Art, Poetry, Film, & How I Got Here

I was born in Mainland, China, and spent a good portion of my teen years in Mexico which was a completely different environment than my homeland. I was immediately enamored by the culture of Mexico –– not only is it a non-immigration country whose official language isn’t English, but I found the community I lived in endlessly interesting.

My first year in a Mexican school was difficult to adjust to. If that wasn’t enough, after one year in secretarial technical-training middle school, I was enrolled in a bilingual high school –– the leap was incredible. I had to grasp two new languages at once (English and Spanish) while translating between the two. Some days were unimaginably tough, but my teachers and classmates were very helpful. Finally, toward the end of the school year, I felt like I could follow the flow of the class. The community encouragement I experienced in my years in Mexico was what allowed me to not only survive, but also to adapt outside my native environment.

My Career & Artistic Inspiration

I currently reside in Newport Beach, California. Over the past 20 years, I’ve been a manager, writer, poet, published author, literary translator, and auteur filmmaker. In addition, I have been an effective problem solver and team builder in several of today’s male-dominated industries. My two main passions are poetry and film. Ever since I was little, I was awestruck by Alfred Hitchcock movies, particularly Birds, and Orson Welles’s Touch of Evil. In terms of poetic aspiration, I was immersed from childhood in classical Chinese poetry written by Li Shang-Yin of Tang Dynasty.


In creating poetry and film, I believe in pulling artistic aesthetics from all senses: visual, acoustics, tastes, oeuvre, touch, and feeling. The humanistic elements of art fascinate me. I find magic in the notion that, as human beings, we can encourage others to uncover their deep artistic emotions as well.

As a poet, I published one chapbook and four book-length poetry collections. As a small production crew of just five people including myself, we adapted my published poems into four short poetry films, three of which have won numerous festival awards and accolades. I feel extremely fortunate to have been able to create both the surrealistic poetry and art-house films while also working as an entrepreneur who helped found a therapeutic indoor light company.

The Experience of a Painting

As a multifaceted artist, I believe that painting offers one of the utmost modes of expressing visual art. Through endless brushstrokes, it evokes a better sense of color than sculpture, a more imminent sense of dimension than drawing, and more possibilities than architecture. Like poetry, a painting provides infinite ways to connect with its audience.

A painting that has had a strong impact on me is one of Joan Miro’s of a bird. The complementary color palette and spirited, humanistic bird are in perfect harmony. When I first saw the painting, I felt as if the bird was singing and dancing for me which gave me such joy. I love many of Miro’s works, but this is one of my all-time favorites because of its perfection and strong sense of presence.

The Realism Debate

Although realistic art is, as its name suggests, based on real life, it can be interpreted in many different ways. For many creators, their art may represent a true image of themselves or their self-expression, but not necessarily to their audience. Therefore, I believe that creating an art piece using realism does not guarantee its interpretation. I think both Ad Reinhardt and Andy Warhol had their reasons to conform to their own trajectories when creating art. If each person has a unique DNA, then every artist should have their own artistic thumbprint as well.

My Artistic Legacy

As an artist, I would like my legacy to be a contribution to a culture in which art creators do not need to have day jobs to support themselves. Instead, they’d have enough time and means to make the art they crave. Art creation is a lengthy process that thrives when undisrupted, and a day job tends to inhibit this creativity. What matters most to me in life is art. It’s the only thing that can transcend from this world to the next. It never dies or leaves humanity, unlike all other physical entities. It is the only tangible thing that speaks to generation after generation.

I consider myself an altruist. I’m always striving to help with causes that I strongly believe in. I am fortunate enough to be able to dedicate my love and half of my life to the world of art. My ultimate goal is to see many others join me on this journey, to be creative, cultivating, and happy.

Grasping Meta-Cinema through Experimental Poetry Films

By Ann Yu Huang

Embracing my unconscious narrative

In the past, the notion of coupling meta-cinema with my dreams felt like an unfeasible mission. In recent years, I wrote, directed, and produced four experimental short poetry films. My films are based on surrealist poems I authored which were influenced by the narrative of my dreams. It wasn’t until the poetry films were completed that I developed credence about the connection between meta-cinema and my dreams. I recently began embracing the idea of meta-cinema through the lens of my poetry films.

What is meta-cinema?

