Independent film director, Kenneth Eng, recently graced our Central Florida for the East Coast Premiere of his documentary film, “My Life in China,” at the 2015 Florida Film Festival. During the festival, we received an opportunity for a behind-the-scenes meet and greet with him at the Asia Trend / YESS Center on April 14, 2015.
Eng was officially selected for the 2015 Florida Film Festival. He won the Best Feature Documentary at the 2014 San Diego Asian Film Festival (World Premiere). He also directed the 2006 documentary film, ‘Kokoyakyu: High School Baseball,’ and the 2004 documentary film, ‘Take Me to the River.’ According to Eng, the process of developing a final product takes about three years. Within that duration he encountered many deep and life-altering experiences. His sense of compassion and understanding also cultivated. What we read in books and watch on television and movies are absolutely incomparable to dipping our feet into the culture and embracing the ethnic traditions ourselves. Every time he watches his own films, he is yet taken aback to the country where it was originally filmed. He relives the experiences over and over.
His journey to becoming an independent documentary film director is relatable to many firstgeneration Asian Americans and is truly inspiring. “It has been a long journey. I was trying to figure out who I was and where my place in this world was. Sometimes you do not know who you are,” Eng said. His parents had many high goals and aspirations for him and did not quite understand his passion for independent film directing; however, he stepped out of the mold his family had for him and followed his heart’s true desires. With time and a few processes of trial and error, he found his niche in directing independent documentary films. Now, his family recognizes his passion and the effect his work has on people. During the West Coast premiere of his film, ‘My Life in China,’ his father had many fans asking for photos and his autograph. He unquestionably enjoyed the limelight experience!
Photos: C.K. Lau & Izumi Sakurada (To view the photo album, visit www.facebook.com/asiatrend)
There is so much beauty surrounding us in the world we live in with a bountiful of stories to be told, each story fascinating and unique in its own way. His vision and ultimate goal is to tell these stories and have it resonate with people. One of his intentions within his film, ‘My Life in China,’ is to connect the Chinese American to the Chinese-born mentality. “What you take for granted about your background actually makes you unique. I make meaningful documentaries that touch, inspire and make an impression on people. That makes it all worthwhile,” Eng said. He also notices the dark and bitter existence of racism that surrounds all of us; however, the best thing we can do is rise above all of the hate and spread more kindness and love. “My Life in China” has just been nominated for Best Documentary at the Milano International Film Festival. Eng’s dream is to screen “My Life in China” in cities like New York, Boston and Los Angeles. We wish all of the power and luck to him.