Starring Jerry as Himself
75 min | United States | 2023
A family documents how their immigrant father Jerry, a recently retired Florida man, was recruited by the Chinese police to be an undercover agent, only to discover a darker truth.
Grand Jury Prize Winner 2023 SLAMDANCE Film Festival
Audience Award Winner 2023 SLAMDANCE Film Festival
Best Actor – Jerry Hsu
Law Chen is an award winning director based in Brooklyn. His narrative, documentary, and commercial films have earned 19 Cannes Lions, as well as multiple Webby Awards, Vimeo Staff Picks, and screened at film festivals around the world. His first feature ‘Starring Jerry as Himself’ premiered at Slamdance 2023, and tells a personal story about an immigrant’s pursuit of the American Dream.
STARRING JERRY AS HIMSELF is a docu-fiction hybrid that blurs the lines of reality while staying true to the subject and his story. We employed a variety of creative filmmaking techniques to capture the world from Jerry’s perspective. The film is a genre bending meta experience, with our subject Jerry starring in his own recreation of his unique journey, ultimately providing the catharsis that helped him process what happened.
I wanted to create something unique that stood out from the traditional documentary and also reflected Jerry’s state of mind, so we nested a film within a film. Within the many layers of the story, Jerry plays himself, an undercover secret agent for the Chinese police, in a cinematic recreation that makes us forget we are watching a documentary. However every scene is still a verite observation of Jerry as he relives his trauma. Every conversation written from Jerry’s memory reveals a subconscious desire for connection and affirmation. Every moment with family unearths hidden truths about his complex relationships. Through this hybrid approach, STARRING JERRY AS HIMSELF gives us a never seen before glimpse into the lives of a real Asian American family dealing with tragedy.
Jon Hsu, Law Chen
Jerry Hsu, Law Chen
Tinx Chan, Law Chen
Jerry Hsu, Kathy Hsu, Joshua Hsu, Jonathan Hsu, Jesse Hsu, Fang Du, Nick Bailey, Haosong Yang