What exactly is meta-cinema and how does it correlate with my experimental shorts? Essentially, the use of meta-cinema in filmmaking is similar to utilizing metafiction in literature writing. It is a filmmaking style in which a movie or television series purposefully informs viewers that they are watching a production.

In the sixties, the French New Wave movement used meta-cinema to reveal behind-the-scenes footage from the production stage. The idea was to showcase a film in its original state of being made. Meta-cinema accomplishes this through a narrator or character’s commentary during the movie, typically facing the camera and speaking directly into the lens. In modern film production, meta-cinema is commonly referred to as “breaking the fourth wall.”

How my unconsciousness led me to create meta-cinema films

Through my dreams, my unconsciousness held a prominent role in inspiring the meta-cinema filmmaking style of my experimental poetry shorts. When I wake up from a dream, the pieces I can recall are fractured. This makes me I think of myself as both a character in my dream narrative as well as the audience. I then have to turn to myself (the viewer) and tell the story of my dream.

Envision dreaming of a film that stars your twin. What would it be like to observe them in the movie from the audience’s viewpoint? Instances of conscious revelation similar to this can be so intoxicating that they must be deeply analyzed through artistic underpinning.

How meta-cinema disrupts the illusion of watching a film

Similar to deciphering surrealist storylines from your dreams, a director can disrupt a film’s mirage by telling the viewers that it is fiction. In many cases, film producers use meta-cinema to create non-diegetic aspects with the intent of teaching the viewers a lesson or letting them in on a narrative secret. The audience then must internalize and reflect on the auteur filmmaker’s vision. Perhaps most importantly, meta-cinema allows an audience to become the spectator of their own spectatorship.

Woody Allen is considered a trailblazer for meta-cinema. His movies have broken the fourth wall and spoken directly to audiences for decades. However, the meta-cinema concept remains mysterious to most people. Viewers have a tendency to dilute the cultural influence of meta-cinema similar to how they don’t prioritize interpreting their nightly dreams. People avoid exploring concepts that perplex them because they don’t want to overthink ideas that aren’t easily understood.

Meta-cinema and poetry film

I believe being a poet allows me to effortlessly create short art films. Each of my short poetry films is based on my surrealist lyrical poems, so my casual unconsciousness is already a contributing factor. The assembly of my memory is a mystical instrument I rely upon heavily as a narrative filmmaker. I try to recognize my conscious self as well as the layers of my deep, collective self. I wish to transport magic into the meta-cinematic lens so that our conscious and unconscious states can be illuminated from all angles of narrative storytelling.

Indelible Winter

Official Selection | Austin Spotlight Film Festival | January 24, 2018

Palpitations of Dust

 Official Selection | Logcinema Art Films | Jan 13-14, 2018

Semi-Finalist | German United Film Festival | January 1, 2018

Honorary Mention (Experimental) | Los Angeles Film Awards | December 2017

Pre-Selection | Singapore International Film Festival | December 2017

Official Selection (Experimental) | Near Nazareth Festival | December 13-17, 2017

Pre-Selection | Rome Film Awards | October 18, 2017

Winner (Experimental) | Laughlin International Film Festival | October 12-15, 2017

Official Selection | San Pedro Film Festival | October 8, 2017

Semi-Finalist | Madrid Art Film Festival | September 29-30, 2017

Semi-Finalist | Cinema London | September 22, 2017

Official Selection | Festival Angelica | September 18-24, 2017

Best Experimental Project Nomination | Action on Film Festival | August 24-26, 2017

Best Sound Design (Short) Nomination, Best Supporting Actor (Short) Nomination | Hollywood Dreamz International Film Festival | August 24-26, 2017

Semi-Finalist | Malta Film Festival | August 24-25, 2017

Best Experimental Short Film | Prince of Prestige Academy Award | July 29, 2017

Best Director (Short Film) Nomination, Best Actor Nomination, Best Director Nomination | World Music & Independent Film Festival | July 22-30, 2017

Official Selection (Narrative) | Synimatica Short Film Festival | July 15-30, 2017

Official Selection | California Women’s Film Festival | July 14-16, 2017

Talented New Filmmaker Nomination | Nice International Film Festival | May 18, 2017

Official Selection (Autumn Session) | Auckland International Film Festival | Autumn 2017

Nomination | Taste Awards | February 20, 2017

Official Selection | Hollywood Reel Independent Film Festival | February 17, 2017

Best Experimental Film | Los Angeles Cinema Festival of Hollywood | January 11, 2017

