Reel Asian Film Festival 2021: Q&A With “Imperfectly Complete” Director Bruce Chiu

Kat Harlton

Imperfectly Complete features a resonating performance from Burmese American Chrissy Aung in the role of Lucy, who struggles whether to reveal the truth of herself when the blind guitarist she cares for is about to regain his vision.

Imperfectly Complete is set to screen at the 2021 Reel Asian Film Festival from November 10th – November 19th, 2021. We had the opportunity to chat with Director Bruce Chiu about what he hopes the audience takes from the film, and what’s next.

Kat: What does it mean to you, to have “Imperfectly Complete” chosen as an official selection for the 2021 Reel Asian Film Festival? 

Bruce: It means a lot to our team. First of all, it’s our premiere in Canada, and in the very prestigious Reel Asian, the premier pan Asian film festival in Canada. The festival always selects great films for their audiences, thus it’s an important recognition for our work. Secondly, it’s my second time joining Reel Asian — also my first time as a revisit filmmaker in an international film festival. Reel Asian is truly one of my favorite film festivals. It comes from different ways, like how they treat filmmakers, how they provide valuable resources to us, etc… I’m so proud that I can be part of this year’s festival and wish to come back in the future.

Kat: What do you hope the audience takes from the film? 

Bruce: Imperfectly Complete is a story about coming out and embracing our true selves. We don’t need to be “perfect”. Sometimes we are afraid that our loved ones can’t accept us for who we truly are. We’d like to hide, to escape from being rejected, but the truth is, love can be so unconditional. We should bravely express ourselves because the better is about to come after.

Kat: Why was it important to you to share Lucy’s story, and to also represent the visually impaired community?

Bruce: Nothing is perfect, or everything is perfect. We are all different and perfect. This is why I chose to tell a story about transgender and visually impaired person. They are different, but they are beautiful and perfect. Owen doesn’t become perfect because he regains his vision— he was perfect already. He is deeply in love with Lucy, no matter who she really is. Don’t let others, especially yourself, define if you are perfect or not. 

Kat: What has been your biggest challenge thus far in the film industry? 

Bruce: I don’t think I’m in the film industry yet. It’s a long journey and I’m still trying to get in. Making a good short film is a good first step. Getting my first feature film made is the biggest challenge. It requires many resources, support, and trust from investors, casts, and crews. And I’m still working on it.

Kat: Do you have any role models or mentors that you look to for inspiration? 

Bruce: When Ang Lee got his first Academy Awards for best director in 2005 (Brokeback Mountain), it really inspired me. He is originally from Taiwan, just like me. Before that, I didn’t know that an Asian director could get such an honor internationally. His story tells me that nothing is impossible, as long as we work hard enough and never give up. 

Kat: What are you looking forward to in 2022? 

Bruce: Being a filmmaker, our task is to tell stories. Thus, I’d keep trying to get my first feature film made by reaching out to more producers and script labs. Meanwhile, I’d write my second feature script, so to expand my materials and opportunities. Keep writing, keep making films!

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