This Asian Heritage Month, we’re spotlighting some of the DGC Ontario Members and Productions bringing Asian-Canadian stories to the screen in authentic, heartwarming, hilarious ways. Scroll down for some of the best new and returning DGC Ontario Productions centred around Asian-Canadians, and a collection of Wider Lens interviews with DGC Ontario Members putting Asian stories front and centre.
Where to watch: CBC Gem
The Peabody Award-winning series Sort Of returned for its second season on November 15 on CBC and CBC Gem and has already garnered another Peabody nomination for its nuanced and authentic depiction of a non-binary millennial. Co-created by DGC Ontario Director Fab Filippo and Writer, Producer, and Lead Actor Bilal Baig, Sort Of remains a touching, quirky, and honest exploration of gender nonconformity and the struggle to find one’s place in life. Check out our interview with Sort Of Season 2 Director J Stevens on telling queer stories and our Wider Lens podcast episode with Bilal and Fab about their Sort Of origin story.
Click here for a list of all DGC Ontario Members who worked on Sort Of Season 2.
Run the ‘Burbs
Where to watch: CBC Gem
Created by comedian, writer and actor Andrew Phung and filmmaker Scott Townend, Run the ‘Burbs follows the Phams, a Vietnamese-South Asian-Canadian family taking a different approach to living life to the fullest in the suburbs. Now in its second season, Phung Executive Produces, Writes and stars in the series as an exuberant stay-at-home dad, and DGC Ontario’s Aleysa Young Executive Produces and helmed the pilot episode. Other DGC Ontario Directors on the series include Melanie Orr, Peter Wellington, Justin Wu, and Joyce Wong.
Click here for a list of all DGC Ontario Members who worked on Run the ‘Burbs Season 2.
Where to watch: CBC Gem
After Waseem Khan films a man forced to the ground and tased by Toronto Police Services, the cellphone footage goes viral. Acknowledging that he was exposed to a different reality growing up than his kids, Khan prepares for the inevitable yet daunting task of showing the video to his sons and talking through the unspeakably harsh realities of police violence. This impactful short screening at this year’s Hot Docs is part of the CBC Gem six-part documentary series Witness, which explores riveting viral videos through the eyes of the people who captured them. Witness is Executive Produced by DGC Ontario’s Amar Wala.
Click here for a list of all DGC Ontario Members who worked on Witness Season 1.
Stay the Night
Where to watch: Rent on TIFF Digital
Directed by DGC Ontario’s Renuka Jeyapalan, Stay the Night follows a single evening in the lives of two lonely young people seeking connection in the city. At a time when dating apps and casual hook-ups are the “new romance standard,” reserved and very single Grace (Kim’s Convenience’s Andrea Bang) feels like an outcast. But when she meets Carter Stone, a professional athlete on the outs who has his own decision to make, she wonders if maybe Carter is the perfect solution to her problem. After their first attempt at a one-night stand goes awry, they end up spending the evening walking and talking through the streets of Toronto, leading them to a connection neither of them expected.
Where to watch: Rent or buy on Cineplex, YouTube, or Apple TV
A film about love and family in the divided Iranian diaspora of Toronto. Lively music, intricate textiles and vibrant colours paint an unlikely story of love and family when Badi and Sharon, two young students with very different upbringings from a divided Persian community, accidentally fall in love. DGC Ontario Director Faran Moradi was selected as a recipient of Telefilm’s Talent To Watch Program to make Tehranto, his first feature film.
Click here for a list of all DGC Ontario Members who worked on Tehranto.
Joshua, a timid, middle-aged Filipino immigrant in Canada, has lived with his parents all his life. When his mother suddenly dies and his father’s health declines, he quits his job to look after his father full-time while managing his first experience of puppy love. The first feature film from Director Martin Edralin, Islands took home the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival Audience Choice Award and received a Special Jury Recognition for Breakthrough Performance at SXSW.
Click here for a list of all DGC Ontario Members who worked on Islands.
Streams Flow From A River
Where to watch: Super Channel
This 6-episode series centres around a dysfunctional Chinese-Canadian family trapped together in their rural Albertan hometown during a freak snowstorm that forces them to confront the events a decade prior that tore them all apart. Directed, written, and created by Christopher Yip, all episodes of Streams Flow From A River are now streaming on Super Channel and will screen as part of Cannes’ Canneseries program.
Click here for a list of all DGC Ontario Members who worked on Streams Flow From A River.
COMING SOON: How to Fail At Being A Pop Star
Adapted from the theatrical one-person show of the same name, How To Fail At Being A Pop Star is written by and stars award-winning artist, author and musician Vivek Shraya. Produced by CBC and Sphere Media, this eight-episode limited series will follow a queer brown boy with a huge voice doing everything he can to become a popstar — as told by the queer, trans femme adult that boy becomes, looking back on how and why that dream was never realized. How to Fail At Being A Pop Star is currently shooting in Toronto and is slated for release on CBC Gem later this year.
INTERVIEWS, PODCASTS & VIDEOS:
Production Manager and DGC Ontario Production Caucus Rep Moe Rai sits down with fellow PMs Kim Yu and Jessica Cheung to talk about their careers, what makes a great PM, the importance of communication and collaboration, and more.
Peabody Award-winning documentary filmmaker Tiffany Hsiung interviewed over twenty different experts to create the documentary segments of AppleTV+’s Jane. Tiffany reveals her motivation for pursuing documentary filmmaking, how she deals with imposter syndrome, and why planting the seeds of change in young people is so important.
Stunt performer turned Director Tig Fong joins our Wider Lens podcast host Annie Bradley for a conversation about their journey from stuntwork to directing on What We Do In The Shadows, publicly embracing their identity as a queer person of colour, and their personal mission to make the industry a more equitable place.
Production Manager, Production Accountant, and Producer Teresa Ho talks to Wider Lens about her work as Co-Chair of the DGC Ontario Diversity & Inclusion Committee, founding the production company 100 Dragons, and producing the digital series Hello (Again), created by Simu Liu and Nathalie Younglai.
Following the premiere of Run the ‘Burbs on CBC and CBC Gem, we spoke to Joyce Wong, one of the DGC Ontario Directors bringing the series to life. Joyce talks stories from the suburbs, directing comedic television, and how she first became involved with the production.