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A RIVETING AND RARE ASIAN AMERICAN SOCIAL JUSTICE STORY

THAT CUTS ACROSS ALL CULTURES

"Unquestionably the best docudrama that illustrates the most heinous hate crime in the 20th century against a Chinese American on the eve of his wedding.”

Corky Lee, Photojournalist (Vincent Chin Case)

ABOUT THE FILM

A brutal case of bloodshed, a mother’s gut-wrenching loss, and a community’s outrage, Justice For Vincent (JFV) is an intensely disturbing yet inspiring modern story about race told from a rarely seen Asian American perspective.  The award-winning short film is based on the historic Vincent Chin case that sparked the first nationwide Pan-Asian civil rights movement in America.

 

Mistaken for being Japanese, Chinese American citizen Chin was bludgeoned to death with a baseball bat days before his wedding by two autoworkers during the so-called “Japanese Auto Invasion” in Detroit 1982 — a crime that saw the murderers walk away with a mere $3000 fine and three-year probation.  

 

Archival images of the Chin case featured in the film were graciously provided by real life activists Helen Zia, Stewart Kwoh, and photojournalist Corky Lee.


Disclaimer: JFV is a dramatic adaptation. Certain dialogue, events, and characters in the film were created for the purposes of dramatization.

Duration: 17 min

This film has not been rated, but contains violence and coarse language not suitable for children.

 

ACCOLADES

IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER

Asian World Film Festival 2018

Los Angeles, October 24 - November 1

Top 5 Young Filmmaker Showcase

Young Filmmaker Award


 

Cinema WorldFest Awards 2018

Ottawa, September - November Autumn Selection

Award of Merit Human Interest Short (Winner)


 

Asians On Film Festival of Shorts 2019

Los Angeles, January 19-20

Official Selection


 

Hollywood Reel Independent Film Festival 2019

Los Angeles, February 13-22

Best Dramatic Short Film (Winner)


 

Oregon Short Film Festival 2019

Portland, February 22-24

Best Picture (Winner)

DisOrient Asian American Film Festival 2019

Eugene, March 14-17

Audience Choice Short Film (Winner)

World Premiere Film Awards 2019

Ottawa, January to March Winter Selection

Best Actor - Lawrence Chau (Winner)

Best Supporting Actress - Lee Chen (Winner)

Philadelphia Independent Film Festival 2019

Philadelphia, May 8-11

Best Short Film (Winner)

Best Actor - Lawrence Chau (Nomination)

Best Actress - Lee Chen (Nomination)

American Asian Latino Film Festival  NYC

New York City, May 17-19

Best Script - Lawrence Chau (Winner)

Best Cinematography - Justin Janowitz (Winner)

London International Motion Picture Awards 2019

London, May 24-25

Official Selection

The Telly Awards

New York City, May 2019

Silver Winner for Creative Excellence

General Social Issues

 

DC Asian Pacific International Film Festival 2019

Washington DC, May 31-Jun 2 

Official Selection

Los Angeles Film Awards 

Los Angeles, May 2019

Best Narrative Short - Lawrence Chau & Andy Palmer (Winners)

Annual Best of Fest Best Narrative Short - Lawrence Chau & Andy Palmer (Nomination)

Houston Asian American Pacific Islander Film Festival

HAAPIFEST 2019 in conjunction with OCA Greater Houston

Houston, June 20-28

Official Selection

Palm Springs Best Shorts Competition

Palm Springs, June 2019

Award of Excellence:  Special Mention Film Short - Andy Palmer & Lawrence Chau (Winners)

Award of Excellence:  Asian Film Category - Andy Palmer & Lawrence Chau (Winners)

Award of Merit:  Leading Actress - Lee Chen (Winner)

Stage 32: 4th Annual Short Film Contest

Los Angeles, June 2019

Screenwriter - Lawrence Chau (Finalist)

 

Hong Kong Film Art International Film Festival 2019

Hong Kong, July 4-7

Official Selection

Olympus Film Festival 2019

Los Angeles, July 2019

Best Narrative Short (Finalist)

Best Actor - Lawrence Chau (Finalist)

 

