Local Couple Takes International Tale to the Big Screen

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- It's a story of two world's brought together by love and faith. And it was filmed here Martinsburg. 

West Virginia couple Sun Jae and Mie Smith are independent filmmakers with a message to share. Their film "Ai Means Love" is hitting silver screens across the country. The couple drew from their personal experiences to tell the story of a young interracial couple preparing for marriage in a small town.

"My wife is half Japanese, and I'm also half Japanese," said Sun Jae Smith.

"This really brings out our kind of childhood and family life and two cultures coming together and what that's like," said Mie Smith.

"A lot of the Japanese culture that's in the film and kind of the cultural clashes that we kinda understand in our family helped guide the story and helped develop the story," said Sun Jae.

The main characters in the film Ian and Miki meet through a series of humorous cultural clashes. But their families believe they're made for each other

Sun Jae and Mie say that although the movie is a comedy, there is a deeper side, based in religion and spirituality.

"It's more than just a romantic love it's a deeper love which "ai" the Japanese character for love stands for it's a more deeper love, a more divine love that they share together," said Sun Jae.

Mie admits that growing up in an interracial family seemed to be the norm for herself and Sun Jae, but it's not always viewed that way to others. She says faith can bring any two cultures together as it did for her own marriage.

"So we really wanna show that no matter what background people come from we have a lot of the same characteristics and a lot of the same beliefs," said Mie Smith. "The faith is what really bring together the Japanese and American family."

They hope to debunk some of the myths surrounding intercultural relationships through the humorous film.

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