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Indiewire interviewed ‘Misconception’ director Jessica Yu in advance of the film’s premiere at Tribeca Film Festival

Meet the 2014 Tribeca Filmmakers: Jessica Yu Reveals a Growing Danger in ‘Misconception’

By Ziyad Saadi

Indiewire – April 11,  2014

The world isn’t getting any less crowded these days, but that terrifying fact is best captured this year in Jessica Yu’s documentary feature “Misconception,” in which she details not only the growing world population that threatens the Earth’s resources, but also the underappreciated impact it will have on humanity.

Tell us about yourself. I wish I could use someone else’s words, but here goes: I work in documentary, scripted film, and other media and genres. In terms of docs, I recently directed “Last Call at the Oasis,” a look at the world’s water crisis, and “The Guide,” a documentary short set in Mozambique, which focuses on the human side of environmental sustainability. I was born in NY, grew up in the Bay Area, and live in LA now. I’m Chinese American, fifth-generation – which may explain why I don’t speak Chinese and why my parents were so extraordinarily permissive. My work is pretty eclectic, and I feel lucky about that.

What was your biggest challenge in completing this project? This is a big subject, to say the least. We wanted to approach it through stories as opposed to numbers — and we found such strong ones. Each of the three main stories in the film could be its own feature; it was painful to trim them down so they could live together in one. See how I just anthropomorphized them? That’s how attached to the stories I became. I also learned that the phrase “DVD extra?” is code for “Can we please move along?” But in the end, the goal is to make the film greater than the sum of its parts, and I’m happy with the balance we achieved (my periodic kvetching aside).

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