Skip to main content

2017 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival

Forever, Chinatown

Directed by James Q. Chan

Shorts Competition, Programmers' Picks / USA / 2016 / 32 mins / English / Color / 16:9, D-Cinema

Plays In:

Downtown Independent
April 30, 2017 11:30 am


FOREVER, CHINATOWN is a story of unknown, self-taught 81-year-old artist Frank Wong who has spent the past four decades recreating his fading memories by building romantic, extraordinarily detailed miniature models of the San Francisco Chinatown rooms of his youth. This film takes the journey of one individual, and maps it to a rapidly changing urban neighborhood from the 1940s to present day. A meditation on memory, community, and preserving one’s own legacy, Frank’s three-dimensional miniature dioramas become rare portals into a historic neighborhood, and a window to the artist’s filtered and romanticized memories and emotional struggles. In his compromise with immortality, Frank announces plans to cremate his exquisite works with him upon his death in order to “live inside them forever” in his afterlife.

Director's Bio

James is a SF-based filmmaker who has collaborated on Emmy- and Grammy-winning projects; worked for 10 years with Academy Award-winning filmmakers Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman (THE TIMES of HARVEY MILK, THE CELLULOID CLOSET, PARAGRAPH 175). Films include 10 DAYS THAT UNEXPECTEDLY CHANGED AMERICA (Emmy Award); PUCK (Dutch broadcaster IDTV, VPRO); ISTINMA; ENTRY DENIED; THE BRIDGE; RIGHT DOWN THE LINE; former SAG/AFTRA Talent Agent; founder of Good Medicine Picture Company.


Producers: James Q. Chan, Corey Tong
Associate Producer: Penelope Wong
Director: James Q. Chan
Cinematographer: Jeff den Broeder
Miniatures Photography: Michael Palmieri
Sound Designer: Jeremiah Moore
Original Music: Thomas Lauderdale, Pink Martini
Editor: Michael Palmieri
Cultural Archivist: Dorothy G.C. Quock
Project Advisors: Santhosh Daniel, Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman, Melanie Ide, Chi-hui Yang
Co-Production Partners: ITVS, CAAM
Production Support: California Humanities, San Francisco Foundation, Pacific Pioneer Fund, DAE Advertising, AARP

Plays in

  1. Cine-Diorama

    Shorts Programs / 100 mins
    Recall those grade school projects where we had to construct stories in a shoebox? These directors ignite our affective memory with miniature scenery, childhood innocence and vapor tea pots. — Kristen Lee

    In This Program: Sampaguita Love, Under the Same Sky, Single Mother Only Daughter, Semiotics of Sab, Please Come Again, The Last Tip, Forever, Chinatown

You May Also Be Interested In...

Dates & Times

Plays In:

Downtown Independent
April 30, 2017 11:30 am