Growing up, the media landscape was very different than what it is today. I didn’t grow up with strong asian role models in media, or stories that reflected my experience as an Asian-Canadian. In fact, to be a citizen of the country, be able to vote, and have a career making films is an opportunity my ancestors would have dreamed of. I'm fortunate to be in a time where I've been given more opportunities, privileges and knowledge as a result of the people before me.
I left the VAFF17 feeling inspired by people who are telling thoughtful and powerful stories. Especially the women who are pushing the boundaries of the craft in an industry where they are under represented and under supported. I've been reflecting on the responsibilities I have as a filmmaker. Specifically in how I shape the media landscape with the films I create and put out. Not only with the end product and who is being shown, but also, what stories are being told and who is being included in the key creative processes.
The Lion was awarded the people's choice award at VAFF17 (shout out to those who came and voted!). It's humbling knowing that I had some small part in facilitating a voice and perspective on the topic of mental health. Especially in a culture where the conversation isn't always being had.
There are so many people to thank, especially Francis for being so open to sharing his story in the first place. Thank you all for being a part of this!