Out- An Animated Film by Xuan Chen

Film Length 7 minutes 39 seconds, Aspect Ratio 4:3, 2010. Made with hand-drawn images and paper mache figures.


The film OUT is inspired by the phenomena of migrant workers. It depicts a journey undertaken by a group of homogeneous figures who demolish their underground community and reconstruct a splendid above-ground world. In the above-ground world, the group is confronted by an enormous form in a hat and tie, which symbolizes governments and bureaucracies. The form uses propaganda, symbolized by the red and yellow color in this majorly black and white film, to direct the figures’ collective labor into erecting a monumental structure. Ultimately the homogenous figures are consumed and destroyed by the monument while the enormous forms proliferate and dominate the above-ground world. Sound is also an important aspect of the film. Experimental sound composition such as tearing, rubbing, and stepping noises are used to convey the physical difficulties encountered by the underground group. Symphonic crescendo and chorus are also constructed in the film to indicate the performance aspects in propaganda. I intend to contest power, propaganda, corruption from government and gender issues in a male dominated society and hopefully revisit the debates of dialectical materialism and the fate of humanity.

Reviews and Awards Received by Film Out

2015 (Review) Thinking Through Digital Media by Dale Hudson and Patricia Zimmerman, pp174‐175, Palgrave Macmillan Press, April 2015

2011  (1st Prize) Trafficked Identity, Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival in Ithaca, NY and Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women in Bangkok, Thailand

2011  (Catalog) Looking Both Ways by Tom Suchan, Guey-Meei Yang and Wen-Chien Cheng, pp38‐39, Eastern Michigan University Press (ISBN 0912042982), 2011

2009 (Grant) New Visions Award from New Mexico Film Office announced by Governor Bill Richardson