Sci-Fi Short Film “Cupid’s Paradise” presented by DUST

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In a world where everyone is rated based on superficial factors, Jenn has 100 dates to find a match before she becomes Cupid’s slave.

“Cupid’s Paradise” by Ivy Liao

Director’s Statement:
“When I first moved to Los Angeles to attend UCLA’s film school, everyone in the city looked beautiful, fashionable, and outgoing. I was introduced to the year-round sunlight in LA, celebrities, Instagram influencers, and most importantly, Hollywood. As a girl in a big city, I was naïve, eager to make new friends, and go on dates. I quickly picked up on all the “hip” fashion, make-up trends, and downloaded Instagram, Tinder, and Bumble on my phone. In no time, my feed was only filled with attractive models. There is a widespread desirable “type” with everyone having the same perfect, uniform body proportions. Desperate to fit into the box of perfection, I dyed my hair, started getting routine lash extensions, followed diet plans, and became a Photoshop expert. Soon, my social media photos looked like they could be Vogue covers. I had developed “goggles” and my eyes were conditioned to look for certain types of people- beautiful, successful, and fun. I went on numerous dates; however, each date felt ingenuine, superficial, and draining. I was exhausted of maintaining my “perfect” façade and became depressed. In the end, all my efforts made me lonelier, and even more single. This was the story seed for my UCLA thesis film. When film school got busy, I picked myself out of the void and focused on my goals. This helped me set my priorities to finally focus on myself and my passions, rather than the pressures of society. I strengthened my relationships with my existing friends and lived a healthier lifestyle, which enhanced my self-esteem and confidence. I look back at my social media addiction days and appreciate the trauma that helped me grow into the person I am today. When the time came to create my film, I channeled that trauma into my dystopian science-fiction film, “Cupid’s Paradise”. The film is a hyperbole of social apps. It reflects myself and my personal experiences getting lost in the current digital space filled with superficial criteria such as likes, beauty standards, and digital first-impressions. The story emphasizes the pressure to look, behave, and think a certain way. Cupid’s Paradise is loud and absurd, poking fun at everything that’s acceptable in society today and bringing out the ugly sides to finding love in a superficial, digital world.” – Ivy Liao

Director’s Links:

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