Short Film Profile

The Birthday

It is close to the Birthday of Ron, a nineteen-years-old girl who is deeply in love with May, her best friend. A short time after, Ron moves from Taipei, May decides to join her in Berlin. The love between them is strong but contrasting: Ron doesn’t openly tell May her feelings but May is conscious of what she represents to her friend. Nevertheless she keeps enjoying her life, taking all she can from Ron until she takes too much. Her choices lead both girls to face who they are and how they might live life to the fullest.

Film notes

I met the first actress, Vivian Yung Chang, during a theatre workshop in Berlin.
I loved her language and her energy and very soon I decided to write something for her.

When I wrote the script I was initially just focused on the characters: I didn’t have a concrete plot but I had two characters who were every day clearer in my mind.
I could see their habits, the way they were dressing and talking to each other, I had so many images of them that drove me in the story. I felt the characters had already a story to tell and this story came to me quite quickly.

I didn’t hesitate to shoot in mandarin because the language is so rich, dense and beautiful that I was really comfortable with it. From the first rehearsal the actresses were so natural in their own language that I could follow the script easily and I really thought it was the right choice.

The title of my movie was inspired of course from the love poem by Christina Rossetti that I read just by chance a short time before writing, but it goes through it: a birthday is a new step, it has a meaning, it drives to a mental change, it has a concrete symbolic weight, especially for very young people.

In this movie the birthday is like the lighthouse in Virgina Woolf’s book. It has to do with with consciousness/unconsciousness, with emotions mostly connected more with the mind that with actions.




Copyright © 2014 Daniela Lucato

Previous screenings

29 Apr – 4 May | Turin, Italy
13 May – 24 May | Cannes, France
Shanghaipride | 2015
12 Jun – 21 Jun | Shanghai, China
18 Jun – 28 Jun | San Francisco, United States

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Information on this profile is provided by the film owners and/or compiled from available sources | Profile updated 1 Nov 2014