Tzi Ma, Ronny Chieng and Perry Yung in A Father’s Son. (Photo credit: Patrick Chen)

Last year, I wrote about a project worthy of folks’ support, A Father’s Son, a short film based on the Detective Jack Yu crime book series by Henry Chang. Patrick Chen (Underneath the Grey, The Last Tip) wrote and directed the 1990s-set short film, which follows Det. Yu investigating a teenage boy’s murder and finds himself in the middle of a war between rival gangs. Det. Yu finds the boy’s family to deliver the news, but he must face his and his father’s turbulent relationship.

The short film stars The Daily Show correspondent, Crazy Rich Asians star and comedian Ronny Chieng as Det. Yu. The film’s supporting cast includes Mulan and Tigertail‘s Tzi Ma, Warrior‘s Perry Yung, Hustlers and Lucky Grandma‘s Wai Ching Ho, Almost Family‘s Kathleen Kwan and New Amsterdam‘s Tim Liu. Additional cast includes Metal Gear Solid‘s Christopher Randolph, The Blacklist‘s Cathy Salvodon and Adam Lim, filmmaker and member of rap group The Notorious MSG Ken Lin, and stage actors Sean Lau, Joseph Michael Orlando and Simon Song.

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I’m happy to showcase some exclusives from the production and the trailer for the short film, released by Red Rope Productions. 

We have this exclusive behind the scenes picture, taken by set photographer Lia Chang, of Chieng in character as Det. Yu. Also featured below is one of five postcard images created by the film’s assistant director Yixin Cen, featuring Ma and the cast members.

Ronny Chieng as Det. Jack Yu in A Father's Son. (Photo credit: Lia Chang)
Ronny Chieng as Det. Jack Yu in A Father’s Son. (Photo credit: Lia Chang)
Tzi Ma learns of a hard truth in A Father's Son. (Photo credit: Yixin Cen)
Tzi Ma learns of a hard truth in A Father’s Son. (Photo credit: Yixin Cen)

The film’s post-production team worked throughout New York City’s coronavirus quarantine to make the trailer a success. The post-production team includes editor Patricia Ma, colorist Phil Choe, sound designer William Hsieh, trailer motion graphics and titles by David Bettencourt, teaser music by Mike Kelly, and film composer Chops (with credits including WarriorWu AssassinsRaising Dion, and more). 

Speaking of coronavirus, you’ve seen how New York has been one of the cities ravaged by the virus. Anti-Chinese racism has only added unneeded stress to an already stressful time. The virus and xenophobia have caused New York’s Chinatown to struggle, with shops in the historic area closing. For some of them, the closings are permanent. 

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Chen and Chang hope that A Father’s Son will increase Chinatown’s morale and provide positive representation to a community that has been hurt twice-over by the virus. The film’s team also used the production to support Chinatown by ensuring all of its catering came from Chinatown businesses. 

In short, supporting A Father’s Son means supporting a short film that hopes to bring a bit of pride to Chinese-Americans who need a boost after a year of hardship. As Chen wrote in his director’s statement last year, “It’s been 13 years since the release of Chinatown Beat and I felt this was the right time to bring Jack Yu to light in our story, A Father’s Son.”

A Father’s Son is currently in post-production. You can learn more about the film at its Facebook and Instagram pages. 

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