Tau Tau Menghan

Tau Tau Menghan, a Shanghai-born filmmaker and producer based in Berlin, is a dynamic force in the international film industry. Before her cinematic journey, Tau Tau was a bestselling novelist, a columnist in the style of "Sex and the City," and a celebrated TV icon in China. Her transition from literary and television success to filmmaking began when she relocated to Berlin, a move that has significantly influenced her artistic vision.

After moving to Berlin, Tau Tau wrote and directed the short film Angry Fruits Hotel, which brought her into the core of the Berlin filmmaking community. Building on this momentum, she produced her first feature film, Open Wound – The Ueber Movie (aka Time is Up), which received numerous international awards and earned her the Best Independent Film Producer award at the Hollywood International Moving Pictures Film Festival.

Tau Tau's latest feature film, Pinky Swear. Whatever She Wants, has garnered critical acclaim, being selected for over 20 international film awards. Her exceptional work on this film earned her the Best Female Director award at the Sweden Film Awards in 2023 and the Best Independent Producer award at the Swedish International Film Festival the same year.

With a unique storytelling style that combines her rich cultural heritage with contemporary themes, Tau Tau Menghan continues to captivate audiences worldwide. Her films are known for their emotional depth, strong character development, and a distinct narrative voice that reflects her multifaceted career and personal experiences.

Currently, Tau Tau is based in Berlin, where she continues to create compelling stories that bridge cultural divides and resonate with a global audience. Her upcoming projects promise to further establish her as a leading voice in the film industry.

Your project has entered in our festival. What is your project about?
Thank you for having "Pinky Swear - Whatever She Wants" in your amazing festival. We’re thrilled to be in Cannes. This movie unfolds as a reality-bending thriller set in Berlin, where lollipops serve as gateways to extraordinary adventures and unravel sweet, dangerous mysteries.

What are your ambitions with your project?
My ambition with "Pinky Swear - Whatever She Wants" is to offer a distinctive murder mystery narrative that successfully blends cute and dark elements. With my signature lollipop storytelling and unique style, the film promises an unforgettable cinematic experience for a broad audience. Additionally, the film emphasizes strong female characters and explores themes of empowerment and self-discovery, aiming to resonate deeply with viewers and provoke thoughtful conversations about gender dynamics and individual agency.

Tell us something about your shooting? What pleasantly surprised you?
"Pinky Swear - Whatever She Wants" is an independent production with a limited budget, which required a great deal of creativity and resourcefulness from our team. During the filming, the cast and crew enjoyed impromptu collaborations, fostering a creative atmosphere on set that translated into a captivating and stylish final product. One of the most pleasant surprises was the incredible passion and support from our talented cast and crew, as well as the wider community in Berlin. Their dedication to telling a good story was truly inspiring and played a crucial role in bringing the film to life. The collective effort and enthusiasm of everyone involved made the production a memorable and rewarding experience, culminating in a unique and engaging debut feature.

For what group of spectators is your film targeted?

Our film is targeted towards audiences who appreciate innovative storytelling, stylish visuals, and thought-provoking narratives. It appeals to individuals who enjoy exploring the fusion of cute and dark elements in a murder mystery setting. Those who are drawn to psychologically intense and visually striking films will likely find "Pinky Swear - Whatever She Wants" particularly compelling.


Why should distributors buy your film?

Distributors should invest in "Pinky Swear - Whatever She Wants" because it stands out as a fresh and provocative film, much like the breakthrough success of movies such as "Black Swan" and "Get Out." While it may not be perfect in every sense, it possesses a genuine and electric tone that promises to deliver a brand new experience to audiences. Its unique blend of cute and dark elements in a murder mystery setting, combined with innovative storytelling and stylish visuals, ensures that it will captivate and engage viewers, making it a valuable addition to any distributor's lineup.


How would you specify your work? What characterizes your film?

