THE LUMINOUS FLYERS began popping up on Lower Manhattan lamp posts last month. But instead of the usual advertisements for concerts or tattoo parlours, they carried a straightforward request in clunky typeface: 'Dear Mr Wes Anderson, Where Are You? Sarah.' Featuring a hand-drawn cartoon of a girl holding a homing device, the leaflets held a further appeal: 'If you are Wes Anderson, know him or know how I can get in touch with him, please e-mail email@example.com .' Passers-by began to e-mail to friends photos of the oddball bid to find the director of such movies as Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums. Before long, blogs and websites, including popular media gossip site Gawker.com, were picking up on it. Highlighting the quest, Gawker said they, too, were out to find Anderson, although their effort 'involves a tire iron and an attempt to get back the US$10.75 we paid to sit through The Life Aquatic'. As it turns out, the person behind the flyers is not a crazed admirer but former Island School pupil Sarah Law Mae-zhi. Now a fashion student at Parsons the New School of Design in New York, she came up with the scheme to meet her 'favourite director' because of another idol - Hong Kong-born designer Vivienne Tam. The 20-year-old says the relatively easy way she secured a four-month internship with Tam in New York showed that not all heroes have to be elusive. 'It was something I'd never imagined happening, but after simply sending in an application I found myself working for an icon who has inspired me to do fashion,' she says. So Law tried her luck with another hero, coming up with the idea for her search for Anderson a year ago. Describing it as a 'project', she sees the process, from concept to the flyer design and the results it inspires, as something of a work of art in itself. Susan Juvet, a friend and fellow Parsons student who helped Law with her quest, says they spent a lot of time appraising the design of the flyer - 'down to each letter and its placement on the page'. 'The idea and design are very quirky and whimsical which is exactly what Sarah's personality is all about. Her outlook on life is very lighthearted and she never takes things too seriously,' says Juvet. 'I've probably had about 70 responses,' Law says. 'A lot of them are from his fans who are just curious and want to get in touch with me. Others aren't so positive, but it's still fun to get an e-mail from somebody who wants to understand what it is you're doing.' While she has yet to trace the acclaimed director, Law is hopeful her mission (which could conceivably be a plot line in one of his movies) will appeal to Anderson's more quirky sensibilities and enable her to leapfrog the barriers that usually shield celebrities from unsought attention. So do many of the people who contacted her. There's an aspiring New York actress who imagines the Hong Kong student might help land her a part in Anderson's next film. A woman has offered to put Law in contact with the director's son. Meanwhile, curious die-hard fans send addresses they think might be helpful, and film buffs from India have written with information on the location of Anderson's next project after the upcoming Fantastic Mr Fox. Another offered a tip that the director might be in Paris where, coincidentally, Law is moving to in the autumn for a year's study. 'I'm trying to learn French,' she says. 'If he's there perhaps I might be able to work with him.' When Law started putting her posters up around town, things didn't go to plan. 'Someone always took them down after 15 minutes, saying I was littering. At that point I didn't think this was going to work. I returned to Hong Kong and forgot about it,' says Law, whose family lives in Stanley. Three weeks later, however, the e-mails responding to her appeal started to arrive, thanks to blog postings about her flyer. 'That's when I realised that the people who like Anderson seem to think that what I was doing was a good idea. It encouraged me to go and do more and more.' Having now put up about 250 posters, Law is getting increasing attention from public and media alike. But even as her project evokes the left-field personality of a typical Anderson movie, it could well drive the director further away. For all the conjecture about there being only six degrees of separation between one person and another, there's a thin line that separates Law's eccentric gambit from stalking. 'Am I worried that I might put him off? I don't see myself as a stalker, but I guess he might not see it that way,' Law says. 'I'm going to try to meet him but if it doesn't work, it doesn't work, you know? I like his films, but I'm not in love with him. I just love the colouring, the attention to detail in his stories.' Law's American mother, Marti, a volunteer teacher at a Kwun Tong school, says her daughter's quest didn't surprise her. 'She is very determined and when she made a plan to locate the director, she was very hopeful that a job would result. I support her interest in the filmmaker,' she says. So what on first impression seems like a slightly disturbing fixation is actually a stab at getting a job. Still, how will the fashion student respond if she does get in touch with the director? 'I don't know what might happen. I don't have any film experience, but I am a very creative person and I work hard, so whatever he might need help with, maybe I could get involved in it. I've never done anything like this before,' Law says. 'That Vivienne Tam internship was very serendipitous as a friend of mine had got in and then recommended that I try, and before I knew it I was working for my favourite designer. [It] made me think that perhaps there were other things in life that could be organised just as quickly; it gave me confidence to try. You know, if you want to put effort into it, things can happen.'