About The Film
May 27, 2017 — Descendants of the Past, Ancestors of the Future screened as part of the Asian Heritage Month Film Festival in Toronto, Canada on Sunday, May 27, 2017. The event took place at Innis Town Hall Theatre at the University of Toronto. The event, with the theme Unity in Diversity: Fusion of Communities in Canada, featured a short film showcase followed by a Q&A with director Albert M. Chan and actress Tina Chen. The event continued with a panel discussion with director Nayani Thiyagarajah and a screening of her feature documentary Shadeism: Digging Deeper.
The event is presented by the Asian Heritage Month—Canadian Foundation for Asian Culture (Central Ontario) Inc. in partnership with Reelworld Film Festival and is programmed by Gave Lindo, Executive Director of Reelworld Film Festival. Asian Heritage Month Festival is partially funded by the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.
October 11, 2015 — Descendants of the Past, Ancestors of the Future screened at the Atlanta Asian Film Festival today at Cisco Auditorium at Georgia Gwinnett College. Atlanta Asian Film Festival, Inc is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization dedicated to educating the Atlanta community about the rich diversity of Asian Pacific culture through films and movies.
June 17, 2015 — Descendants of the Past, Ancestors of the Future screened to an over-capacity audience at the internationally recognized screening series NewFilmmakers New York tonight at Anthology Film Archives on the Lower East Side. Writer/director/actor Albert M. Chan and actress Tina Chen were in attendance. Founded in 1969, Anthology Film Archives is an international center for the preservation, study, and exhibition of film and video, with a particular focus on independent, experimental, and avant-garde cinema. Since its founding, Anthology has grown far beyond its original concept to encompass film preservation; the formation of a reference library containing the world’s largest collection of books, periodicals, stills, and other paper materials related to avant-garde cinema; and a remarkably innovative and eclectic film exhibition program. Anthology screens more than 900 programs annually, preserves an average of 25 films per year (with 800 works preserved to date), publishes books and DVDs, and hosts numerous scholars and researchers.
June 14, 2015 — Descendants of the Past, Ancestors of the Future won two awards at this weekend's NYC Downtown Short Film Festival at the Duo Multicultural Arts Center. Out of the over 600 films considered, Descendants of the Past, Ancestors of the Future scored honors for Best Screenplay (Albert M. Chan) and Best Actress (Tina Chen). The NYC Downtown Short Film Festival is a program of DMAC-Duo Multicultural Arts Center a (501 c3) non-profit organization located at 62 East 4th Street in New York City's East Village. The mission of DMAC is to create, promote and celebrate multicultural arts through theater, music, dance, art and film.
June 11, 2015 — As a result of audience voting in April, Descendants of the Past, Ancestors of the Future screened at the NYC Downtown Short Film Festival this evening at the Duo Multicultural Arts Center. Writer/director/actor Albert M. Chan and actress Tina Chen were in attendance. Showcasing some of the best short films being produced in America and internationally, the festival's line-up includes provocative dramas, clever comedies, edgy animation, and intriguing documentaries.
April 25, 2015 — Descendants of the Past, Ancestors of the Future was presented with the Jury Award for Best Regional Film tonight at the Southeast New England (SENE) Film, Music & Arts Festival in Providence, RI at the historic Columbus Theatre. In his acceptance speech, director/actor Albert M. Chan thanked festival founders Philip Capobres and Don Farias for supporting regional filmmakers over the years and noted how much the festival has grown in scope and quality since his participation in the festival at the 1st Annual SENE Film, Music & Arts Festival back in 2009. The filmmaking team's previous effort The Commitment won both the Jury Award and the Audience Award for Best LGBT Film in 2013 at the festival.
April 23, 2015 — Descendants of the Past, Ancestors of the Future screened at the first-ever Ithaca Pan Asian American Film Festival this evening at Cinemapolis, alongside the short We Are All One and the feature She Lights Up Well. The Ithaca Pan Asian American Film Festival is dedicated to supporting Asian American film, video and media makers both nationwide and throughout the upstate New York area while promoting films created by, starring, and/or about Asian Americans. This festival is a collaboration between the School for the Humanities and Sciences and the Roy H. Park School of Communications at Ithaca College.
