A rarely seen story about everyday mundane yet turbulent border life

Project type: Fiction Short
Project status: Development
Writer/Director/Producer: Jingwen Felix Qiang
Producer: Brielle Yuke Li
Executive Producer: Jennie Lew Tugend
Director of Photography: Kadri Koop
Editor: Shicong Zhu
Instagram: @calexicofilm
Help independent filmmakers tell their stories.
Make a donation to Calexico today.

Film Independent’s Fiscal Sponsorship program opens the door to nonprofit funding for independent filmmakers and media artists. Donate today and help bring Calexico to life.


A tough goodbye on the border.


28 years old Chinese-American girl Ash, a rebellious artist wannabe, flees her family’s expectation of taking a stable job to Calexico, a border town in California. She has bonded with Lo, a Mexican transborder college senior who crosses regularly to school and helps to deliver flowers to her uncle’s shop in the US as both are stuck in limbo. After the on-and-off sweet days seeing each other, Ash and Lo have what could have been their last day to say goodbye before Lo’s border crossing visa expires. Both drifters in a land that is foreign to them, the two must confront societal pressures of family, identity, and immigration status and come to terms with their relationship on what could have been their last day together amidst the half-desert half-green land between US and Mexico.

Meet the Filmmakers

Jingwen Felix Qiang – Writer/Director/Producer
Recently completed several Film Directing Workshops from Sundance, Jingwen Felix Qiang (she/they) is a made-in-China, LA-based technologist and multi-media artist who mainly practices in still and moving images, and now…narrative filmmaking! Felix’s work explores the universal complication and nuances in human emotions and relationships regardless of culture and language.

Her work has been exhibited and screened internationally, including UCCA Beijing, AIPAD NYC, VICE Media, Artium Gallery, Goldilocks Gallery, Cerulean Gallery in Philadelphia, and many more. She received an honorable mention from International Photography Awards at the age of 19.

Outside of art, she wears many hats! She is a Software Engineering Lead at Amazon, creating the next-generation cloud filmmaking technology, and a former investment banker. Her background in art and science well-armed her to lead and work with teams from different backgrounds.

She earned her B.A. in Photography and Mathematics from Bryn Mawr College and an M.S. in Computer Science at the University of Pennsylvania.

Brielle Yuke Li – Producer
Brielle Yuke Li is a Chinese producer based in Los Angeles, CA who aspires to tell stories that are culturally diverse and cinematically bold, with an unconventional narrative and an experimental spirit. She received her MFA degree in Screenwriting from Pepperdine University.

She has worked on multiple features, shorts, commercials and documentaries that entered multiple international film festivals, including Toronto International Film Festival, New York Film Festival, Venice Film Festival, Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, Urbanworld Film Festival, Reel Sister of Diaspora, Beijing International Short Film Festival and etc. Talents and filmmakers that she has collaborated with include Huang Ji (Stonewalling, The Foolish Bird), Ryuji Otsuka (Stonewalling), Michelle Krusiec (Hollywood, Saving Face), Bill Moseley (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2), Lauren LaVera (Terrifier 2), and Joe Wong (Chinese-American comedian).

She recently produced a CAPE Julia S. Gouw Short Film Challenge winner short film, co-produced a Disney Launchpad/AFI short film and associate produced a Duplass Brothers Production feature. She also line produced and produced web series for ReelShort, ranked highest at Top 3 in Entertainment category at App Store, and also served as the Development Executive/Head of Productions at BarBHouse Productions which produced A Wounded Fawn, a Shudder Original and an Official Selection at Tribeca Film Festival 2022.

Jennie Lew Tugend – Executive Producer
Jennie Lew Tugend has produced some of the industry’s most memorable franchises: The Free Willy trilogy, Lethal Weapon 1,2,3 and HBO’s Tales from the Crypt.

As former Co-President of Kadokawa Pictures USA, Tugend was a producer on One Missed Call, a WB release and two episodes of Showtime’s Masters of Horror.

Producing credits include Local Boys starring Mark Harmon and Star Kid, which received an Award of Excellence by the Film Advisory Board; and for MGM, the romantic comedy, Return to Me starring David Duchovny and Minnie Driver; Radio Flyer for Columbia Pictures and Scrooged for Paramount Pictures starring Bill Murray, and was instrumental in the development and production of The Goonies and The Lost Boys.

Currently, Tugend and her partners are developing the feature film adaptations of: NY Times best selling novel, “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet” with Oscar and Emmy nominated director Bing Liu. Tugend also Executive Produced the independent feature film Albatross released in 2021, which was directed by award-winner writer/director Myles Yaksich, with whom she had previously collaborated on two award-winning short films, Poppies and Erin.

Tugend is an active member of the Producer’s Branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Producers Guild of America. Tugend was a mentor in the prestigious Peter Stark Producing Program at USC and has taught film production at UCLAx. She is currently a Senior Creative Thesis Mentor at the American Film Institute Conservatory (AFI).

Kadri Koop – Director of Photography
Kadri Koop is an Estonian director of photography who lives between Echo Park, Los Angeles and Europe.

Kadri holds a graduate degree from Stanford University in documentary film and from the American Film Institute in cinematography. She has experience teaching various film-related subjects from documentary film to cinematography at San Francisco Art Institute, UCLA Extensions & Stanford University.

Kadri is a nominee of the 2022 Student Emmy’s & ASC Student Heritage Award for her narrative cinematography work on Spaceship which won the Gotham Award and subsequently gained distribution by Focus Features.

Her recently lensed feature documentary project about the legendary tennis father and coach of Venus and Serena Williams, On the Line: The Richard Williams Story premiered at 2022 Tribeca Film Festival and is distributed globally by Fremantle. Her most recently lensed work, documentary mini-series The House of Kardashian, is available on Peacock in the US and internationally on Sky Network.

When not filming, she is taking photos. Her work has been published in Vogue, Elle, The Guardian, The Hollywood Reporter, to name a few.

Shicong Zhu – Editor
Shicong Zhu (she/they) is a Writer/Director based in Los Angeles with an M.F.A. in Film & Television Production from USC School of Cinematic Arts.
During the 2021 China lockdown, Shicong directed a successful web series on Youku, illuminating the power of creating content for women and by women. She also undertook a Queer short film project in suburban Beijing, overcoming challenges posed by the nation-wide lockdown and navigating the impact of restrictions faced by certain banned queer social groups. Despite obstacles, the film was finished in four days, showcasing Shicong’s tenacity. This experience led to a feature script recognized by major studios and advancing in Sundance’s second round.

A recipient of the 2020 Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Grant, Shicong is an Emerging Filmmaker at Cannes Marché Du Film – American Pavilion and an Award-winner and mentee at the China Sci-Fi Conference. Her previous creations blend ancient lore, dream spaces, and technology to explore spirituality in contemporary settings, earning accolades from festivals such as Fantasia, Aesthetica, and LA Asian Pacific Film Festival.

Make a donation to Calexico.


For inquiries, please contact