This year, Metro Vancouver’s premier social justice film festival, KDocsFF, will screen two documentaries that will highlight the rise in anti-Asian violence since 2019.
“While the spike in reported anti-Asian hate crimes – up a staggering 700 per cent in Vancouver and primarily targeting Asian women and seniors – seems unprecedented, it is more accurately the latest manifestation of unchecked systemic racism,” says Greg Chan, community outreach director at KDocsFF.
“Our Stop Asian Hate series was conceived to expose this legacy the KDocsFF way: through awareness, community dialogue, and documentary activism. We have a responsibility to our student body, the majority of which identifies as South and East Asian, to directly address hate crimes that target Asians.”
On October 11, which is National Coming Out Day, KDocsFF and KPU’s Department of Asian Studies present Emergence, Out of the Shadows. The documentary, produced by Surrey-based filmmaker Alex Sangha, follows Kayden, Jag, and Amar as they come out to their Punjabi Sikh families and deal with deep-rooted tradition and taboo within the culture and community.
A live Q&A and panel discussion featuring Alex, the film subjects, and their parents will follow the screening.
“I hope that our audience embraces this Surrey-based documentary, which captures the challenges three families face as their LGBTQIA2S+ children come out in their conservative Punjabi Sikh communities. The special event coincides with National Coming Out Day on October 11th; our hope is that the documentary and panel discussion will inspire Queer/questioning youth to be themselves and show their parents how to be allies,” says Chan.
On November 16, KDocsFF will screen The Six, directed by Arthur Jones. The documentary highlights the racism and anti-immigration policy that almost erased the stories of the six Chinese men who survived the sinking of the RMS Titanic.
“Titanic stories and family histories have been well documented, but with one notable exception: the narratives of the six Chinese men who survived the sinking. The erasure of their stories speaks to the history of anti-Asian racism, which KDocsFF aims to break down,” adds Chan.
The film festival will also commemorate the 20th anniversary of 9/11, screening You Are Here: A Come From Away Story on September 17. The documentary follows the 6,600 people who were redirected to Gander, Newfoundland on 9/11 and how the townspeople opened their doors to them for five days.
All screenings are free virtual events (with opportunities for advanced screenings prior to the live Q&As/panel discussions), but registration via email is required. Learn more here.