March 8, 2015 — Descendants of the Past, Ancestors of the Future will screen a second time in New England in the month of April, at the Southeast New England (SENE) Film, Music & Arts Festival in Providence, RI on Saturday, April 25, 2015 at 5:45pm at the historic Columbus Theatre. The film screens in Short Film Program 4. Tickets will be sold at the door for $10 ($8 for Seniors/Students/RIFC Members), cash and credit cards accepted. Scheduled to be present for a Q&A are writer/director/actor Albert M. Chan and Golden Globe nominated actress Tina Chen. The filmmaking team's previous efforts The Commitment and Fate Scores screened at the festival back in 2013 and 2009 respectively.
March 7, 2015 — Descendants of the Past, Ancestors of the Future will screen at the NYC Downtown Short Film Festival Audience Choice Screenings in New York, NY on Friday, April 17, 2015 at 8pm at the Duo Multicultural Arts Center. The film screens in a program alongside four other short films. Click here for tickets. Scheduled to be present is writer/director/actor Albert M. Chan.
March 3, 2015 — Descendants of the Past, Ancestors of the Future returns to its hometown for the Boston International Film Festival on Sunday, April 19, 2015 at 8:30pm at The Paramount Center (tickets - click on April 19 on the calendar and select "BIFF: Session 22"). The film screens in Session 22 alongside the short film The Road to Sainte-Mère-Église and the feature film A Sort of Homecoming. Scheduled to be present for a Q&A are writer/director/actor Albert M. Chan and actress Tina Chen. Filmmakers Albert M. Chan and Aaron Howland have a long-standing relationship with the festival, now in its 13th year. In 2013, the festival screened Chan and Howland's The Commitment. In 2009, Chan and Howland attended the festival's Boston premiere of Fate Scores, written, directed, and produced by Chan and edited and shot by Howland. In 2006, the festival premiered the psychological thriller Interrogation, produced and edited by Howland and featuring Chan in the supporting role of Lieutenant Charles David Han. And back in 2003, the festival selected the Howland-produced short Jack Milton: Fairy Tale Detective as the winner of two awards: Best Storyline and Best Achievement in Creativity.
February 20, 2015 — Descendants of the Past, Ancestors of the Future has been chosen to receive the Rising Star Award at the Canada International Film Festival. Held each year in the beautiful and cosmopolitan city of Vancouver, British Columbia, the festival brings the very best of world cinema to Canada from over 90 countries around the world. The festival showcases a wide variety of North American and International Feature Films to thought-provoking Shorts, Documentaries, Music Videos, Animations, Experimental Films, Student Films, a Screenplay Competition, and more.
February 11, 2015 — Descendants of the Past, Ancestors of the Future is an official selection of the DisOrient Asian American Film Festival of Oregon. The film will screen at Bijou Art Cinemas in Eugene, Oregon, on April 18, 2015, at 10:30am. The film is featured in the shorts program Shorts: Authentically Me; click here for tickets. Started in 2006 by artists, educators, and activists, DisOrient is a grassroots and volunteer-run film festival committed to presenting honest portrayals of the diversity of the Asian and Pacific Islander American experience.
February 5, 2015 — Descendants of the Past, Ancestors of the Future returns to Toronto at the ReelWorld Film Festival on March 7, 2015 at 4pm at Cineplex Scotiabank Theatre. Director Albert M. Chan and Golden Globe, Emmy, and Drama Desk nominated actress Tina Chen are scheduled to be in attendance. Since 2001, ReelWorld has been bringing the best of racially diverse films to Toronto audiences from around the world.
February 3, 2015 — Tina Chen has received a Best Actress nomination at the Asians on Film Festival 2015 for her performance as a mother coming to terms with her own father's absence throughout most of her life in Descendants of the Past, Ancestors of the Future. Asians On Film Festival 2015 will take place at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles in Little Tokyo March 27-29th. The awards ceremony takes place March 29th @ 9PM. Albert M. Chan and Ryan Leach previously received Honorable Mentions from the Asians On Film Festival in the categories of Best Actor and Best Original Score, respectively.
January 17, 2015 — The judges have selected Descendants of the Past, Ancestors of the Future for screening at this year's Asians on Film Festival. The festival will take place at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles in Little Tokyo March 27-29th. Details about the festival will be forthcoming in the next few weeks. Albert M. Chan, Tina Chen, and Ryan Leach previously received Honorable Mentions from the Asians On Film Festival in the categories of Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Original Score, respectively.