Oregon Cinema Arts Film Festival 2019

Portland, August 10-11

Best Actor - Peter Adrian Sudarso (Winner)

New York Film Awards

New York City, July 2019

Best Narrative Film - Lawrence Chau & Andy Palmer (Winners)

Best Original Story - Lawrence Chau & Andy Palmer (Winners)

Annual Best of Fest Best Narrative Short - Lawrence Chau & Andy Palmer (Nomination)

Boston Asian American Film Festival 2019

Boston, October 24-27

Official Selection

Innovasian Film, Screenplay & Music Contest 2019

Los Angeles, November 8

Finalist

Vancouver Asian Film Festival 2019

Vancouver, November 7-10

Official Selection

Canada Shorts - Canadian & International Short Film Festival 

Canada, December 2019

Finalist

92nd Academy Awards

Live Action Short Film - Oscar Qualified

SPECIAL SCREENINGS

 

Museum of the Moving Image NYC

Activist Filmmaking: JFV Screening & Guest Panel Speaker

New York City, May 24, 2019

 

FOURWALLED Theatrical Screening

Laemmle NoHo 7

North Hollywood, July 26-August 1, 2019

Tickets:  https://www.laemmle.com/films/45784

21 Pell St

Two Films on Justice: 24-Hour Work Day & Justice For Vincent

New York City, Sun Sep 15 @ 3 pm

Free: https://www.facebook.com/events/443726549553455/?ti=icl

 

Team JFV

Director

Producer

Writer

Co-Writer

Executive Producer

Director of Photography

Stunt Coordinators

LEAD CAST

 

Lily Chin                                           

Vincent Chin                                    Henry Lee                                        Roger Evans                                      Mickey Stevens                                Patricia Ashwood                                           

SUPPORTING CAST

 

Judge Arthur Hellerman

Kevin                                                

Johnny                                              

Officer Williams                              Officer Santiago                              

Becky Wong                                    

Mrs. Evans                                       

Mickey’s Girlfriend                         

 

Casting By                                        

Background Casting By

Production Manager                     

 

Production Coordinator                

 

1st Assistant Director                    

2nd Assistant Director

Editor                                               

Mix Editor                                        

Visual Effects Producer

 

Music Composer

 

Costume Designer                         

Key Set Costumer                           

 

Production Designer                      

Set Decorator                                  

Art P.A.                                             

 

Hair & Makeup/Special Effects    

Special Effects Makeup Artist      

 

Key Set P.A.                                      Background P.A.                             

Craft Services P.A. 

                                                          

 

1st Assistant Camera                     

2nd Assistant Camera                 

 

2nd Assistant Camera/DIT            

Steadicam Operator                    

Drone Operator                              

 

Gaffer                                               

Best Boy Electric                            

Key Grip                                          

 

Sound Mixer                                    

 

Stills Photographer                        

 

Graphic Designer                          

Set Medic                                        

 

Filmed At                                        

 

Insurance Services                         

Payroll Services                              

Forward Processing

 

Craft Services                                  

 

Camera Equipment & Lighting

 

Car Rental                                        

 

Archival Images 

Graciously Provided By

Andy Palmer

Lawrence Chau

Lawrence Chau

Andy Palmer

Lawrence Chau

Justin Janowitz 

Steve Brown

Yoshi Sudarso

Lee Chen

Peter Adrian Sudarso

Lawrence Chau

William McNamara

Zach Scheerer

Rachelle DiMaria

 

Lon J. Fiala

Eric Henry

RoShawn Briscoe

Andre Boyer

Michael Milford

Ell (Rachel) Li

Nancy Harding

Kristina Nikols

 

Lawrence Chau

Morgue N. Marcus/

Little Bird Casting

Elliott Barker

 

Daniel Edelman

 

Marcos Bargellini

Benjamin Pinaire

 

Andy Palmer

David F. Murray

Kris Millsap

 

Frank Lead

 

Franzy Staedter

Hannah Runkle

 

Taylor Jean

Lara Bedrossian

Joo-Young Kim

 

Victoria Arias

Robert Bravo

 

Rebecca Demeter

Jackson Todd

Claire Dew

Alex Robinson

 

Jenna Hoffman

Peter Lau

Travis Shannon

 

Matthew Parchen

Kurt Nolen S.O.C.

