Writer-director Mei Makino explores biracial identity in the coming-of-age film “Inbetween Girl,” which won the Visions Award at SXSW 2021. The film will be released by Utopia on demand May 3. Below, IndieWire shares the exclusive trailer.
Newcomer Emma Galbraith stars as Angie Chen, a teen artist who is secretly hooking up with popular jock Liam (William Magnuson). While Angie starts having sex — and endures the awkwardness of losing her virginity — Liam starts flirting with her classmates.
Angie vlogs diary entries to get through her parents’ divorce and grapple with the fact that there are few things in her control. Throwing another wrench into Angie’s problems is the fact that her Chinese father starts to date a Chinese woman with the “perfect” archetypal Chinese-American daughter, someone that Angie feels like she can never be since she is half white.
“With our partnership with Utopia, I sincerely hope ‘Inbetween Girl’ finds its way to teens (or even adults!) who might be yearning for some raw, cringe, and honest coming-of-age solace,” the filmmaker said. Utopia last year released the indies “El Planeta” and “Shiva Baby” to arthouse success, and this year releases “We’re All Going to the World’s Fair,” Gaspar Noe’s “Vortex,” and Lena Dunham’s “Sharp Stick.”
The film is written and directed by Makino, who is repped by UTA and Kaplan/Perrone Entertainment and produced by Matt Stryker, co-produced by Emily Gollahon, Kate Gollahon, Connor Pickens, and Udoy Rahim and executive-produced by Jane Schwartz, through the production company Pineapple Field Productions.
Makino told Austin360 that films have been “such a therapy” for her; “Inbetween Girl” is Makino’s debut feature.
A chance encounter with Oscar winner Barry Jenkins led Makino to base the film in Galveston, Texas. “He was like, ‘Locations and casting, that is like the main thing you need to focus on,’” Makino continued to the outlet. The crew used her parents’ house during filming in her hometown.
“Inbetween Girl” won the Visions Award after its SXSW world premiere in 2021. The category applauds films helmed by “audacious, risk-taking artists in the new cinema landscape who demonstrate raw innovation and creativity in documentary and narrative filmmaking.”
“Inbetween Girl” will be available on VOD platforms May 3.