It has been an amazing couple of months. We have had back to back festivals spanning Melbourne, Orlando, Boston, Daytona Beach, Fort Lauderdale, and in a few weeks Miami. Each screening had its own unique experience. We have been overwhelmed by the fact that our little film has won an award at each festival thus far. It has been unbelievable.
Although we have won these honors, the most gratifying part has been the audience feedback. We have had 4 year olds and 80 year olds equally enjoy the film. At the Q&A we have had some fun questions from the kids. They seem to be especially intrigued with my father’s swimming skills and his escape to the USA.
In our ‘home town’ at the Boston Asian American Film Festival, we hosted two sold out audiences, and many of the viewers recognized themselves in scenes from the 70’s! In Fort Lauderdale we had a sold out audience filled with martial arts practitioners of various styles (choy lay fut, hung gar, praying mantis, karate) “This was the best audience so far”, my mom said, after the screening, because they cheered and applauded throughout the entire film, showing their love and appreciation for the movie. Even though they are not Wah Lum students, they appreciated the film since, as practitioners of the martial arts, we are all family!
I would like to thank our loyal fans, friends, and family that have been supporting this film since day one! Our ‘groupies’ have been traveling to each festival with us, and have watched the film 6 or 7 times! Special thanks to the Chinfatt Family of 6, and Hao Nguyen our photographer/student who makes goes the distance to capture our special moments!
Although we had the smallest audience in Daytona Beach, one of the jurors gave a remarkable review and introduced the film before we won our award. This review really resonated with me, and makes me feel so proud of the film (not that I wasn’t already!). I’d like to share it here:
Eric Breitenbach – Senior Professor of Southeast Center For Photographic Studies
Pui Chan: Kung Fu Pioneer has an extraordinary main character with an even more extraordinary history. A passionate and extensive effort involving three sprawling locations, the film is handsomely shot and uses intriguing archival material to propel its moving story forward. It is the story not just of a single determined individual but also of his wife–and the lasting effect the couple had and continues to have on the thousands of kung fu students they have taught whose lives have been changed by the practice. A scene where Pui Chan, in modern China, waves incense over the graves of his ancestors beautifully illustrates the film’s articulate probing of the ties that bind families and generations together.