Catherine Chen

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Catherine Chen

/ Director

Born December, 1997
Rresidence U.S.

My Story

Catherine Chen is a 22-year-old writer-director and a producer currently living in Los Angeles. She is a recent 2020 BA grad from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts. While studying in USC, she interned at Green Gold Animation for story development.

Catherine is a 2nd generation Chinese American who grew up in West Palm Beach, Florida. She witnessed the devastating 2004-2005 hurricanes that ravaged the East Coast of the United States. Before the film school, she majored in visual arts at A. W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts. In 2014, 2015, and 2016, she was a National YoungArts Foundation winner in both Visual and Cinematic Arts.

Director Statement

This is a very personal story to me. And here is what it’s about:

“Yuan Yuan and the Hollow Monster” is about my little sister Yuan Yuan (AKA Jackie) who runs off into a hurricane in order to save her little pet turtle. All of her pets have died, so this one cannot die! It is also about our Chinese American experience. My sister Jacqueline Chen and I grew up watching 西游记 cartoons about the Monkey King, and we used to roleplay as the characters. She was Sun Wukong 猴哥, and I was the monk.

We grew up in Florida during Hurricane Katrina and the other 2004-2005 hurricanes that shut down the region, and we used to be locked up in the house playing with shadows and building forts. It was hard to understand, but we thought it was cool, so I personified it as a dragon.

The goal of this film was to create a positive film about being Chinese American, and I hope that I could spark some memories of childhood for others. I originally wanted to make a film encouraging the hardworking people today to play more, but it ultimately was about a Chinese American young girl who could harness the power to stop a hurricane.

My dream is to become a writer-director for animated movies, since I was inspired by Hayao Miyazaki, Satoshi Kon, and a bunch of anime. Their work meant the world to me, since I rarely saw any strong Asian women on TV or anywhere in Florida.

My Filmography

  • Year Film Title Description

My Award

  • Year Film Title Award(s)

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