Big Fight in Little Chinatown is a story of community resistance and resilience. Set against the backdrop of the COVID pandemic and an unprecedented rise in anti-Asian racism, the documentary takes us into the lives of residents, businesses and community organizers whose neighbourhoods are facing active erasure.
Coast to Coast the film follows Chinatown communities resisting the pressures around them. From the construction of the world’s largest vertical jail in New York, Montreal’s fight against developers swallowing up the most historic block of their Chinatown, big box chains and gentrification forces displacing Toronto’s community, to a Vancouver Chinatown business holding steadfast, the film reveals how Chinatown is both a stand-in for other communities who’ve been wiped off the city map, and the blueprint for inclusive and resilient neighbourhoods of the future.
KAREN CHO (曹嘉伦) is a Chinese-Canadian filmmaker known for her socio-political documentaries.
Karen’s first film In the Shadow of Gold Mountain (2004) explored the legacy of the Chinese Head Tax, Exclusion Act and redress movement.
Karen’s other films include the Gemini-Nominated Seeking Refuge (2009) a film on refugees in Canada and Status Quo? The Unfinished Business of Feminism in Canada (2012) that won Best Documentary at the Whistler Film Festival and launched in over 67 community screenings across the country.
Karen’s TV work has touched on subjects like Indigenous health and wellness, Japanese Canadian internment, Quebecois cuisine, Vancouver’s downtown east side, and artist activists around the world. In 2018 Karen was nominated for a Best Directing Canadian Screen Award for her work on CBC’s Interrupt This Program.
Written & Directed by
Mila Aung-Thwin, Daniel Cross
Executive Producer, TVO
Independent Production Officer, TVO
Nathaniel Brown, Joshua Frank
“More than most people, Cho understands the importance of Chinatowns to the Chinese diaspora and why, over a century after the first Chinese immigrants came to Canada, they continue to be important meeting places for our community.”
“Its a wonderful portrait of a group of people who understand that you really shouldn’t destroy the past for something new.”
“The film offers a beautiful rendition of community-building, where people bound by tradition were able to hold on to meaning, in spite of the world’s downfall into senselessness.”
RIDM People’s Choice Award
RIDM Women Inmate Jury Award
Best Documentary Canada China International Film Festival
Best Documentary Markham Film Festival
DOC NYC (USA)
Reel Asian (CANADA)
Big Sky Documentary Film Festival (USA)
Colorado Dragon Boat FF (USA)
DisOrient Asian American Film Fest (USA)
Fascinasian #1 (CANADA)
Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival (USA)
Fascinasian #2 (CANADA)
HAAPI FEST (USA)
L’ Outaouais Film Festival (CANADA)
Canada China Film Fest (CANADA)
Asian American International Film Festival (USA)
Melbourne Documentary Film festival (AUS)
Sydney Film Festival (AUS)
LANE DOC FEST (USA)
Madison’s Asian American Media Spotlight (USA)