Hi! I’m Jessica Gibson – born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
I’m Chinese and Mennonite and, growing up on the outskirts of Winnipeg, I found I wasn’t surrounded by many folks who looked like me in real life or the media.
Having worked in film and television production for over a decade I was made aware of the struggle to achieve representation in front of and behind the camera for many communities. Now I’m privileged to continue working towards that goal with the National Screen Institute.
I am thrilled to have the opportunity to introduce a few films from the NSI Online Short Film Festival archive in celebration of Asian Heritage Month and Asian representation.
Now more than ever, I think it’s important to find common ground with each other. These commonalities build empathy and break down barriers. I think storytelling is a powerful tool that allows us to forge these connections.
I chose these films because I connected with each story and I hope you will too, no matter where you’re from.
- The Suitcase spoke to me as a mother. It’s a story about the lengths a parent will go to offer their child a better life.
- Mattress is about a seemingly innocuous situation that quickly spirals out of control as seen through the eyes of a child.
- Mrs. Wang shows us how many chapters there can be in the story of your life.
The Suitcase | Drama, 10:57, Mandarin with English subtitles, ON, 2016 | Director: Philip Leung
A mother from rural China must calm her daughter over the phone as she is smuggled to Canada in a suitcase. As her daughter confronts airline attendants, guard dogs and baggage handlers from within the suitcase, the mother paints a rosy picture of her daughter’s surroundings in order for her not to panic.
This live action/animated film deals with the resilience of immigrants and the lengths they go through to establish a better future for their family.
Mattress | Comedy, 9:47, English, Mandarin, BC, 2014 | Director: Michelle Kee
After Little Boy Lee and his family dump an old mattress in an alley, the mattress sparks an all-out suburban war. Dodging rotten eggs and Molotov cocktails, it’s up to the youngest member of the Lee family to do the right thing.
Mrs. Wang | Documentary, 10:15, Chinese, QC, 2016 | Director: Giuliano Bossa
A short portrait of Wang Yaoping, a classically trained dancer of traditional Chinese ballet and owner of a corner store on the south shore of Montreal.
Jessica Gibson is a manager of programs and development at the National Screen Institute.
- Eyes Open: An Anti-Asian Racism PSA from the Chinese Canadian National Council – For Social Justice
- A conversation about anti-racism with Liz Choi and Amy Tung from The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce
- Act 2 End Racism – a coalition of concerned citizens and community groups of Asian descent who focus on Canadians affected by COVID-19 triggered related racism
- Anti-Asian discrimination resources – Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion
- Responding to Hate toolkit – Ryerson University in collaboration with prominent Asian Canadian leaders
- Anti-racism resources – University of British Columbia