Filmmaker Interviews

Short Film “Operation Kung Flu” Highlights The Anti-Asian Sentiments Which Are Plaguing Australia

With everything that is going with the anti-Asian hate, something like this is very timely. Written, directed and produced by Asian Australians, “Operation Kung Flu” takes a comedic and martial arts take on the current state of COVID-19 racism. Despite the potential negative connotations coming from the title, when it is put together with the actual short film, it makes sense and sends a strong message that the racism against Asians is unacceptable.

Maria Tran, who not only stars in this short film, but through her production company Phoenix Eye in association with Diversity Arts Australia’s program “I am not a Virus” have just released their trailer for short action-comedy film Operation Kung Flu. The short film stars  Gabrielle Chan (SBS’ Hungry Ghosts), Joy Hopwood (ABC’s Playschool), Joe June (Ch. 7’s Fat Pizza), Takashi Hara (Echo 8) , Quyen Chung and Ross Page. The film is definitely a great show on diversity but what a great Asian Australian made and featured film looks like.

We asked Maria Tran about her thoughts on why she decided to release this short film in the current environment and what motivated her and her production company to make the film:

“The amount of Asian hate that has arisen from the pandemic has left me and many others feel disempowered. I felt immobilised as I could not do anything, but follow all the sad stories in the media. This short film came out of the need to take back our voices and retell stories that would uplift us. It is a demonstration of what indie filmmakers from Asian backgrounds can do.”

Through the production of this short film, Tran and her production company really highlighted “being Asian Australian” and what that means. Tran told us through the process of filming and production, one of the aims was to empower the community to create their own opportunities and goals.

“The fact that we had so many young Asian Australians coming out to volunteer is a testament that they want to see this narrative come out. In many ways it is important that we in our own way try to shift the narrative and create our own opportunities. But all in all, the process of making this film was fun and audiences will not only be entertained but also see the social messaging which the film is based upon.”

More information on how you can check out the actual short film will be out soon!

Images via Operation Kung Flu Facebook

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