Official Selection (Short Film) | 5th Mumbai Shorts International Film Festival | December 21, 2016

Best Experimental Film | Los Angeles Film & Script Festival | November 5, 2016

Winner of Award of Recognition (Experimental) | IndieFEST | October 11, 2016

About Ann Huang

Ann Huang is a filmmaker based in Newport Beach, Southern California. Huang was born in Mainland China and raised in Mexico and the US. World literature and theatrical performances became dominating forces during her linguistic training at various educational institutions. Huang possesses a unique global perspective on the past, present and future of Latin America, the United States and China. She is an MFA candidate from the Vermont College of Fine Arts and has authored one chapbook and two poetry collections. Huang’s debut experimental short film “PALPITATIONS OF DUST” won the Best Experimental Film in 2017 PAECA (Prince of Prestige Academy Award), Best Award in Los Angeles Film & Script Festival, and Best Experimental Film in LA Cinema Festival of Hollywood. For more information, visit

Award Nominated “Palpitations of Dust” Announces Additional Screening

Ann Huang

Phone: (949) 280-5290


The 8th Annual Taste Awards : Praise Continues for “Palpitations of Dust”

Ann Huang

February 21, 2017: This star-studded event acknowledged outstanding excellence in video, film, mobile and interactive content focused on food, drink, fashion, design, travel, health and lifestyle. Nominated film “Palpitations of Dust” was described as one of the most innovative and exciting festival discoveries. Click to learn more about the film from the Hollywood Reel Independent Film Festival and view more event photos.

Award Nominated “Palpitations of Dust” Announces Additional Screening


February 2017: A new screening of Ann Huang’s film “Palpitations of Dust” has been scheduled at the Hollywood Reel Independent Film festival on Monday, February 20, 2017 in Regal Cinema LA LIVE. The film, written and adapted by Ann Huang, explores the lives of three friends, which become complicated when facing choices of love, friendship, need and reciprocity. Learn more about the festival and purchase tickets at

Ann Huang’s film has also been nominated for a Taste Award. The Taste Awards are original awards for the Lifestyle Entertainment Industry and the highest awards for creators, producers, hosts, and directors. The Award recognizes and acknowledges outstanding excellence in video, film, and more.

The Taste Awards Reception/Ceremony takes place on Tuesday, February 21, 2017 in Beverly Hills where the winner will be announced.

VIP red carpet reception includes presentation ceremony and announcement, gift bags and more. Tickets are available for purchase online at


About Ann Huang

Ann Huang was born and raised in Mainland China and her passion for words dates back to her childhood. World literature and theatrical performances became dominating forces during her linguistic training at various educational institutions. As a first generation Chinese American, Huang possesses a unique global perspective on the past, present and future of Latin America, the United States and China. She is an MFA candidate from the Vermont College of Fine Arts and has authored two poetry collections. For more information, visit

brown film spiral

Transmedia Storytelling: How to Promote Your Poetry or Experimental Film (Part II)

brown film spiral
Last month, I introduced you to my experimental film Palpitations of Dust (, which has won recognition at film festivals. When you’re ready to release your film, it isn’t enough to premier it in a theater if you want it to draw attention. You must take steps to promote it and make it appealing to your audience. Therefore, what you do after completing an experimental film is just as important as the film itself. By knowing marketing basics, you can turn your passion into a profitable venture.

Marketing Your Experimental Film

If you are serious about filmmaking, you must treat your craft like a business. You cannot make a film and hope that it will do well in the theater and make sales online. You must take steps to showcase your unique vision and create a buzz. Those steps depend on information, such as your audience’s:

  • Age
  • Geographic location
  • Preferred movie genres
  • Socioeconomic status
  • Gender
  • How they consume information
  • Preferred social media platforms

In today’s technological age, you will find that your audience consumes information from a number of sources because they also want to feel as if they have a role in what you offer. This is where transmedia storytelling comes into play. The marketing technique helps set your film apart from the other noise on the Internet by using multiple media platforms to transport your message into your audience’s daily life. By using transmedia storytelling, you transition from telling a story to making one with your audience.