November 9, 2014 — Descendants of the Past, Ancestors of the Future will have its Canadian premiere at the Toronto International Short Film Festival on November 13, 2014 at 5:30pm at Carlton Cinema. Director Albert M. Chan and Golden Globe, Emmy, and Drama Desk nominated actress Tina Chen are scheduled to be in attendance. The film is featured in Program 4; click here for tickets. Toronto Shorts Fest provides a showcase for the best short-form cinema and its creators in the world, showcasing 60 films from 12 countries in 9 theme programs.
November 4, 2014 — Rogue Cinema reviewer Philip Smolen praises Descendants of the Past, Ancestors of the Future as "a sweet and revealing insight into the complexities of family ties." He describes the acting of Albert M. Chan and Golden Globe nominee Tina Chen as "pitch perfect...Chan and Chen turn in wonderful performances." He lauds the film as "beautifully photographed...Chan’s careful compositions carry a wonderful emotional impact...a beautiful cinematic tone poem." Click here for the full review.
October 19, 2014 — Theo Alexander of Unsung Films commends Descendants of the Past, Ancestors of the Future as "subtle and poetic." He describes the film as a "hymn to family...a deeper, more holistic concept of an idea that is often thought of more biologically than spiritually." Click here for the full review.
October 5, 2014 — Descendants of the Past, Ancestors of the Future will have its world premiere at the Boston Asian American Film Festival on October 26, 2014 at 3pm at The Paramount Center. Director Albert M. Chan and Golden Globe, Emmy, and Drama Desk nominated actress Tina Chen are scheduled to be in attendance. The film is featured in the session "Shorts Program III"; click here for tickets. BAAFF empowers Asian Americans through film by showcasing Asian American experiences and serving as a resource to filmmakers and the Greater Boston Community. BAAFF is a program of the Asian American Resource Workshop, a member-based organization that seeks to document the diverse Asian Pacific American histories, experiences, and social conditions, respond to current Asian Pacific American issues, and promote Asian Pacific American identity.
July 14, 2014 — Asians on Film today announced the recipients of its quarterly honors for Asian and Asian-American cinema. Descendants of the Past, Ancestors of the Future received honors in the categories of Best Actor (Albert M. Chan), Best Actress (Tina Chen), and Best Original Score (Ryan Leach). Click here for the full list of winners.
May 1, 2014 — After an intense two months, Los Angeles based composer Ryan Leach has completed the original musical score for Descendants of the Past, Ancestors of the Future. "It was a great experience collaborating with Ryan," director Albert M. Chan said. "He took the time to listen and understand my suggestions and feedback and to translate them into brilliant pieces of music that subtly complemented the film."
The two previously collaborated on the highly successful film The Commitment, which has screened at over 25 film festival in Europe, Asia, Africa, and North America.
A sneak peek of the beautifully moving end theme of the film:
September 29, 2013 — Descendants of the Past, Ancestors of the Future wrapped principal photography today and is in the post-production phase. Editor Aaron Howland will be taking the footage and assembling a rough cut in the weeks to come, with the film completed by Spring 2014.
Film, TV, and theatre veteran Tina Chen will star in Descendants of the Past, Ancestors of the Future. Tina's films include The Hawaiians, playing opposite Charlton Heston, for which she received a Golden Globe® nomination; Alice's Restaurant (dir. Arthur Penn), opposite Arlo Guthrie; Three Days of the Condor, opposite Robert Redford; the award-winning indie film, Face, directed by Bertha Bay-Sa Pan; and Almost Perfect playing opposite Kelly Hu, Roger Rees and Edison Chen. Tina has guest starred on numerous TV shows and has played opposite such actors as Max von Sydow, Anthony Quinn, Burt Reynolds, Ernest Borgnine, Wayne Rogers, and David Carradine. Tina was nominated for an Emmy® for her performance in the CBS Playhouse special, The Final War of Olly Winter opposite Ivan Dixon.
