IFFBoston: Student filmmaker drew inspiration from China trip

%22Since+The+Blood%2C%22+directed+by+Jordan+Malachi+is+an+abstract+short+film+about+a+divine+feminine+spirit+forced+to+live+as+a+human+woman.

Jordan Malachi

“Since The Blood,” directed by Jordan Malachi is an abstract short film about a divine feminine spirit forced to live as a human woman.

With the Boston Independent Film Festival finished, I’ve seen some great directors of films that have a lot to offer in the movie business. From action to comedies, documentaries and short stories, this festival season was nothing like before despite being virtual.

It was also a wonderful opportunity to see future young filmmakers during the first week of the festival. The student shorts showcase showed many amazing films and projects. 

The short film that stood out to me the most was “Since the Blood,” directed by Jordan Malachi of Fitchburg State University. The story is about an Ancient Chinese goddess’s quest to rewrite the wrong that was done to her.

Malachi was inspired by her year-long study abroad trip to China at the Tsinghua University in Beijing and is very drawn to Daoism and Taoism. I had the chance to sit down with her virtually to dive more into the piece and what inspired it. 

Malachi was so excited to be talking about her film – and funny while doing it. But she also mentioned how the pandemic struck during the middle of the production on her film, and how she had to work with her school’s new safety protocols to get the project done.

“I was sitting on this story for years,” Malachi said. “I really wanted to feel natural and it was my baby and I wanted to make it perfect.”

She also said the film was shot in the first week of March of 2020 before the COVID-19 shutdown. 

“It was supposed to all be shot in March of last year before everything fell apart,” Malachi said. “I already had a producer there.” She said her producer Morgan Wynkoop had a production after summer.

Malachi’s work was a bit difficult to create because of the pandemic and had to be reshaped due to safety guidelines at her school. She said her professor gave students the idea to improvise and to rewrite the script to fit her vision. 

“In the original, the male actor [Brandon Prentiss] was supposed to kiss the female actress [Rebecca Joseph] and touch her in the montage, but that wasn’t allowed,” Malachi said.

While we were exchanging our similar stories on traveling abroad to China and Japan, Malachi chuckled and said she “cried a little” when she found out she had been accepted to study abroad there. Going to China had been a dream of hers since she was a kid, when she was being taught Chinese by a teacher at a local high school who was very passionate about the language. 

“After the class, I was like ‘I’m going to China,” Malachi said. “Everyone was like, ‘That’s a cute travel idea,’ and I was like, ‘No, I’m going to find a way to go.” 

Malachi talked about how things were difficult when she came back to the U.S. from her study abroad program. 

“It was like a reverse culture shock for me, I was like, why aren’t the white people speaking Russian,” she said due to China’s proximity to Russia. 

Malachi said studying abroad is a great opportunity, and if it’s your dream to travel, never give up on trying to see the world. 

“Don’t look to other people to validate [the experience] for you,” she said. 

Malachi said people would sometimes look at her differently when she mentioned wanting to go to China. They would tell her things like, “It’s so dirty there, are you sure you want to go there?” or “It’s so strange there.” But she cut those people out of her life and followed her dream to see the country and try something new. 

By the end of the interview, it was clear that being different, following your dreams and believing in your vision is what makes a film special. After graduating from Fitchburg State and doing an internship in Georgia, Malachi said she wants to make it in the film industry. 

That’s why she was so excited when chosen for IFFBoston and when I reached out to her for an interview. 

“I was like, ‘Oh my god, I made it as a writer!’” she chuckled. “Someone who looks like me thinks my story is good.” 

The way Malachi talked about her movie and her idea of filmmaking showed a true passion for this art. She has a super bright future in filmmaking ahead of her and I can’t wait to see what she has in store for us. 

You can follow Malachi on Instagram at @jmfilms98.