Emily Teerasuphaset (เอมิลี ธีรสุภะเสฏร์, she/her), the writer and director of the upcoming short Soul Food, joined the Hyphen in Hollywood podcast to discuss her project, whose crowdfunding campaign is currently active and nearing its target goal.
The short is a Thai-language drama about a mother and daughter reconciling the love and hurt in their relationship in a place between our world and the next. Emily and her team believe this personal and cathartic story has something to offer those with difficult family relationships and will make for an honest, mystical slice-of-life film.
For Emily, the film’s inception had been in the works for years. “I initially wrote a short about a little girl and her grandma talking about life and death and this girl grasping the idea of the afterlife or the next life for the first time. But then I went home to Thailand during the summer when my aunt passed away to take care of my cousins who were just children at the time and started thinking about the idea of goodbyes and things left unsaid.”
Emily, who splits her time between working full time in Los Angeles and visiting Thailand, was particularly impacted by the pandemic due to travel restrictions back home. Navigating the uncertainty of not knowing when she’d see her mom again and confronted with the anxieties of her mom being at-risk, Emily turned inward toward her formative relationships and watched the film’s premise begin to take shape.
“You know how no parent relationship is perfect? There’s always gonna be things you don’t say to your parents that you wanna say. I started asking myself this question: What if you had a second chance of seeing someone who was really close to you, and having that opportunity to say everything you wanted to say to them? Could you even say those things? Can we even reach a point of closure? Is it humanly possible? Is it what we need?”
These personal musings became the foundation for Soul Food. Despite the heavy premise, Emily and her creative team expressed optimism and joy in having an opportunity to intersect personal healing with magical realism, while simultaneously bringing Thai identity to life, citing creative and visual inspirations like Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (2010); Spirited Away (2002); Lady Bird (2017); Yi Yi (2000); and Raise The Red Lantern (1991) as reference points for the short.
You can find the link to the campaign for SOUL FOOD here.
This is writer/director Emily Teerasuphaset's first project written in the Thai language. Thai actress and U.N. ambassador Praya Lundberg (IG @prayalundberg) is attached to play the young female lead, and the production team is in the process of securing an all-Thai cast.
“Hyphen in Hollywood” is an entertainment podcast produced by Christian Ting, featuring candid conversations with up-and-coming and established talent from all corners of the entertainment globe.