National University

Digital Cinema Program's First International Fellow Completes Short Film

Taiwanese Film director Fuyue “Isaac” Hou, who completed a short fiction piece this year, is the first international fellow in National University’s Master of Fine Arts in Digital Cinema program.

Hou’s Chinese language film, Turn the Heart, is a 21-minute tale about a 14-year-old boy who looks to his father for acceptance.  Initiated in November 2010, written and directed by Hou, and filmed on location in Taipei City, Taiwan, it was the thesis project for his Master of Fine Arts degree.  He graduated in May.

By Hou’s calculations, the film cost about $13,000 to produce. “Most of the funding came from my parents,” he said. His idea for the story was inspired by a Chinese movie from the 1980s in which a young man and his sister leave their urban setting and go to live with their grandparents in the country when their mother falls ill.

Access to Hollywood and leading film professionals has made a significant impression upon Hou. “This is home to the biggest movie industry in the world. The entire globe is their market, and this is where an ambitious filmmaker ideally wants to be.” 

The National University alumnus’ goal is to ultimately direct feature length films, “but right now I am in practical training for a year in America,” he added. Hou also said the MFA in Digital Cinema program at National University was a good experience and a “big first step” in the right direction.

Hou has submitted Turn the Heart to various Film Festivals for consideration and continues to perfect his craft while he awaits his next opportunity.

The MFA in Digital Cinema program at National University is offered as a hybrid format with instruction for a majority of courses delivered online, and a required one-month intensive residency at the Los Angeles campus. The program is also offered full-time at the National University Los Angeles campus with a majority of classes conducted onsite. For more information, contact Lead Faculty Alyn Warren at