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B.C. documentary about Chinese family’s search for answers nominated for Canadian Screen Award

Click to play video: 'B.C. filmmaker gets nomination for documentary on immigrant experience' B.C. filmmaker gets nomination for documentary on immigrant experience
A Richmond filmmaker is nominated for two Canadian Screen Awards for her documentary chronicling a Chinese couple's quest for truth and justice following tragedy. The success of "The World is Bright" is validation for Ying Wang, who didn't get the start in film she was hoping for, but as Jay Durant reports, found success doing it her way. – May 18, 2021

A Richmond filmmaker’s documentary has been nominated for two Canadian Screen Awards.

The World is Bright is nominated in the categories of Best Feature Length Documentary and Best Editing in a Documentary at this Thursday’s Canadian Screen Awards.

The film covers a Chinese couple’s 10-year quest to find the truth about their son’s death in B.C.

Filmmaker Ying Wang says The World is Bright tackles challenging subjects, including mental health and immigration.

Read more: 2021 Canadian Screen Awards nominations: List of major TV, movies nominees

“We want to rebuild all the layers and all the complexities and all the elements involved in this one family’s story,” Wang said.

The process was so intense that filmmakers often had to find ways to pause and catch their breath.

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Click to play video: 'Canadian woman describes ordeal as an immigrant family dealing with a medical issue' Canadian woman describes ordeal as an immigrant family dealing with a medical issue
Canadian woman describes ordeal as an immigrant family dealing with a medical issue – Mar 8, 2017

“Sometimes we tried to meditate in the morning, sometimes we’d just try to exercise, take a dance break, or walk around the block backwards or something, just making the experience fun for us,” editor and co-writer Lawrence Le Lam said.

Wang moved from China when she was 28 and enrolled at the University of British Columbia. She tried to get into UBC’s film program but was rejected. Instead of giving up, she spent all of her free time at the Vancouver International Film Festival, watching, learning and teaching herself the art of filmmaking.

Read more: Immigrant, refugee youth end up in ER for mental health care more than others: study

“When it opened, I was just so excited,” she said. “I skipped classes and bought a student pass to go there, just binge-watching as much film as possible.”

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Her other film, Sisters, featured her own sister, who developed an eating disorder after moving to North America.

Since then Wang has used her work in film to push for better mental health support after immigration.

“We organize the experts and community members to talk about this issue, to share their feelings, and particularly to share if they want to find help, where they can find help,” Wang said.

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