In 2019, Lulu Wang‘s The Farewell debuted at the Sundance Film Festival and for me, it really hit close to home and yes, I cried during an interview I did with Wang as well as stars Awkwafina, Tzi Ma, and Diana Lin. I want to say I left an impression on Wang because when I saw her next at a post-screening Q&A for the film with her and producers Dani Melia and Andrew Miano she teased me and asked, “Are you going to cry again?”
In any case, Wang said something during that Q&A that stuck with me: “Pioneers are never the people benefiting from the system that they changed, they are part of the change itself. That’s what we feel like. If we can start these conversations, it’s going to be messy and it’s not going to be fair always but the film is challenging all of these antiquated categories.”
Wang is definitely a pioneer.
She, along with Melia not only formed their own production company called Local Time but also signed a first-look TV deal with Amazon through said production company.
“We’re thrilled to be expanding our relationship with Amazon,” Wang said in a statement. “Jen Salke and her team have been remarkable partners on ‘Expats’ and we look forward to many more artist-driven collaborations.”
Wang is no stranger to Amazon as she is currently helming an adaptation of Janice Y.K. Lee novel’s The Expatriates which stars Nicole Kidman, who also serves as an executive producer.
The initial slate for Local Time is looking solid as Wang and Melia are collaborating with Riz Ahmed’s Left Handed Films to develop a series adaptation of Lysley Tenorio’s novel Son of Good Fortune. The newly formed production company will also produce Wang’s sci-fi feature, Children of the New World, based on the short story from Alexander Weinstein. Rounding out the slate is the Wang-directed adaptation of the Japanese film Like Father Like Son at Focus Features