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How I Made It: The Pet (2021)

A month after returning from their honeymoon in Sanya, Alfira accidentally discovered that her seemingly perfect husband had cheated on her before they got married. One day, she decided to confront the woman.

15min | Uyghur | 2021 | China

In its persistent mission and zeal to promote good cinema, the Indian Film Institute brings you the experience of the Director of the film - Mirzat Abduqadir

What inspired you to venture into short filmmaking?

I believe that many artistic films now are way too regulated, classical and dull. There are so many similarities that I can make a long list of identical works that clearly lack any new idea. There’s just this growing tendency of repeating over and over again to a point of complete dullness. To me, one thing more important than being narrative / non-narrative is the “form.” Every work of mine is created with the “form” first. Every kind of reality needs a set of affective narrative language to be displayed.

What was your background before making this film? I’ve shot three short films in the summer of 2020, this is the last one, it constructs all of my beautiful memories of that summer with the other two.

What was the starting point for you of deciding to make this film?

The art of cinema is the combination of visual and hearing senses, it is a complex whole. Language is my tool for narrating, and of course there is more than one tool to narrate.

Why this subject matter for your film?

The relationship between male and female is always complicated, this might be the reason why I made this film. This is a film of strong modernity, it is a piece of work who’s form and content have been stripped out and misplaced, which requires both the producer and the audience to complete together.

Where did you find this story for this film?

The initial inspiration of this short film came from a chat before a meal. I talked about how to do subtraction to images.

What were the challenges you faced in making the film?

We were shooting in the Kazanchi area of Gulja. It is one of the most gorgeous places in Gulja as well as the downtown. The streets are twisty there, making the traffic tricky. Some alleys are so narrow that only one vehicle can run through. When we were getting through an alley, our shooting rack accidentally scratched another car. The car owner surprisingly didn’t get mad at us after seeing that we were shooting, and told us to drive with care.

Making short films on a zero or a low budget is a common practice for most short filmmakers around the world. Do you think it affects the quality of production? What would you suggest to first-time short filmmakers on a budget to ensure a good enough production quality?

I don’t really think so, I like films without a budget, and by without a budget I’m referring to works that don’t cost more than the producer could handle. Because this type of creating stimulates imagination and creativity under limited conditions without the worries behind and without being tied up and influenced by other forces. Let your imagination do the work and give it all the honesty.

Did you face any problems in releasing or distributing the film? Do you think short filmmakers today have a marketplace to showcase and sell their works?

I’m one of the lucky ones, my distributor helped me handle all this early on. I’m not really familiar with the short film markets in other countries, but as far as I’m concerned, the displaying and sales market of short films are far from developed in mainland China.

How do you think filmmakers like you can overcome common challenges like finance and distribution?

These challenges can be met when we use our limited resources and funds, with imagination and with sincerity.

Any other interesting facts about this film that you may like to cover, any experiment you did, or style?

I was planning to make this film using a linear narrative in a long shot, but due to various constraints on the scene, it was hard to make it, so I had to present it in this way.

Is this film going to affect the society, and who should watch it?

The audience should calm down and find themselves in the right place. Art film is a mirror, not a simple tool to show ideology or feed curiosity. I think any work can find its own audience.

What would you advice filmmakers making a short film for the first time?

My key advice would be to Be brave and bold to try something different.

Meet the Director

Mirzat Abduqadir was born in 1994 in Aksu , Xinjiang, China, studied at Beijing Foreign Studies University. Since 2015, he began to self-study film production, film science and contemporary film theory for a long time. He has participated in the production of a number of works of new and cutting-edge directors with high attention at home and abroad. In 2020, the short feature film "Friends" was selected in the Cannes Directors' Fortnight 2020 Shortlist, and it was selected in the 13th Beijing Queer Film Festival and other film festivals. In 2021, The short feature film " The Pet " was selected in The 16th Chinese Youth Film Week and other film festivals. He completed feature film debut" Almost A Story " and the short feature " Honeymoon " in 2022.


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