Jon Zuber

 

Walter Lin

John Fisher

Olivia Riportella

JJ Flores

 

Anthony Kozlowski

 

Kegan Lambert

 

Marcos R. Perezcarro

Adam Lem

 

DC Stages & Sets

 

Kelly Co.

 

Media Services

Food Fetish

 

Spitfire Lighting & Grip

Keslow Camera

 

Legends Car Rentals

 

Helen Zia

Corky Lee

Stewart Kwoh

Media Sources           

 

NBC.com/Asian Amercians Advancing Justice

Alphawood Galleries/American Citizens for Justice

Honolulu Star Bulletin

Nextshark.com

Chicago Tribune

The Honolulu Advertiser

The Guardian-US Edition/Evan Agostini/Getty Images

Reuters

NPR/Chip Somodevilla

 

Trailer

 

Publicity

ZWTV Interview

[Lawrence Chau speaks English in this Mandarin TV program]

PRV Interview

IMDb.png
Sing Tao LA.jpg
 

Thanks

From Lawrence Chau - JFV Filmmaker

ELIZABETH SUNG

Actress/Filmmaker

Unbeknown to most, the late great Elizabeth Sung (The Joy Luck Club, Memoirs of a Geisha, The Young and the Restless) was the first person to join the cast of JFV.  Elizabeth had lived through the Vincent Chin case, and like everyone, was mortified by both the tragic murder and the travesty of the justice system.  Her signing on to portray Lily Chin was needless to say a big get. She, like the rest of the cast and crew, did so because she understood the historical significance of the story and the importance of sharing it with a new generation of audiences, particularly younger Asian Americans not familiar with the case.  Having Elizabeth on-board inspired us to raise the bar even higher. Sadly, weeks before the cameras were to roll, Elizabeth fell ill and had to opt-out.  Impassioned about seeing JFV through, she committed to helping us find a replacement. That came by way of her friend Lee Chen.  Lee carried the spirit of Elizabeth with her and delivered a searing performance that would make our dear friend gleam with pride from above.  I will always remember what Elizabeth said to me at our first encounter when I pointedly asked: “It’s a powerful project, but are you sure someone of your stature would be interested in starring in an independent short?” She read into my concerned dollar-dilated pupils and replied:  “Lawrence, I’m a filmmaker, too.  Not every project is about money.” I will cherish those words forever.  From all of us at JFV, thank you, dear Elizabeth.

 

CORKY LEE

Photojournalist

Award-winning photojournalist Corky Lee has devoted his life to changing negative stereotypes of Asian Americans portrayed in the media through the power of his lens. From covering the Vincent Chin case to championing social and political issues that affect the rights and lives of everyday Asian Americans to ensuring that Asian American history is a part of American history, Corky has become an activist in his own right. However, the photo laureate was by no means easy to court. After a thorough preliminary interrogation ("Excuse me Corky, do you work for Robert Mueller?") and then seeing the rough cut of JFV, he was gracious in allowing us to include his photos from the Chin case in our film. Thank you for your talent, your encyclopedic knowledge, your staunch support of JFV and, of course, the newfound friendship.  And thank you for keeping up the good fight.  You are truly one-of-a-kind and an inspiration. Excelsior!

STEWART KWOH

Attorney

Attorney and lifelong activist Stewart Kwoh was another blessing.  When Stewart heard of the Vincent Chin case in Los Angeles, he picked up the phone, rang Lily Chin in Detroit and simply asked:  “How can I help?” When I approached him about JFV, he echoed that mantra and graciously granted us the right to use one of his archival images in our film.  Henry Lee, the civil rights activist portrayed in JFV, was a composite character inspired by not only Liza Chan and, of course, the iconic Helen Zia, but also by some of the male figures involved in the case — people like Roland Hwang, James Shimoura and Kwoh, for instance. Tireless in his commitment to helping the underprivileged and under-served, Kwoh continues to advocate for civil rights, provide legal and education services and builds coalitions to positively influence and impact Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders through Asian Americans Advancing Justice, the non-profit organization he helped establish. AAAJ’s mission is simple:  to create a more equitable and harmonious society for all. 

