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Jingjing Tian 330 Views

Mattress is a mid-life crisis film about what is home and what is belonging. Hazel, a Chinese American returns to China abruptly after her grandmother passes away. Unable to cope with her grandmother’s death, she decides to stay in China and ends up at Ikea in search for a mattress. There, she finds a wonderland of people who hang out, eat, nap, play video games, and spend their days inside of Ikea. An older woman invites her to take a nap, and thus begins Hazel’s journey into the vortex of Ikea Shanghai and all the people who cohabit their lives at the store. As she overcomes her grief, she also learns the true meaning of belonging—that she must accept herself for who she is.

This is an American-China film about race, belonging, and what is home? I have been working on this script since 2014. I need some time off from work to focus on the script in order to get it made. The biggest road blocks is time, focus and showing the film community that I am committed to this project.


Saudade is a Portugese word that means searching for a home that no longer exists. Mattress is a film that will benefit anyone who has ever had to leave their home of origin for a new place. While some of us find belonging in our new home, some of us don’t. This film is about reconciling our yearning for a bygone past and creating a new place that makes us happy. It’s a film for immigrants and for people who seek belonging and an identity that celebrates their past, their present, and future.

What I Will Do With $5,000

I will use the $5,000 grant to complete the script. I began writing the script in 2014. Without any contacts in the film industry, I submitted to the Sundance Writer’s Lab in 2016, and was a semifinalist. Unfortunately, I was not selected for the final lab. Since then, I’ve been working on smaller film projects to hone my skills and build confidence in making a feature film. Mattress was selected for the New York Mayor’s Office Finance lab this year. I will be able to focus 100% on this project.

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About Jingjing Tian

With degrees in Biomedical Engineering, English, and an MFA in Creative Writing, I am pursuing my dreams of becoming a filmmaker for the first time at the ripe age of 33! It's been a psychological and emotional journey. Transitioning to a new field with the toxicity of a tyrannical family, I work on my self esteem every day! I am a Sundance Writer's Lab & Sundance Sloan Foundation semifinalist. My short film about a Chinese cowboy has been featured in Paper Mag, AM New York, and more.

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