Mental health documentary produced by Richmond filmmaker wins award

Hot Docs, the largest documentary festival in North America, recently announced that Richmondite Ying Wang won the emerging Canadian filmmaker award for her latest work The World is Bright.

The 116-minute-long documentary becomes even more important and meaningful in this time of crisis, said Wang.

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The story, which follows the 10-year quest of an elderly Chinese couple who moved to Richmond to search for the truth behind their son’s death, sheds light on a wide range of current social issues, including immigration and the impact of mental illness among immigrant populations.

“I believe this film is even more relevant now as many of us have been forced into isolation in the past few months. The current pandemic has prompted a global mental health crisis as millions are experiencing loneliness, anxiety and grief at the sudden loss of loved ones,” said Wang.

She notes that while the film offers audiences an intimate look into a couple’s painful experience, she hopes the story will empower and inspire people.

“I hope this story can give us the strength to discover our own resilience and the assurance that we are not alone, but part of a greater whole.”

Wang, who came to Canada as an immigrant, said receiving the award at this time, when xenophobia is “raising its dirty head,” is particularly meaningful.

“It’s not only an affirmation of the film but a powerful recognition of an experience that’s shared by so many migrants and their families — myself included.”

A statement from Hot Docs reads, “The jury was deeply moved by this brave indictment of Canada’s immigration system, told through a tender portrait of the family, mental health and migration.

The World is Bright is the kind of film Canada needs to make more often.”  

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