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Producer/Director Ace Yue talks award-winning film ‘Gum Gum’

The world, according to China’s Ace Yue, is made up of images, and as a filmmaker and storyteller, she takes those images along with the words inside her head to captivate worldwide audiences. As a producer, Yue takes an idea and brings it to life. They take words off a page and turn it into a movie, creating pictures and sounds to what was once just a script. As a director, she brings characters to life; she transforms audiences to a different place and time; she creates a cinematic masterpiece with each project she takes on.

Yue has made quite a name for herself as a sought-after director and producer in China and abroad. She is extremely versatile, with projects spanning across all genres, and a determination to share stories with the world. Her talent is exemplified in each film she takes on, such as K.a.i., La Pieta, Marriage-holic, and Twenty Years After.

“If you ask me who gives you the most unforgettable impression during the production, I will say Ace’s name loudly. I don’t need to worry about any work if this it handled by Ace, she will always finish it beyond your expectation,” said Mimi Masters, who worked alongside Yue on the film Gum Gum.

Inspired by the events of Yue’s real life, Gum Gum tells the story of a 5-year-old young boy who just lost his mom in a car accident. He tries to get away to get connected with his mom. But the problem is: if he goes for his mom, what about his lovely grandma?

Yue was inspired to create this film based on a memory from when she was only five-years-old herself, and she accidentally swallowed a piece of gum. Her cousin informed her that if one swallows gum, they will die, and Yue was devastated. She wrote a note to her mother, and it was the first time in her life when she truly realized just how much she loved her mom.

“My desire for my mother's love is the greatest. That's why my setting in Gum Gum is that children especially miss their mothers. I cried for one night and wrote this letter. Then I laid in bed and waited to die. It is cute to think of now, so I decided to write this story out, showing the child's innocence,” she said.

Gum Gum has gone on to great success in the last year, making its way to several prestigious international film festivals. It was nominated for seven awards, and Yue took home Best Director at the LA Shorts Awards, Best Short Film at the NYC Indie Film Awards, and more. Needless to say, the film could never have been what it was without her leading the way.

“When I got in the first festival, I was super excited because for me it was a feeling of recognition. The audience liked your work. They appreciated your aesthetic as a director, so I was very excited and happy,” she said. “

Making the film was a cathartic experience for Yue and her crew. When she and her production designer began working on the set, every prop in the boy’s room took Yue back to her childhood. It provided a unique sense of happiness for the director/producer. This was her first film from the perspective of a child and creating the story from such an innocent perspective allowed her to see the world in a new light. The audience feels for the child and his desire for his mother, the way they did when they were children. Yue perfectly captures that feeling.

“I think this work is very much my style. From poster design to every frame of this film. I have highly restored my original thoughts in it. This is a story that I commemorate my childhood and also shows my desire for family,” she said.

Yue was proud to cast emerging actor Kue Lawrence in the starring role. Hiring a child can be difficult, especially one that has never acted, but with Yue’s directing, Lawrence was able to shine in Gum Gum. The two maintain a relationship even now after filming has concluded, and Yue calls him the charm of the film. More, Lawrence appeared in Beautiful Boy starring Academy Award winning actors Steve Carell and Timothée Chalamet, and Yue couldn’t be prouder.

“For Kue, this film is his first time being an actor, which means to actually get contacted with this film industry. We trust each other, I knew we were both giving each other our best. And I am so happy that he has a wonderful career schedule. I sincerely wish him all the best. We are getting better and better, and I am looking forward to working with him in films in the future,” she concluded.

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