CHRISTINE CHOY

Filmmaker/Professor

I had met the inimitable Christine Choy decades ago when she showcased her Oscar-nominated documentary Who Killed Vincent Chin? in Toronto.  I was a student then.  I sat there for 90 minutes, frozen with a lump in my throat, eyes welled with tears, and a jaw clenched in shock and anger. I carried that documentary with me for decades, and yes, I confess I always thought it would make a great film. So, to have Christine join me at a film festival in New York to watch JFV was more than a full-circle moment.  Granted JFV is just a short film and not the feature I had long dreamt of making, but still:  a moment is a moment.  From the red carpet and screening to dinners laced with insightful, fiery conversations to evening strolls back to her home on the East Side, I have come to know what others have long known about Christine: she is a force to be reckoned with.  Sharp-witted and sharp-tongued, Christine sizzles like a firecracker.  Always has, always will.  Thank you, Christine, for your work in activist filmmaking, for being a mentor of the arts, for your wisdom and courage, and for being a pioneer and inspiration.

Message

When your childhood summers are afflicted with altercations with racist neighbors; when, at age 7, you see your old brother bullied on the playground; when, from out of the blue, you get called “chink” whilst crossing the street as a kid; when you transition from a culturally diverse high school to a predominately-white journalism school where your peers often don't speak or sit near you; when you learn and come to appreciate the hardships your parents endured as immigrants; and when you see a riveting documentary like Who Killed Vincent Chin? during your formative years, you can’t help but become race conscious. 

 

Learning about the racial injustice of the Vincent Chin case affected me in a profoundly personal level.  Like many, I was pained and haunted by it. Moreover, in seeing Vincent's mother Lily, I saw my own mother.  Both were Chinese immigrants from the same small county in the province of Guangdong; both immigrated to North America to marry with the simple aspirations of raising a family in working class Chinatown; and yes, with their broken Kaiping-accented English, they both even sounded alike.  Not to draw a false equivalency in any way, but my mother, too, had to navigate an intensely stressful legal battle in a confusing new land where she had sacrificed so much to call "home."

Throughout my accomplishments in show business in Asia and North America, the Vincent Chin story had always churned in my gut, literally for decades. I had always thought it would make a great feature film. I know I'm not the only one. 

 

Justice For Vincent may not be the feature I had long dreamt of making, however, in its short format, it might very well be one of the few -- if not -- first cinematic adaptions to materialize in all these 30-plus years since the crime. With JFV, I make no qualms in declaring it to be a docudrama "based on" the true story of Vincent Chin.   

 

When it comes to adaptations, creative embellishments are always undertaken to tell a story, often for dramatic effect. We've seen this happen with countless projects on rock stars, The Kennedys, Marilyn Monroe and The Royal Family, to name a few. In doing so, filmmakers agonize over a myriad of details:  plotlines, points of view, characters, dialogue, elements of fiction, which scenes make the final cut and which scenes get left on the cutting room floor. It is truly an excruciating process.

 

I make a point of explaining this because the Asian American community does not bear the good fortune of having many (if any) major Hollywood social justice films in comparison to, say, our African American, Jewish and native counterparts.  As such, some members of the AA community might understandably be guarded about the Chin story and not accustomed to seeing it adapted for the silver screen with creative modifications.

 

I can only say that in making the JFV, our intention was pure.  Everyone who came on board gravitated to the power of the story and recognized its universal, timely appeal.  It is a solid, high caliber production from top to bottom that hits the heart, provokes the mind and stirs the soul.  I am humbled at how well it has been received by audiences from across the country and abroad.

 

More importantly, the message of JFV is clear:  a mother's loss is a mother's loss; hate is hate; injustice is injustice. As a first time filmmaker, and with a project like JFV, my wish is simple: to enlighten and to inspire compassion and understanding in people from all walks of life.  Only by standing together, shoulder-to-shoulder, can we successfully combat the divisive forces of hate and injustice that threaten our collective safety, security and civility.

Lawrence Chau

JFV Filmmaker

 

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