Jon Hill is an Emmy Award winning producer making his feature film directing debut. Based on real events following the loss of his father, Above the Clouds is the culmination of over 13 years of trying to bring this story to the big screen. You can see his work at JonHillDirects.com.
Hi! I’m Jon Hill. For 25 years I had the best dad in the world. And then one day he died. And it suuuuuuuuuuuucked.
A few months later I found myself unemployed and alone in a coffee shop. I struck up a conversation with a complete stranger and we ended up spending the day together, sharing our stories, dealing with our traumas, and ultimately learning and growing in a way two random strangers rarely do. I knew that day was special and would one day be a part of something bigger. Thirteen years later, after many ups and downs, I was finally able to bring that day to the big screen. This is my love letter told through loss.
There really isn’t a book about what to do when your parent dies. It’s a really terrible time for a young person and it’s easy to get scared and lost. I sure know I was. So I set out to make a film that could help someone who found themself like me; losing a parent and having no answers as to why. Laughing helped me get through it and I want people to know it’s ok to laugh at death as a means to celebrate life. I know my father would have wanted it that way.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, we saw an instant rise in the demonization and rejection of the Asian American community. Violence became so bad, the hashtag #StopAAPIHate was formed as a cry for help. So how do you fight back against “othering?” You do it by showing that our community is the same as yours.
As a big believer in the, “Be the change you want to see in the world,” mantra, making a film that stars two Asian-American leads and an Asian supporting cast would be my small contribution to helping solve the lack of diversity and representation in Hollywood. We do more than just Kung Fu. We lose pets, deal with our parents, and go on adventures just just like our non-Asian friends. It was very important to not cater to what I think someone would want us to say, but what we actually want to say. My goal, and ethos making this, was to be unapologetically Asian. I’m not someone who is going to sit around and hope the problem gets fixed by asking for permission. I’m going to go out and grab it. Above the Clouds is my offering of a solution to that problem: a story about us, by us.
I am truly honored that anyone would take time out of their life to watch this film. So from the bottom of my heart, thank you.
- Year Film Title Description
- Year Film Title Award(s)
- September 20, 2022 Above the Clouds A lost dog, a cassette tape, and a backyard comedy show lead these two Asian American strangers on a day they’ll never forget.