On stage, Tina has played leading roles in many productions on and off Broadway including Empress of China, Comfort Women, The Shanghai Gesture, The Joy Luck Club, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Arthur & Leila, The Year of the Dragon, and David Henry Hwang's Family Devotions. Tina has directed plays at various theaters in New York, including Pan Asian Repertory Theatre’s production of Fairy Bones starring Lucy Liu in her stage debut. Tina co-produced the Broadway production of the Peter Nichols play, Passion, starring Frank Langella, and received a Drama Desk nomination as part of the producing team of the Broadway production of The Rink by Terrence McNally, starring Chita Rivera and Liza Minnelli.
Her talk, Heroes of History: Legacy of My Chinese Family, with 157 pictures, is about three generations of her mother's family and their contributions to the history of China.
Tina is also a composer. Four of her songs were recently presented at The Mirror Repertory Company in Greensboro, VT: a Christmas carol called This Tree ( lyrics by Ruth Wolff), which had its premiere with the Hong Kong Children's Choir at its Silver Jubilee; a Hanukkah song called Eight Nights (lyrics by YiLing Chen-Josephson); Words Never Said (lyrics by Diane Winslow); and Mother Life (lyrics by Tina Chen).
In the beginning of her acting career, Tina simultaneously did research in the Serology & Genetics Lab of the New York Blood Center. She also started Food Liberation, one of the first health food stores in NYC.
Tina is a volunteer reader to the sight-impaired at the Lighthouse International. She is also on the National Council of the Aspen Music Festival and School.
Over the course of her career, Tina has received among others, the following awards: Urban Stages 25th Anniversary Award for Artistic Brilliance, Women’s Projects Women of Achievement Award, Girl Scouts Woman of Distinction Award and the Anna Mae Wong Award given by Asian Fashion Designers of LA.
From the Heart Productions has chosen Descendants of the Past, Ancestors of the Future from over 150 film proposals as a second-finalist for the 2010 Roy W. Dean Film Grant. The film is one out of only eight films to remain in competition for the prestigious grant. From the Heart Productions is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to funding films that are "unique and make a contribution to society...compelling stories about little known subjects, historical films and films that touch hearts...stories that can heal and enrich our lives." The winner will be announced in October. Carole Dean created the Roy W. Dean Grant Foundation in 1992 in honor of her late father. To date, Ms. Dean's grant and mentorship programs have provided filmmakers with millions of dollars in goods and services and have played an instrumental role in establishing the careers of some of the industry's most promising filmmakers.
The Puffin Foundation has awarded Chanal Productions a grant for the upcoming film Descendants of the Past, Ancestors of the Future. The Puffin Foundation makes grants to emerging artists working in the fields of art, music, theater, dance, photography, and literature. Since its founding in 1983, the Puffin Foundation has sought to open the doors of artistic expression by providing grants to artists and art organizations who are often excluded from mainstream opportunities due to their race, gender, or social philosophy.
Emmy®-nominated cinematographer Cira Felina Bolla has joined Descendants of the Past, Ancestors of the Future as cinematographer and producer. A graduate of New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, Bolla’s passion for the camera resulted in a prestigious appointment with the Women in Film Cinematography Fellowship. Thereafter, she closely studied her craft on the set of the Emmy-winning House MD, where she trained with distinguished veteran cinematographer Roy H. Wagner, A.S.C. (a former student of Ansel Adams). Cira Felina Bolla is the first woman cinematographer featured on the cover of the 30-year-old industry magazine P3 Production Update (Dec. 2006). Student Filmmakers Magazine (Aug. 2007) featured an article on her Emmy Nomination, and she is the selected cinematographer for the Women In Film (WIF) website and print ad campaign set to run in industry publications through 2010.
American film and television music composer Ryan Leach is attached to the upcoming film Descendants of the Past, Ancestors of the Future. Ryan's masterful blending of styles and genres makes him an inventive voice in a new generation of composers, with his music heard on ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX and MTV. After graduating from Berklee College of Music with a Bachelors of Music in Film Scoring, Ryan made the move to Los Angeles, working for composer Michael A. Levine as assistant, music editor, and additional composer. It was with Levine that Ryan received his prime-time television debut, scoring additional music for Jerry Bruckheimer's Close To Home and Cold Case on CBS. In the Spring of 2007 Ryan moved with Levine to Remote Control Productions, Hans Zimmer’s facility in Santa Monica. where he gained first hand experience on such films as Bee Movie (score by Rupert Gregson-Williams), The Simpsons Movie, and The Dark Knight (scores by Hans Zimmer).