AFI FEST presented by Audi: Roseanne Liang and Chloë Grace Moretz on SHADOW IN THE CLOUD
On a stormy night during World War II, a female pilot with top secret cargo talks her way on board a bomber plane about to take-off. The crass all-male crew reluctantly agrees, but their suspicions about her identity and the mysterious cargo quickly grow. Just then a shadow appears in the clouds — was it the incoming Japanese fleet? Or caused by some other sinister stowaway?
A thrilling nightmare in the sky, SHADOW IN THE CLOUD is directed by Roseanne Liang. Her first feature, MY WEDDING AND OTHER SECRETS, was New Zealand’s highest grossing film in 2011 and the first made by a Chinese New Zealander.
AFI spoke with Liang and star Chloë Grace Moretz about the project and their desire to create a new type of heroine.
“From the jump, knowing that it was a WWII movie set through the lens of a woman, I thought was interesting – and then it had sci-fi elements,“ said Moretz. “Immediately when I sat down and read it, I was incredibly excited.”
For Liang, when she read the script, she knew she could turn it into a film she could be proud of, a film that was unpredictable and unlike anything before – and create a nuanced, complex heroine. “There’s these female heroines in action movies that we hold up and we obsess about and have grown up with, and those women are Ellen Ripley from the Alien franchise, Sarah Connor,” said Ling. “We look up to these women and we hold them dear because there are so few. And I wanted a chance to make a new one who could join that canon.”
Moretz believes the character is something special, a complicated heroine who isn’t always making the right decisions. “I really enjoyed that, because women don’t always have the chance to show we aren’t the perfect citizen.”
With SHADOW IN THE CLOUD, Liang proves she is a dynamic and powerful female voice in genre filmmaking – and Moretz is a badass leading lady.
SHADOW IN THE CLOUD screened in the New Auteurs section of AFI FEST presented by Audi and was followed by a virtual Q&A with AFI Director of Festivals Sarah Harris, director Roseanne Liang and actress Chloë Grace Moretz. Watch the full conversation below.
Learn more about the festival here: FEST.AFI.com.