There’s an uncomfortable irony in the comfort that a sad story brings us, likely because it reminds us that we all experience painful moments in life. No one is untouched by the reality of the world. Producer Wendi Sun was attracted to the film Off to Care because it communicates the tenderness that is present in these trying times. Sun often refers to the ability of film to move us towards compassion and a respect of the happier experiences by considering the more sobering ones. His personal experiences losing loved ones instilled him with an empathy for the characters in Off to Care and cemented his resolve as producer to empower this film’s greatness. In addition to recognitions from the Hollywood International Moving Pictures Film Festival, Festigious Los Angeles, and the Independent Shorts Awards, Off to Care has become a certified hit in Sun’s homeland with nearly 2.3 million views on China’s popular video site Tencent. This undeniably moving story testifies to this film’s ability to speak to the human experience regardless of background or culture.
Starring Gregory Pedemonte as Henry and Jane Stillwater as Diana, Off to Care is a lesser discussed tale about lasting love and the obstacles that challenge even the most enduring of romances. In her golden years, Diana has succumbed to increasing senility. Try as he might, Henry cannot protect her from every dangerous scenario that presents itself to his spouse. When recurring accidents become the norm and Diana has lost the ability to recognize her own son, her husband makes the agonizing decision to place her in a Nursing Home where she can be monitored and treated with the highest level of professional care. Off to Care is bittersweet in showing the immense pain which can accompany true love. In addition to its award-winning results at the Independent Shorts Awards, Off to Care received recognitions from the Indie Short Fest, Blastoff, Festigious Los Angeles, as well as being an Official Selection of the Mindfield Festival Los Angeles and others.
Off to Care is a deeply personal story. What it may lack in terms of explosions and CGI is more than made up for in sincerity and emotive performances. Producer Sun understood that this was not the type of film that would immediately attract investors with an exciting trailer and elicit gasps. To ensure that the film received the support it demanded in order to achieve the proper tone, Sun took the initiative to invite investors on the film set to witness first-hand how the performances and passion of the cast and crew would lead to the exceptional quality of this production. He recalls, “The excitement of being on a real film set is something most people don’t get to see. Potential investors are already interested but if they’re going to put money on a film, they want to believe in the story AND the storyteller. I welcomed this group onto our set and carefully explained why our camera choices, lighting choices, and other aspects were important to relating the message in the emotional tone we desired. I think it was equally important to see how committed and excited our cast and crew was about this film. This type of enthusiasm is infectious and really helped convince these investors to be a part of funding this film; so much so that some have already signed on for other films I’ll be producing in the future.”
Wendi Sun is equal parts Chess player and sports coach in his role as a producer. Always anticipating the needs of the production in advance while simultaneously supplying all of their present requirments, it takes an incredibly creative mind to achieve this. When a film achieves a tone that is as heart wrenching and moving as Off to Care, an intrinsic part is the masterful work of a professional like Sun. The tears ushered in by the loving couple at the center of this story are conflicted, and made possible by the exceptionally talented individuals in front of and behind the camera.