japan: Night Is Short, Walk On Girl. This is also a beautiful coming-of-age, but then one that testes the conventions within anime. These kind of movies and masterclasses are for me inseparable with IFFR.