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Winter Glass Glare(2021)

A Chinese international student has to break a years-long secret a day before graduation when the father comes to the U.S.


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Los Angeles Cinematography AWARDS (LACA):

Best Student Director, Best Cinematography of a Student Film

Top Shorts: Best Student film

New York International Film Awards: Best Cinematography Finalist

Academy Awards Qualified Festival Selections:

Rhode Island International Film Festival: Official Selection 

CINEQUEST Film Festival: Official Selection


Denver Film Festival: Official Selection

Colorado Dragon Boat Film Festival: Official Selection

Colorado Short Circuit Film Festival: Official Selection



Winter Glass Glare (2021) was my senior capstone project for the BFA Cinema Studies program at the University of Colorado Boulder. I came to the US alone when I was 15 as an international student, pursuing a high school degree in New York, Long Island. Then moved to Boulder, Colorado, for my higher education. 

As the end of my academic career was a year away, I wanted to make something relevant to my identity for the past 9 years. Based on a true story from our screenwriter Huilan Xu, we delved into our own memories and created this story that's close to our hearts. With dialogues that we heard from our older generations growing up, I hope to build a tender connection with the audience raised with both western and eastern cultures and values. 

"As the sun shines through the window at the tail of April, the window bounces back the flare, disapproving the warmth that'll melt its surrounded snow. When will the window go down again and end the lonely forested season? When will it break the Winter Glass Glare?"

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Topics of Asian immigrants are being brought to light more and more in media; however, there aren't many films made about Asian international students yet. They are also the ones who are being both stuck and distanced between two cultures. In the last ten years, more and more eastern international students had been brought to the US by their parents, hoping to experience a different education system from the western culture.
Nevertheless, when trying so hard to fit into the western culture, students have unconsciously pulled away from their hometowns physically and emotionally. The relationship between them and their parents becomes more challenging to sustain, as your view of the world and values are growing in separate ways. Growing up with expectations from families, students nowadays are struggling to reveal their independent passions, especially with the formidable visa status that an international will eventually have to face.

What if a Chinese international student chose to hide his college major from his parents during the entirety of his college life.

How would you break the secret? As a parent, how would you react?

This film will be my answer.


Cast & Crew



Ruijiang Ma

Ke Zang


Zhuolin Hong

​Producer, Director, Director of Photography, Screenwriter, Editor



Niama Al-Nima

Assistant Director

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Ailin Mo

Production Designer



Jake Richardson

Assistant Camera


Samuel Jacobsen

Covid-19 Safety Manager, Catering


Ruiying Xu

Boom Operator/ On-set Sound Mixer


Evan Shely

Sound Designer/ Mixer


Behind the Scenes

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