About The Film
Descendants of the Past, Ancestors of the Future is a dramatic short film about Andrew, the son of Chinese immigrants, who is about to become a father to a baby girl. To ease his apprehension about his impending fatherhood, Andrew desperately needs to understand how his mother and her own father could have lived apart for most of their lives.
Gung Gung, Andrew’s maternal grandfather who immigrated alone to San Francisco over fifty years ago and remained there until his death, remains a most burdensome mystery because of his seeming abandonment of his family. When Andrew’s mother finally gains the courage to speak about her father after years of restraint, she reveals a treasured childhood memory that offers Andrew a glimpse of the powerful family bond between her and Gung Gung in spite of a lifetime of physical separation. Andrew begins to understand the extraordinary sense of kinship that binds him to his ancestors and descendants, ultimately sending Andrew on a journey that leads to Gung Gung.
Descendants of the Past, Ancestors of the Future explores the sacrifices immigrant families make and the powerful bond that ties all generations of a family together.
For many of us living in North America, our families immigrated from a foreign land at some point or another—some very recently and some many generations ago. The specific circumstances may vary from family to family, but the common thread that links all immigrant families together is that the first generation in North America had the bravery and foresight to forge a better future for themselves and successive generations.
The screenplay for Descendants of the Past, Ancestors of the Future is based on writer/director Albert M. Chan's personal experiences as the son of Chinese immigrants and the factors which led his mother to immigrate to Toronto while her father immigrated to San Francisco.
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Descendants of the Past, Ancestors of the Future is a universal story about the extraordinary strength of family despite physical and temporal separation, resonating particularly with immigrants who had the bravery and foresight to forge a better future for successive generations, as well as with the children of immigrants who often struggle with issues of cultural identity and their sense of belonging.
The plan for connecting the finished film with audiences involves several strategies, with the film screening at international film festivals, educational institutions, Asian community groups, Asian youth groups, immigrant advocacy groups, Asian historical organizations, socially-conscious artistic groups, and broadcast television.
Descendants of the Past, Ancestors of the Future brings together a talented group of filmmakers and actors whose passion for the arts and dedication to excellence have garnered them success in the entertainment industry, including a Golden Globe® nomination, two Emmy® nominations, and a Drama Desk nomination. They have worked on projects that include The Dark Knight, Three Days of the Condor, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, 30 Rock, Cold Case, House MD, Law & Order SVU, Bee Movie, The Simpsons Movie, Body of Proof, Underdog, and Brotherhood.
Part of the team also worked together previously on writer/director Albert M. Chan's award-winning short film The Commitment, which has screened at over 25 film festivals on four continents and won multiple awards, most notably edging out Oscar®-nominated Moonrise Kingdom to win a 2013 NASW Media Award.