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The concept for Into the Night started when I made a 6-minute short film of the same name in 2014 while I was an M.F.A. student
at Boston University. I'm very fond of the film noir style, and really wanted to explore the traditional elements of film
noir, such as the hard-boiled detective and the femme fatale, the twisted storyline and sophisticated storytelling, the harsh
lighting and shadows, the presence of water, and adapt them to tell a contemporary story that is unique to its world but can
resonate with audience globally.
I hope to break a few boundaries in this iconic style and bring new contemporary elements to the characters and narrative.
In this film, gender roles in a classical film noir are flipped. Instead of following a man acting as a detective, it follows
a young woman whose back is against the wall and had to rely on her own strength and judgement to solve the case. Instead
of a femme fatale, there is an homme fatal who tries to lead the protagonist into dangerous situations.
Through the non-linear narrative, I'm trying to get the audience actively involved, and have them experience the story
as the protagonist, Jane, experiences it: thrown into the middle of a mystery, she has to piece the puzzle together herself,
as she receives fragments of evidence and multiple perspectives of the same story entangled in a downward spiral. In the film,
every character has an important decision to make that shaped the premise or outcome of the story, and they pass the questions
stemmed from these decisions along from one to another. Jane is asked the question if you did a bad thing for a good reason,
are you still a bad person? She embodies the question through her actions, and at the end of the film, passes it along to
the detective, and hence the audience.
Made on a budget of $6,000 with a total cast and crew of 8 people, we pushed ourselves to the limit to be resourceful
artistically and creatively, and hope to truly honor the spirit and art of Independent Filmmaking that inspired and encouraged
young filmmakers like us throughout the years. With this film, I hope that through her own efforts, a young woman's voice
can finally reach a stage where it can be heard.
WRITER, DIRECTOR, PRODUCER, EDITOR, OMC, LEAD ACTRESS
Kate Li is a filmmaker based in Los Angeles.
Kate earned her MFA in Film Production from Boston University, where she was awarded the Leader Scholarship, the Hing
Wah Cheung Fellowship, and the Al Uzielli Production Award. Kate also holds an M.Ed. in Arts in Education from Harvard University.
Into the Night (2019) is her feature film directorial debut. Her short films include Into the Night (short, 2014), and Compassionate
Release (short, 2016), both have been screened at film festivals across the US.
Kate's films are known for their nonlinear dramatic narratives and elegant visual style. Themes she explores in her films
include connections among people, secrets, memories, time, and human morality. Whenever she is not behind the camera, Kate
enjoys being in front of the camera.
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INTO THE NIGHT
& CO-PRODUCED BY JD Benjamin
Jane is a bright young woman who longs for, but always feared change. Following the sudden murder of her fiancÚ, she quickly
finds herself caught in a web of manipulation and dark plot created by a successful bar owner and his estranged wife, both
of whom claim to know about the truth of her fiancÚ's murder and try to persuade Jane to believe their side of the story.
The detective leading the case is a long-time friend of Jane's. His good heart and belief in innocence until proven guilty
leaves Jane questioning if he is capable of bringing actual justice to this very personal case. When the facts surrounding
the murder fail to match the explanations put forth, Jane is forced to rely on her own judgment to piece the puzzle together
and come to a resolution that brings her peace.