Director Biography – Frankie Li (CHILI PEPPER)

Frankie Li is a film director and editor based in Taipei, Taiwan. With a BFA in Filmmaking from Taipei National University of the Arts, her filmmaking journey started in 2014.

Her work challenges set narrative formulae, and specializes in casting a humorous and sympathetic eye on the ambiguities of human connection and experience.

From 2016 to 2018, Frankie relocated to the UK and Ireland and worked as a Video Specialist for Minnie Peters, an elite design brand in Dublin. After returning to Taiwan in 2018, she worked as a commercial film director at DC Films and Pressplay respectively. There, Frankie successfully brought her skillset and vision to the commercial industry, working to significant stakeholder acclaim with many internationally renowned brands including McDonald’s, The Balvenie, Ford, Nivea Men, Sofy, OPPO mobile phones, Clear shampoo, Neogence, PH9.0 alkaline water, Nestle milk powder, and more besides.

Aside from commercial work, Fankie retains a strong personal interest in the art of filmmaking. Her latest short film Chilli Pepper (2020) was selected for ARFF Paris International Film Festival and Ongezien Kort Belgian Film Festival. It will be screened in public at the end of 2020 and 2021 and gained a Special Mention at the London-Worldwide Comedy Short Film Festival.

While at university, Frankie directed two well-received fiction films, Elegy (2013) and Floating On (2014), both of which were screened at the Guandu Film Festival. She also developed significant skills in video art, creating, 24 Seconds Stop to Thinking of… and The Marks of the Bodies, both performed publicly in TNUA.

Director Statement

Chilli Pepper is a very personal story inspired by my last relationship, my crew and I mock it as a drama therapy for me, and I think it is the truth for everyone, films are a kind of therapy that serves a more objective platform for us to see ourselves in certain circumstances, it is the real-life, a real fight in relationships, a real miscommunication that we all experienced in some degrees, and I’m very interested in the concept that such a small little thing like chilli pepper can lead to a spontaneous drama.

In the production, I chose this tiny apartment which is the most common layout in Taipei city a young couple would choose or can afford to live, and it also increases the awkwardness and tension for the fight, for shooting Chilli Pepper, the funny green and blue lightings on the top of the dining table divide the couple into two worlds and I also tried to build up a wall in between the couple by the framing I used in the film. The end of Chilli Pepper, I let the female character to wear the invisible dress, which had always been my personal fantasy, “can you still see me when I feel invisible?”, and it gives the story an open ending, where I really like having the space that I can interact with the audience, get to know how they relate to it.

For behind the scene, I am the director, the producer, the writer, the DOP, the art director, the editor, the colourist and the VFX artist of Chilli Pepper (you know what a low-budget short means…), I’m from Taiwan, and I finished this film with 4 of my college friends, 2 main actors, a sound recordist(who is actually an actor) and a sound designer, 4 out 3 were my former housemates, it was a blessing to have the chance to shoot a film with people who learned filmmaking with me.

 

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