In 1920, a young Tyrus Wong and his father emigrated from China to California. Upon arriving in the USA, Wong was temporarily detained as a result of the Chinese Exclusion Act, a memory which would stay with the 9-year-old for years. Later in his 20s, at a time when most Chinese Americans were employed as restaurant or laundromat workers, Wong defied all barriers to become one of the few Asian Americans to be employed as a sketch artist at Disney, working in the movie industry for over three decades and ultimately inspiring the unique look and feel of Bambi. Throughout his 105 years of age, Wong’s life has proven to be as dynamic as his art— expressed through the Christmas cards he’s designed, the plates he’s painted, the movies he’s illustrated, and most recently, the kites he’s crafted. In the end, however, Tyrus Wong views his greatest achievement as his family.
In this documentary, director Pamela Tom captures the enduring influence of Wong, a pioneering icon whose art has touched millions, observing with a keen eye the ups and downs that shaped the previously undiscovered Wong into the courageous, funny and wise visionary that he is today.
Canada • 2016 • 12:00 • PG • World Premiere
Phil Leung (in attendance)
A mother attempts to calm her daughter down as she is smuggled from rural China to Canada in a suitcase.
After graduating with a BA from Brown University and MFA from UCLA Film School, Pamela Tom worked in feature productions and television documentaries as a Walt Disney/ ABC Entertainment Writing Fellow. After she left Disney she became the Director of Diversity and directed the diversity talent program, Project: Involve at Film Independent.
Telluride Film Festival 2015
Audience Award, Hawaii International Film Festival 2015
Audience Award, San Diego Asian International Film Festival 2015