With Palpitations of Dust, I used poems that I wrote in the past, film festivals, video-on-demand and social media to make the story come together. Ideas that others use to market their own films include:

  • Creating a film festival strategy
  • Entering a film for an award
  • Showing teasers and trailers on social media platforms just prior to releasing the film to create a sense of excitement
  • Hanging posters and handing out fliers in the community where you plan to premier the film
  • Creating a website and social media pages dedicated to the film
  • Using social media before and after a screening to connect with your audience and keep the conversation going
  • Submitting the film to VOD services and television networks
  • Hosting special screening events
  • Email marketing and flyer for promotion purposes
  • Submitting press releases to local newspapers and news websites, such this one ( for Palpitations of Dust

Do You Need an Agent or Publicist?

The answer to this question depends on your needs. An agent is an individual who takes care of the business aspects of your endeavor so you can focus on the creative aspects. These professionals negotiate contracts, give guidance, and provide creative feedback. They learn about your goals and devise a plan to help you meet them. They can also connect you to other professionals that you might need for a film, such as producers. If filmmaking is a hobby, you might not need an agent. If it is a serious career, an agent can prove invaluable.

Hiring a publicist is a good idea if a major film festival screens your experimental film. This individual can help you develop strong publicity materials, get you in touch with the right press contacts, manage festival publicity and marketing campaigns, raise your film’s media profile, arrange interviews, and maximize the exposure your film receives.

The only thing more exciting than writing poetry or making a film is sharing your talents with others. Strategic transmedia storytelling will help get the ball rolling by expanding the narrative that you create into the lives of your audience, making your fans your greatest evangelists and assets.

spiral film strip from movie

Where to Promote Your Poetry or Experimental Film (Part I)

spiral film strip from movieTransmedia storytelling is a popular trend that you may have experienced without knowing it. It encompasses dispersing a work or parts of a work across multiple platforms to provide an audience with a unified, coordinated experience. The Hunger Games is a great example in which Lionsgate and Campfire used billboards, social media, videos, fan challenges, websites and cinemas to tell the complete story about the universe in which the movie characters live. If you are a writer or filmmaker, you don’t need to collaborate with a major film studio to promote your own work. In 2016, I released the experimental film Palpitations of Dust ( By using outlets available to the public, I successfully promoted my film and engaged its audience.

Transmedia Storytelling Basics

In transmedia storytelling, the platforms used to promote your works contribute to its unfolding story. In Palpitations of Dust, I narrated poems that I published in the past to give viewers an enhanced and more immersive experience. Because I used different platforms to promote the film, I gave my audience different points of entry to experience it, as well as an invitation and incentive to immerse themselves in the world that I created.

The Best Poets to Pitch Your Experimental Film

Many experimental films combine different types of art in a manner that might seem unconventional. Along with using actors and paintings in Palpitations of Dust, I narrated poems that I wrote. Many filmmakers use poems written by other artists. Often, the best poets or poetry laureates to pitch your film to are individuals you know. The poet laureate I worked with was Jean Valentine who has been my mentor in New York, and Ralph Angel who has been my teacher for the last two years, based in Los Angeles.

Promoting Your Experimental Film


Good theaters to premier your films in are those that routinely show experimental films, such as community theaters and art houses, because they already have an audience that’s interested in your genre. Some of these theaters are part of or have a relationship with college campuses with active film programs.

Film Festivals

Film festivals are great for showing your work to the world because they have an audience that wants to see it. Festival screenings are also ideal because they naturally create buzz about films and the talents behind them. Below are some of the popular festivals for short films in the United States and around the world:

I recently had the honor of winning the Best Experimental Film award at the 2016 Los Angeles Film and Script Festival for Palpitations of Dust, as well as an Award of Recognition in the experimental film category at IndieFEST. The film is also nominated for Official Selection: Best Mini Film or Documentary at the TASTE AWARDS, which will announce the winner in February 2017.

Palpitations of Dust is pre-selected for the first annual Pacific Coast Premier and the Near Nazareth Festival. I also screened the film at the Oasis Short Film Festival, which showcases the emerging talent of the next generation filmmakers who don’t necessarily have big budgets or industry-filmmaker connections to be recognized.

Raindance, iFilmfest and the Underground Film Journal are great resources that list several festivals for screening experimental films.

Online Streaming Video Services

Video-on-demand, or VOD, services are great ways to give your audience a way to view a film from any device with an Internet connection. The most popular platforms include:

Sonnyboo lists media outlets that seek short films. PBS also lists popular digital self-distribution options that do not have a curation process.

Visit my blog next month to learn more about transmedia storytelling and how to promote your experimental film.

