YUNG CHANG BRINGS AWARENESS TO OTHER ASIAN-HYPHENATED FILMMAKERS AT REEL ASIAN FILM FEST

Now at a turning point in his career, the fest's Canadian spotlight subject screens his very first doc and teases his debut fiction feature

Filmmaker Yung Chang has always been interested in outsiders, people who don’t operate by the book. He sees himself in them. (PHOTO BY SAMUEL ENGELKING)

EARTH TO MOUTH (Yung Chang, Canada). 41 minutes. Free. Monday (November 11), 6 pm, at Bachir/Yerex Presentation Space, The Commons (401 Richmond West); LIVE SCRIPT READING OF EGGPLANT moderated by Vivian Lin, with Andrea Bang and others, November 14 at 8 pm, CSI Annex (720 Bathurst). $20. reelasian.com.


As a young Chinese-Canadian kid growing up in Oshawa, director Yung Chang remembers feeling like an outsider. Often the victim of racist bullying, he felt neither Canadian nor Chinese, just a sense of shame and confusion. The rare time he saw a piece of art about identity, it usually made him cringe.

So it’s gratifying for him now to see lots of art – everything from the movie blockbuster Crazy Rich Asians to the hit homegrown series Kim’s Convenience – that reflects the complex Asian-North American experience.

“I feel like I’m from another generation. I never ever thought there would be these kinds of opportunities forefronted for everyone,” he says. “I’m just so impressed by filmmakers like Chloé Zhao [The Rider] and Johnny Ma [Old Stone]. Johnny, by the way, has a great story about how he used to impersonate me at film festivals.”

Ma won’t be able to do that at this year’s Reel Asian Film Festival.

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