They’ve done music videos, short films that have been featured at the Cannes Film Festival and now they're coming to Northwestern. Asian-American filmmaking group Wong Fu Productions will be speaking at an event presented by the Chinese Students Association and the Asian Pacific American Coalition.
On May 2, Wong Fu will be holding a special pre-release screening of its new feature-length film, Everything Before Us, on May 2 at Harris Hall 107, followed by a
Q&A alongside their crew and actress Victoria Park, who stars in the film. Everything Before Us is “a story about two couples in a world where their past and future relationship choices are documented," according to its Facebook page.
The trio behind Wong Fu – Wesley Chan, Ted Fu and Philip Wang – met at UC San Diego in 2004, which is when they started producing music videos and short films together. After graduating, they created their own professional media company, Sketchbook Media, in order to continue producing films. At the time of publication, Wong Fu had almost 2.5 million YouTube subscribers.
Weinberg junior Leo Zhu, the external president of CSA, is excited about having Wong Fu as the joint spring speaker.
“Bringing Wong Fu to campus means that Northwestern will be among the first few audiences to see their new film, Everything Before Us, before it's released to the public,” Zhu said. “They are an Internet sensation due not only to the quality of their storytelling and filming, but also to the fact that they are a group of Asian Americans breaking out of traditional, stereotypical roles.”
According to APAC External President and Communication junior Theanne Liu, CSA and APAC have been collaborating on this event since before Spring Break. When they reached out to Wong Fu Productions, the group expressed interest in coming to Northwestern because they were already planning to come to Chicago.
For Liu, bringing Wong Fu to campus is significant because it provides an alternative representation of Asian Americans in media, giving their predominantly young, Asian American fanbase an opportunity to see some of their lived experiences reflected in pop culture.
“Much of Wong Fu’s focus on short films and works centered on incredibly human, romantic relationships between Asian Americans – albeit cis and heteronormative – which provide counter-narratives to stereotypical portrayals of Asian American men as desexualized and emasculated and Asian American women as exotic, hypersexual objects,” Liu explained. “While Wong Fu certainly does not represent the range of experiences that Asian Americans have, and are not a simple reflection of what it means to be Asian American, there is a value in the many subjectivities presented through their work.”
This May, Wong Fu plans to screen Everything Before Us at Stanford, NYU and Harvard in addition to Northwestern.
Admission to this event is free.
Editor's note: This piece was updated at 10:07 p.m. for clarity.