Karen Cho’s new film “Status Quo?” wins World Documentary Award at Whistler Film Festival


Montreal film maker Karen Cho wins the World Documentary Award at the 2012 Whistler Film Festival. photo courtesy of Craig Takeuchi

Karen Cho’s new movie about Feminism, “Status Quo?” won the top documentary prize at Whistler Film Festival on December 2nd.

I initially met Karen probably around 2004 when she brought Shadow of Gold Mountain (2004) to Vancouver.  It is an extremely moving documentary about the Chinese Head Tax Survivors and descendants,and questioned how one side of the her family (white) could be given free land to come to Canada, while the other side of the family (Chinese) would be charged a racist head tax and denied citizenship.  It also features interviews with my friends: activist Sid Tan, WW2 Veteran Gim Wong; and recently deceased Charlie Quon – the first person to receive an ex-gratia Head Tax Redress payment after the Canadian government apologized in 2006.

Read Craig Takeuchi’s story in the Georgia Straight.

“When Montreal-based director Karen Cho won the World Documentary Award at the 2012 Whistler Film Festival on December 2 for Status Quo? , a film about the ongoing struggle for women’s rights and issues in Canada, she said that she was “absolutely shocked”. She said she had seen the other films in the competition, which she regarded as ‘high-calibre docs’. But she said she was thrilled that it had garnered such attention at a festival like WFF. (She also received a standing ovation.)

“‘To have it recognized in a more mainstream way really will help propel the issues that the film talks about into the spotlight and hopefully get people talking and thinking about these things,’ she told the Straight shortly after her win. ‘So I think it’s great for what we’re trying to do with the film is create change.'”

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