My work usually offers a unique perspective on the murder mystery genre, symbolized by lollipops and seemingly innocent objects taking on a surreal, crime-filled role.My work is characterized by a unique blend of Western and Eastern elements, seamlessly integrated to create a genuine and compelling narrative. "Pinky Swear - Whatever She Wants" exemplifies this approach, combining the psychological intensity and stylistic sophistication often found in Western cinema with the nuanced storytelling and rich cultural textures of Eastern traditions. This fusion results in a film that is both innovative and deeply resonant, offering audiences a fresh and engaging cinematic experience.


Why did you decide to become a filmmaker?

My motivation to become a filmmaker stems from my background as a novelist, allowing me to explore storytelling in a different dialect while retaining my mastery of murder mystery narratives.


Who is your role model?

I admire filmmakers who challenge conventional storytelling by exploring unexpected and thought-provoking themes while maintaining a stylish and captivating approach.


Which movies are your favorites? Why?

My favorite movies are Alfred Hitchcock classics such as "Rear Window" and "Vertigo." I admire these films for their masterful storytelling, psychological depth, and innovative cinematography. Hitchcocks ability to create suspense and intrigue, often working within the limitations of his time, has been a significant influence on my own work. His films showcase how creative solutions and a deep understanding of cinematic techniques can overcome constraints, resulting in captivating and timeless pieces that continue to inspire filmmakers and audiences alike.


Where do you look for inspiration for your films?

I believe that inspiration is rooted in my own daily life. The things that can kill me, surprise me, make me laugh, or make me cry—these are the moments that fuel my creativity. When something touches me deeply, I know there's a story to tell and share. I trust that there are others in the world who feel the same and experience similar emotions. By drawing from my own life experiences, I aim to create films that resonate with audiences on a personal and emotional level.


Which topics interest you the most?

Gender is a topic that deeply interests me. Exploring the complexities of gender dynamics, societal expectations, and individual identity fascinates me. I am drawn to narratives that challenge traditional gender norms, shed light on gender inequality, and celebrate diversity in gender expression. Through my films, I strive to provoke thought and spark conversations about gender issues, aiming to contribute to greater understanding and empowerment for all individuals.


What do you consider your greatest achievement in your career?

I consider completing a 90-minute film to tell the story that I want to tell as a significant achievement in itself. The process of bringing a vision to life on screen, overcoming challenges, and staying true to my creative vision is a testament to perseverance and dedication. In an industry where filmmaking can be arduous and unpredictable, the completion of each project, regardless of its scale or reception, represents a milestone worth celebrating. Its a reminder that anyone who can bring their story to the screen has accomplished something truly remarkable.


What do you consider most important about filming?

I believe the most important aspect of filming is to plan well but also prepare for the unpredictable. While meticulous planning lays the foundation for a successful shoot, no filming process will ever be 100% as planned. It's essential to remain adaptable and open to the beauty of the unexpected. Embracing unforeseen events and incorporating them into the storytelling can elevate the final product, adding depth and authenticity to the narrative.


Which film technique of shooting do you consider the best?

I believe the best film technique of shooting is one that serves the story first and foremost. While advancements in technology offer exciting possibilities, not every story requires the most advanced techniques. As a film director, it's crucial to discern which techniques will best complement and enhance the narrative. Whether it's a simple yet powerful shot or an elaborate sequence, the key is to choose the approach that is most suitable for conveying the essence of the story and evoking the intended emotions in the audience.


How would you rate/What is your opinion about current filmmaking?

I believe that current filmmaking is thriving with diversity and innovation. There's a wealth of talent and creativity in the industry, and filmmakers are constantly pushing boundaries and exploring new territories, which is incredibly exciting.


What can disappoint you in a movie?

I am disappointed when a movie lacks authenticity or fails to connect with its audience on an emotional level. I believe that storytelling is at the heart of filmmaking, and when a film falls short in this aspect, it can be disheartening.


Who supports you in your film career?

I am fortunate to have the support of collaborators, mentors, friends, and family members who have been instrumental in my film career. Their encouragement, feedback, and guidance have been invaluable every step of the way.