I meet Bertha Bay-Sa Pan, director of Face – review to come
I saw the movie Face last night at Pacific Cinematheque as part of
explorASIAN's film component celebrating Asian Heritage Month.
Pan is in town for a few days as the Western Canadian Premiere of Face,
and to give a short film making workshop on Sunday afternoon at
Vancouver Museum, plus Q&A sessions following each screening of her
It's a nicely crafted movie about 3 generations of Asian women in New
York City. The characters are each nicely developed and influence
each other directly and indirectly, even though Central character Kim,
left her mother and infant daughter behind to start a new life.
The story is told in flashbacks and begins as she is returning to
New York to visit them.
Bertha Bay-Sa Pan answered lots of questions from the audience, and
explained that while the film is “Asian” in characters and story, it is
universal enough that many Jewish people as well as gays, told her that
“It's my story!” The characters deal with not being able to
communicated and say what they feel to each other, and how they must
deal with the consequences of the actions and their inactions.
My question to Pan, dealt with the Asian-African inter-racial
relationship. I said that most films dealing with inter-racial
relationships have usually had white-Asian relationships such as Joy
Luck Club and Mina Shum's Double Happiness.
“It's not the first one on screen,” Pan answered. There was
also the movie “One Night Stand,” as well as the television show ER –
both with actress Ming Na Wen. Also Sandra Oh on Gray's Anatomy,
has become involved with a Black American.”
Pan has seen many of the Asian-Canadian and Asian-American films, and
counts Ang Lee's earlier films such as Eat Drink Man Woman as her
influences. She made her cinematographer watch In the Mood for
Love, to help demonstrate the lighting that she wanted to
capture. Asian movies do capture different colours as symbolic
metaphors that are important to telling the story she wanted, she
explained to the audience.
see below from the explorASIAN website
BERTHA BAY-SA PAN
is the feature film debut for writer-director Bertha Bay-Sa Pan. Born
in New Jersey and raised in Taiwan, Ms. Pan received her MFA in Film
from Columbia University, where her short film “Face” [from which the
feature is adapted] won numerous honors including the Polo Ralph Lauren
Award for “Best Screenplay”, the Director’s Guild Award for “Best Asian
American Student Filmmaker.” The feature film “Face” brought her
various awards including The Best Director Award at Urbanworld Film
Festival, The Critics Award for Best Director at CineVegas, an Open
Palm nomination from the Gotham Awards in 2002, as well as the Premio
Speciale Prize at Torino International Women’s Film Festival 2003.
a Bertha Bay-Sa Pan film starring Bai Ling – Treach – Kristy Wu
– Winner of the Best Director Award at Urbanworld Film Festival, The
Critics Award for Best Director at CineVegas, an Open Palm nomination
from the Gotham Awards and the Premio Speciale Prize at Torino
International Women’s Film Festival.
Western Canada Premiere at explorASIAN 2006
Director in Attendance
May 13 – 7:30pm & 9:30pm
May 14 – 7:30pm (followed by explorFILM: Asian Canadian Short Films at 9:30pm)
May 15 – 9:30pm (after explorFILM: Asian Canadian Short Films at 7:30pm)
Special members ticket prices in effect for this event!
Single Bill: $9.00 (students/seniors $7)
Double Bill: $12 (students/seniors $9)
in Pacific Cinémathèque or the Vancouver Asian Heritage Month Society
required for this event. VAHMS memberships available at the door.
Location: Pacific Cinematheque, 1131 Howe Street, Vancouver
Some coarse language and brief nudity
Runtime: 89 min