Pan Into the Spotlight: Elenore Pan

Pan Into the Spotlight: Elenore Pan

There’s a saying that freedom is not worth having if it does include the freedom to make mistakes. Growing up in a culture that focused mostly on perfection—beauty, education, social class, etc.— Elenore became aware of how important and brave it is to have independent thoughts and to learn to make one’s own choices at an early age.

Unlike her parents, who were successful entrepreneurs, Elenore had a flair for creative arts.

At the age of five, she started playing the piano under the tutelage of a piano teacher, who would later become a motherly figure in little Elenore’s life. Her piano teacher was an independent woman with a unique personality. It wasn’t until Elenore started living on her own and finding her own place in society did she realize how heavily she was influenced by her piano teacher’s unconventional way of life throughout her own journey. Elenore’s parents and piano teacher’s generation were heavily influenced by the cultural revolution in China. For Elenore, it was nearly impossible to imagine a life where one can’t buy food without a government-issued ticket and people would get publicly criticized for being intellectual. As Elenore describes her piano teacher, “She was eccentric but marvelous in her own way. Not a lot of people understood why a woman in that generation would choose to start a private piano school on her own instead of working in a government-owned institution, or why she wasn’t worried about not being married. But for me, she was an inspiration through and through.”

Her mother and piano teacher were not the only women role models for young Elenore. Growing up, she has always had a soft spot for movies by female directors like Agnes Varda, Claire Dennis and Chantal Akerman.

“We live in a patriarchal society, especially in the culture I grew up in. But watching these incredible women create ingenious films, go after their dreams, and dare to express their beliefs is what gave me wings. It made me believe that I too had what it takes to be honest to myself, take time to evaluate who I want to be, and achieve what seems impossible. I would never give up on that faith until I cross the finish line, all the way to an authentic realization of my vision of self.” commented Elenore, talking about her role models, and how they inspired her to pursue her own life and dreams.

As an up-and-coming young artist, Elenore has already produced and/or directed quite a few well-received pieces of work such as such as  Thymes, Herna, and Stagger. She is currently working on an art documentary for Harvard called To the Moon, and a feature-length film, Heirloom, which is set to be released in 2022. Her goal is to become a filmmaker who can capture genuine human emotions and have critical thoughts about society in her works. She hopes to continuously grow and become someone who could inspire other women in the way that she was touched and inspired.