Screenshot from Ann Huang's film, Palpitations of Dust

Ann Huang’s “Palpitations of Dust” Receives Best Experimental Film Award


Ann Huang

Independent Filmmaker

Phone: (949) 280-5290



Ann Huang’s “Palpitations of Dust” Receives Best Experimental Film Award


November 2016: Ann Huang’s film “Palpitations of Dust” has received the Best Experimental Film Award at the Los Angeles Film and Script Festival.

The film will be screened at The Complex Theater in Hollywood California at the Fall 2016 Los Angeles Film and Script Festival on November 5th 2016. Tickets are available for purchase online at

Written and adapted by Ann Huang, the five surrealist poems in one presentation represents the continuous and infinite patterns of a life in dreams and the dreams demanding synchronicity from it.

In the film, three friends’ lives become complicated when facing choices of love, friendship, need and reciprocity. Everything is hung on a thin string– from desire to love, to dream, to face life’s disarrays, and then to settle on an unexpected destiny.

Eric Stoner co-produced, served as the art director, locations manager, and was a lead actor in the production. Tatiana Rozo acted and served as an assistant editor. Dean Nathan served as the cinematographer/DP, editor, sound editor, and did the digital effects.

About Ann Huang

Ann Huang was born and raised in Mainland China and her passion for words dates back to her childhood. World literature and theatrical performances became dominating forces during her linguistic training at various educational institutions. As a first generation Chinese American, Huang possesses a unique global perspective on the past, present and future of Latin America, the United States and China. She is an MFA candidate from the Vermont College of Fine Arts and has authored two poetry collections. For more information, visit

How to Inspire the Creative Process

colorful chalk

Creativity is the driving force behind every writer. It’s what motivates you, gets you excited and gives you the nerve to bare your soul. Without creativity inspiration, your work goes flat, like an open can of soda that sat on the counter for too long. Inspiring the creative process is about finding insightful ways to spark your imagination. It’s about allowing yourself to think differently and taking a break from your usual process to make room for the new and unexpected.

Creativity Inspiration: Invite the Process

Be Curious

If there is a subject that interests you, no matter what it is, learn more about it. Explore it even if it doesn’t seem relevant to your current project or life. Exploring your interests, new and old, exercises the mind, gives you a new way to look at the world, and allows you to build a new vocabulary.

Leonardo da Vinci’s famous notebooks were filled with to-do lists about items that interested him and people who could provide the information that he sought. Tasks on his list included drawing Milan after calculating its measurements, finding a book about Milan’s churches, examining crossbows, talking to a hydraulics master about lock repairs, asking a professor about the sun’s measurements, and more.

Build Your Bank of Ideas and Facts

Never stop learning and asking questions. Allow your mind to find patterns in the information that you learn so you can have those breakthrough moments where an analogy sings from the tip of your pen (or from your fingertips on a keyboard). Keep in mind that these breakthroughs can happen when you least expect, so never pooh-pooh those seemingly useless facts that your brain acquires.

Work on the Mystery, Not Just the Puzzle

Once you solve a problem, you’re done. Mysteries have longer shelf lives. Television shows, for example, solve puzzles in 45-minute packages. You watch the show, get a thrill and feel a sense of resolution at the end. The woman who inspired the Mona Lisa, on the other hand, is a mystery. Centuries later, people continue to ponder the story behind the curious smirk.

Take a Break

Every writer experiences this: suddenly getting a brilliant idea while falling asleep or in the shower. Depart from your usual routine to give your brain a chance to process, and keep your writing tools nearby. Don’t take a break with the intention of getting a genius idea. Do it to stimulate your mind. Ideas to try include:

• Meditation
• Trying new foods
• Working on puzzle book
• Going on a walk (If you regularly walk, take a new route or reverse your current one.)
• Listening to new, complex music


Exercising allows your brains to develop new neurons in the hippocampus, which allows you to form new thought patterns. Exercising your body exercises the brain, which exercises your creativity.

Practice Mindfulness

Give yourself a chance to notice everything around you: how you feel and why, how your back feels as you sit in the chair, your breathing pattern, the sensation of blinking, the color of the leaves outside, the smell in the room, the sounds you hear through the walls, and so on. Give yourself a moment of awareness to unlock creativity inspiration.

While it may seem fleeting, creativity is an ongoing process. Pursue it, exercise it and welcome it. Give it a kick-start as needed. The important thing is to never let it go.

[Photo from Dean Hochman via CC License 2.0]