More Than A Label: Lu Xiao Wei

By LBB Online
  • I started working as a director in the industry around the same time when the conversations about diversity and awareness regarding the opportunity gap for marginalised groups was starting to become a hot topic – labels like “queer,” “BAME” and “POC” became a trending normality attached to briefs and peoples social media bios. As an aspiring director who fits all the descriptions above, it was hard to say no to opportunities back then. It often left me wondering if people actually see my skills vs my label?


  • Growing up as a young queer Asian kid from a strict military family in Taiwan, I was always struggling to fit in and was searching for an avenue to express my identity freely in a more inclusive environment. Years later I found that space when I moved to London to study art and photography. That’s where I started to experiment with moving images and develop my passion for filmmaking.


  • Racism and sexism are not unfamiliar experiences to me as an East Asian woman living in the UK. However, I was not prepared to have these discriminations thrown at me in a way that’s more subtle but equally aggressive and hurtful which would become one of my many challenges as a young director trying to break into the industry.


  • At first, I only received briefs that specifically requested female/queer/POC directors and they are usually for “feminine” brands targeting certain demographics. As a young director I’m grateful for every opportunity that comes my way, but as a filmmaker, there’s nothing that I want more than being seen for my talent and skills and to be able to express my creative voice authentically. I appreciate the efforts from brands and agencies trying to create more opportunities for people like me, who come from underrepresented groups, but it doesn’t feel right when my identity is being turned into buzzwords in the briefs and campaigns to help tick the vague boxes instead of a more in-depth understanding of our stories – our stories need to be told by us, not for us. My journey as a first generation East Asian immigrant and as a queer womxn wouldn’t be the same as a British person born and raised in London with an Asian heritage.

  • Growing up as a young queer Asian kid from a strict military family in Taiwan, I was always struggling to fit in and was searching for an avenue to express my identity freely in a more inclusive environment.

  • The silver lining is that this challenge became one of my motivational tools to go that extra mile and excel each time I get the opportunity to pitch and work on projects. I want to break the barrier by letting the quality of my work speak for me. Over the years I built a diverse body of work, including campaigns for brands such as Nike, Samsung, Lenovo, Depop and Audible.


  • Most importantly, making films is a practice that allows me to explore, celebrate my identity and culture. By creating self-initiated projects such as The Filial Daughter documentary. I was able to explore and learn to appreciate the traditions of my heritage. The film also helped me reach the more global Asian diaspora as it was showcased in festivals and platforms such as the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, Nowness Asia and i-D. Subsequently it has taught me the importance of a community filled with genuine creative voices such as my on-going collaboration with Eastern Margins – a London based collective, label and community dedicated to platforming the stories of the margins of East and South-East Asia and its diaspora. 


  • I still have a long way to go when it comes to my goals in directing as well as navigating my way through the discriminations I may face in the industry and not letting it affect my confidence and my love for filmmaking. It’s an art form that helps me explore and understand my identity, connect with my community and bring marginalised narratives to mainstream platforms with a humanistic approach. It’s my mission to be a role model to people that came from underrepresented backgrounds and show them that you are more than your label.