Interview with Filmmaker Tony Shyu (THE RACE EPIDEMIC)

THE RACE EPIDEMIC played to rave reviews at the February 2022 DOCUMENTARY Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

My kids. Future generations need to learn about history, there isn’t much history taught about Asian Americans. So I wanted to show the part where kids don’t learn about in school.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?

3 years.

3. How would you describe your film in two words!?

Structured, Heartfelt.

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

Structuring the story that doesn’t have a central character to follow. There wasn’t a clear beginning middle and end to follow and with Covid-19 disrupting during middle of our production in 2019, the world was changing fast and we didn’t know where the story was going to take us until Asian becomes the scapegoat of the virus. I knew where the story needed to go.

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

I was delighted that all the hard work paid off. At the end of the day, I want to make films for the audience and able to communicate my feeling with them.

Watch the Audience Feedback Video:

6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?

I made my first film when I was sixteen years old and had it shown to an audience. When the audience responded, I knew I wanted to make more films.

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?

Godfather.

8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?

I loved the audience feedback. It’s very genuine. It’s a great way as an endorsement to the film.

9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?

Great.

10. What is your favorite meal?

Sushi.

11. What is next for you? A new film?

I am making a fiction film in the vein of It’s a wonderful life meets Groundhog’s day with an Asian twists.

By matthewtoffolo

Filmmaker and sports fan. CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival www.wildsound.ca

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