By Luyuan Zhang. Bostonese.com
New York, October 25, 2013 —- An epic documentary film “Lost Years”, directed by Kenda Gee and Tom Radford, was showcased during the eighth program of International Film Festival Manhattan (IFFM) 2013 at the Anthology Film Archives on Saturday, Oct. 19. At end of Oct. 20, Lost Years took home the award of “Best Documentary” and “Best of the Best” awards at IFFM 2013 .
Director Kenda Gee (middle) shows off the two awards.
“The whole festival is to showcase new filmmakers and established filmmakers from different countries,” said Luis Pedron, director of the 3rd Annual IFFM.
There are 12 programs in this year’s IFFM happening from October 17-20. Accompanied with touching film scores, “Lost Years” documents the family story of director Mr. Gee and the last 150 years of the Chinese diaspora in Canada, the United States, New Zealand and Australia.
To be more specific, Mr. Gee’s grandfather sailed to Canada in the summer of 1921. During this year, instead of a journey of hope, it turned out to be a nightmare to thousands of Chinese immigrants. They were confronted with racism and the head-tax, which deprived their rights as citizens.
The documentary features interviews with Chinese immigrants like Larry Kwong, the first Chinese-Canadian hockey player who broke the color barrier in the National Hockey League and Gim Wong, a former Royal Canadian Air Force Officer and Chinese head-tax redress advocate.
“We are hoping a decade from now, people will still be talking about ‘Lost Years’,” said Mr. Gee, co-filmmaker of the documentary. He told the reporter that it took two years to complete the film, but twelve years to finish the research.
Grew up in Edmonton, the capital of the Canadian province of Alberta, Chinese-Canadian Mr. Gee has an enriched educational background in political science, English, law and documentary production.
Originally inspired by Mr. Kwong’s tale, he and Mr. Radford decided to put all the stories into an epic and began working on the film since late 1999.
The film premiered at the Guangzhou International Documentary Film Festival on December 5, 2011 and had its premier screening in the U.S. at the 38th Seattle International Film Festival on May 23-24, 2012.