Chinatown sausage company celebrated in film premiering at Vancouver Asian Film Festival

Click to play video: 'Combatting anti-Asian racism through film and media'
Combatting anti-Asian racism through film and media
Global News Morning talks to VAFF Founder Barbara Lee about using film as a means to educate the public about anti-Asian racism. – Nov 4, 2021

After nearly a century of serving customers in Vancouver’s Chinatown, the beloved Wing Wing sausage company is closing its doors, but it won’t soon be forgotten.

The business’s hallmark “soft and juicy” pork and liver sausages are made from recipes brought by the Fong family from Southern China to Vancouver more than 100 years ago.

It’s a legacy that Vancouver-based film director Kimberly Ho could not let slip away, so she captured the history of the family-owned enterprise in their new documentary, To Make Ends Meat. 

“It’s the story of a humble family that came from Canton to Vancouver, started with a small little butcher shop now to an international business,” they told Global News.

The next generation of the Fong family decided not to continue the business.

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The film will have its world premiere at the Vancouver Asian Film Festival (VAFF) this month and is one of two films sponsored by the Richard K. Wong Film Fund, named after local businessman Richard Wong.

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The fund aims to support Asian Canadian filmmakers and TV producers in projects that celebrate Asians in Canada.

“Asian filmmakers can bridge and work together with the non-Asian film industry to make real, world-class films to show to the world,” said Wong, a lifetime benefactor of the festival.

There’s so much potential, he added, remarking excitedly, “the producers are so young.”

Click to play video: 'Chinatown Storytelling Centre set to open in Vancouver'
Chinatown Storytelling Centre set to open in Vancouver

In its 25th year, the festival is seeing a lot of new talent emerge.

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Local filmmakers have been inspired by recent, high-profile productions that have showcased non-Western cultural perspectives with international success, said VAFF president and founder Barbara Lee.

Parasite won last year for best film, Minari won a Golden Globe,” she explained. “There is just so much happening.”

The short film TRAILBLAZN, which also features local talent, will make its debut at the film festival.

It features Scope G, a Vancouver-based rapper who has teamed up with other trailblazers in the hip hop community to create a musical track that celebrates Asians in hip hop.

“The Asian community is not just business people … the model minority sort of stereotypes,” said Lee. “They’re in all creative industries and arts as well. Here is just one person that we’ve highlighted.”

The festival’s silver anniversary showcases some visionary ideas, said Wong, helping his dream that ‘Hollywood North’ can become far bigger than ever before.

“Ultimately through the collective effort of the film industry in Vancouver, Vancouver will become Hollywood of the world,” he said. “That is what I think is the potential.”

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