Austin-based Mei Makino’s feature directorial debut reflects some of her own experiences and her work with kids and teens. Her main character, Angie, is a 16-year-old who is half-white and half-Chinese. She attends a predominantly white Episcopalian school in Galveston where she explores her sexuality with a popular jock who decides to keep his relationship with her a secret.
“Inbetween Girl” is getting its world premiere at SXSW Film 2021. Makino says she hopes it will be at other festivals in coming months, and then be made available to a wider audience.
“So I worked with kids and teens for about three years here in Austin. And that was really great. I think it made me a better person and I think it made me a more empathetic person. And it really kind of pushed me to write stories about, you know, kids and teens that did feel real and honest.”
“I can’t speak for all mixed people, obviously, but for me, kind of figuring out my identity and not really being a part of any community was really confusing to me growing up.”
“I think that there is a true systemic problem in this country and, you know, I’m not sure what the answer is. I think racism is very hard to talk about. But I think the more we can see Asian stories and the more Asian content creators, you know, get to make things, I hope that people will start seeing Asian-Americans as real Americans, as opposed to, you know, not paying attention to them at all or doing worse things.”
“I started filmmaking when I was 12, and I would always be like, oh, I hate Galveston, I don’t want to film here. … You know, going back when I was scouting, I was like, wow, this island is really pretty and it does have its own character and personality. And so I feel like I was kind of rediscovering this location with kind of older eyes and like having more appreciation for it.”