fascinating...meticulous...
bringing 1940s Chinatown back to life in miniature
— Linda Poon (The Atlantic, CityLab)
“Masterfully directed...beautifully shot
— — Cindy Maram (Dig In Magazine)

Forever, Chinatown

Documentary | 32 minutes | USA 2016

 

Forever, Chinatown is a story of unknown, self-taught 81-year-old artist Frank Wong who has spent the past four decades recreating his fading memories by building romantic, extraordinarily detailed miniature models of the San Francisco Chinatown rooms of his youth.

This film takes the journey of one individual and maps it to a rapidly changing urban neighborhood from 1940s to present day. A meditation on memory, community, and preserving one’s own legacy, Frank‘s three-dimensional miniature dioramas become rare portals into a historic neighborhood and a window to the artist’s filtered and romanticized memories and emotional struggles. In his bargain with immortality, Frank announces plans to cremate his exquisite works with him upon his death in order to ‘live inside them forever’ in his afterlife.

 

Produced and Directed by: James Q. Chan

Producer: Corey Tong

Director of Photography: Jeff den Broeder

Editor, Miniature Cinematography: Michael Palmieri

Assistant Editor: Donal Mosher

Original Music: Thomas Lauderdale and Pink Martini

Sound Design: Jeremiah Moore

Associate Producer: Penelope Wong

Researcher: Dorothy Quock

Graphic Design: James DiRito

 

www.foreverchinatown.com

facebook.com/foreverchinatown

twitter: @4everchinatown


A beautiful love letter to Chinatown... heartbreaking, tender, evocative
— B. Ruby Rich (Professor, Film & Digital Media, UC Santa Cruz; Editor, Film Quarterly; Author, “New Queer Cinema”, “Chick Flicks”)
 
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...lovely, rich...a complex portrait of a man and his memory”
— Sandip Roy (Journalist, NPR, Huffington Post; Author, "Don't Let Him Know")
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Screenings & Awards:

American Film Showcase (September 2017-2018)

  • Tanjombato, Madagascar

National Public Television Broadcast , (WGBH World; PBS) May- June 2017

Seattle Asian American Film Festival, *WINNER Audience Award + Jury Award Documentary Short 2018

Berkeley Public Library, 2018

University Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, 2017

Yale University Film Series, 2017

Asian American International Film Festival, New York 2017

Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival  *WINNER Jury Award Documentary Short, Best Cinematography* 2017

Association of Asian American Studies Conference 2017

Camerimage Int'l Film Festival of the Art of Cinematography, Poland *Nominee Best Short Doc* 2016

Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival    2016

Hawaii International Film Festival    2016

San Francisco Film Society Doc Stories    2016

Austin Asian Film Festival *WINNER Audience Award Best Short Doc* 2016

Boston Asian American Film Festival *WINNER Audience Award Best Short Doc* 2016

Santa Fe Indie Film Festival    2016

Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival    2016

Hanoi Cinematheque, Vietnam 2016

Rhode Island International FF    2016

Doc Edge (New Zealand) *Nominee Best Short Doc* 2016

Full Frame Documentary Film Festival *World Premiere*  2016

CAAMfest, special work-in-progress screening 2016


A co-production of GOOD MEDICINE PICTURE COMPANY and INDEPENDENT TELEVISION SERVICE (ITVS) presented in association with the CENTER FOR ASIAN AMERICAN MEDIA (CAAM), with funding provided by CORPORATION FOR PUBLIC BROADCASTING (CPB)

National Public Television Broadcast May - June 2017:

Additional Support


Project Advisors: