Starring: Jess X. Snow & Joecar Hanna
Written by: Jess X. Snow
Co-directed by: traci kato-kiriyama & Jess X. Snow
Produced by: Grace Zhang
Cinematography by: Eileen Yoon
Edited by: Andrew Migliori
Co-edited by: PJ Wyderka
Hair and Make Up: Randy Rosenthal
Sound Mixer: Andreas Nicholas
Gaffer: Anika Guttormson
“My Distant Dragon” song composed by: Joecar Hanna
lyrics by: Jess X. Snow and Yumeng Han
Original Score: treya lam
Sometimes, on the journey of self discovery, one uncovers parts of themselves that don’t seemingly fit. The more one suppresses them, the more they burrow into the subconscious, lighting fires that can burn out of control if left unattended. But those bits of us that we suppress, that we’re told don’t fit, the parts of us that we’re told to leave behind when adopting into a new culture, is where our magic is; mysticism, folklore, strength and knowledge from the ones whose shoulders we stand on, from our ancestral lands. Magic that can dim over the course of generations if we agree to forget.
But what happens if that magic finds a way to escape? Can we learn to control it? Is it even worth controlling?
In “I Wanna Be The Sky,” multi-disciplinary artist Jess X. Snow explores the notion of rediscovery and remembering by honoring oneself. Set in a much larger story, this piece is but a vignette of what’s to come. “I’m in the process of writing a book,” said Jess. “This scene is just a part of what I’m imagining for this story as I build out the world, where our culture is within us both in a figurative and literal sense.”
A story that works on different levels and in different lenses, “I Wanna Be The Sky” is a reminder that we are all magic. And we shouldn’t forget.
is a non-binary writer/director, multi-disciplinary artist, and poet of the Jiangxi Chinese diaspora working on the stolen unceded lands of the Munsee Lenape, (present day Manhattan). Spanning large scale murals, narrative films, protest posters, and children's books—their body of work explores a radical migrant imagination, desire across binaries, mental (un)wellness, kinship across cultures and species, and borderless, abolitionist futures. Their murals featuring multi-generational kinships built between Black, Indigenous, and Asian femmes, can be found on walls across the country. A graduate of the film MFA program at NYU, their film and immersive work has been supported by their friends and community, BAFTA, the National Film Board of Canada, Tribeca Film Institute, Canada Council For the Arts, Inside Out, Playwright Horizons, the Sloan Foundation for Science in Film and elsewhere. Their shorts films that span multiple genres include the three-channel documentary Afterearth, and the narratives: Safe Among Stars (2019), which screened at Blackstar, Ann Arbor, Newfest, and Little Sky (2021), which screened at Cinequest (Best Student Short), Durban (Special Mention), BFI Flare, Frameline, Outfest, Hollyshorts, and 30+ festivals across the world and the forthcoming Roots That Reach Toward The Sky (2023). i wanna become the sky (2023), is their acting debut and is based on their coming-of-age fantasy novel.