CELEBRATE ASIAN HERITAGE MONTH WITH DGC ONTARIO CREATIVES

May is Asian Heritage Month. In honour of the contributions made by Asian-Canadians to the film and television industry, scroll down for a collection of Wider Lens interviews with some of the trailblazing DGC Ontario Members who are putting Asian stories front and centre.

DGC ONTARIO DIVERSITY COMMITTEE CO-CHAIR TERESA HO ON TELLING DIFFERENT KINDS OF STORIES

Teresa Ho on the set of Hello (Again)

We celebrated having a multi-faceted romantic leading Asian male on our series. It’s a story that is not often seen. With more of these stories, we hope to normalize them. Asian love stories matter.”  

Teresa Ho

DIRECTOR & dgc president WARREN SONODA: BAFTA AWARD NOMINATION AND THINGS I DO FOR MONEY

DGC Ontario Director and DGC President Warren Sonoda

“Don’t get it right, get it written — get it right in the rewrites. There’s always something and there is a way. Everyone operates from either love or fear. As a Director you have to know that, and put your team in the best situation to be successful as possible.”

Warren Sonoda

RENUKA JEYAPALAN: KIM’S CONVENIENCE SEASON 5

Director Renuka Jeyapalan

I put a lot of myself into anything I direct. And what originally drew me to Kim’s Convenience was the dynamic amongst the family. It was something I really connected to.

Renuka Jeyapalan

JOYCE WONG ON STORIES FROM THE SUBURBS, DIRECTING COMEDY, AND RUN THE ‘BURBS

Director Joyce Wong

“The Pham family in [Run the ‘Burbs] is Vietnamese-Indian and many of the episodes included cultural references from those communities. In order to make sure both cultures were reflected properly, the show brought in cultural consultants to lend their expertise and we worked together with them to shape and inform our creative choices.”

Joyce Wong

DANIELLE SAHOTA: BEHIND THE SCENES WITH THE DIRECTORS, EDITORS AND DESIGNER OF WORKIN’ MOMS SEASON 5

Toronto has an amazing established and emerging pool of talent to collaborate with. It is a pleasure to grow as a Production Designer and see our city creatively rise to meet our expanding industry’s demands.

Danielle Sahota

ALEYSA YOUNG: WORKIN’ MOMS INTERNATIONAL EMMY NOMINATION AND DIRECTING NEW EDEN

Director Aleysa Young

“It’s always nice when Canadian shows are recognized abroad, but it’s especially great when it’s a show you’ve worked on. Since Workin’ Moms hit Netflix, I have friends from Singapore to Berlin messaging me about how much they love the show.”

Aleysa Young

Sherren Lee: CELEBRATING THE CREATIVES BEHIND KIM’S CONVENIENCE

The whole experience, walking into the studio, working with the wonderful cast (even behind masks), and just getting the chance to be a part of this final season is so special to me. Representation matters, and I’m proud to have been a cog in this machine, hopefully paving the way for more BIPOC creatives.

Sherren Lee

TIFFANY HSIUNG: PEABODY AWARD-WINNING DOCUMENTARY THE APOLOGY

Director Tiffany Hsiung with her Peabody Award for The Apology

“I couldn’t be prouder of the grandmothers in my film. I know they never thought their stories would make such an impact, but I knew that this is what they deserved. They’ve moved beyond survivors and are now heroes for the next generation.”

Tiffany Hsuing

1ST ASSISTANT ART DIRECTOR KIM SISON ON “PAYING IT FORWARD” IN THE ART DEPARTMENT

1st Assistant Art Director Kim Sison, one of the Art Caucus Representatives on DGC Ontario’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee

“I believe it is important to have these diversity initiatives led by those with marginalized voices rather than having others speak for us. I still struggle to find my own voice due to years of internalized conditioning based on my identity, and I don’t want future filmmakers to ever feel like they can’t speak up for themselves.”

Kim Sison

Randall Okita: see for me at tribeca

Director Randall Okita

“I think representation is at the core of a good story, and the more authentically we can tell stories, the richer they will be.”

Randall Okita

YUNG CHANG: WUHAN WUHAN

Director Yung Chang. Photo credit: Samuel Engelking

“A week before I got the call to make this film, my daughter and I experienced an anti-Asian racist incident in our Toronto west-end neighbourhood. I channelled the anger and confusion around this incident into the film by trying to humanize the people of Wuhan city.”

Yung Chang

DEEPA MEHTA: FUNNY BOY

Deepa Mehta attends the 2016 Canada’s Walk Of Fame Awards at Allstream Centre on October 6, 2016 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by George Pimentel/WireImage)

“At its heart, Funny Boy is about the oppression of minorities and how nothing good comes from hatred. We are all looking for love and acceptance for who we are.”

Deepa Mehta

DESIGNER X DESIGNER: PRODUCTION DESIGNER NAZ GOSHTASBPOUR

Production Designer Naz Goshtasbpour

“One day, the Costume Designer, Production Designer and Art Director of a movie walked in to buy some things. When they presented their tax exemption form, I saw that it was for Universal Studios, and I said, “Hey, guys, I’m starting Film School in three weeks. Let me know if you need a volunteer!” Sure enough, two days later, they offered me a job in the very busy wardrobe department when I was 18.”

Naz Goshtasbpour

JASMIN MOZAFFARI: THE MAKING OF THE AWARD-WINNING FIRECRACKERS

Director Jasmin Mozafarri on the set of Firecrackers

“Taking an intersectionalist point-of-view means that I need to be constantly acknowledging that feminist portrayals on screen should also consider examinations of race, gender, sexuality, class, and ability. I will be the first to admit I do not always get this right, but I have made it my mission to honour these explorations more carefully in my work.”

Jasmin Mozaffari

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