Breaking Barriers with Blood and Water:
The significance of a diverse screen to Canada’s nation building
Television drama is never just about entertainment. It is a reflection of our social fabric. It is a key influencer on our views of the country we are part of. It is an expression of the communities that we contribute to. When a resource and capital-heavy project such as a television series takes an unprecedented move to do something new and bold, audiences will recognize it isn’t just another show. Join us at this event to discuss the cultural, political and societal significance of barrier-breaking projects such as Blood and Water, as the first primetime network drama in North American television history that features English, Mandarin and Cantonese as its performing languages, led by an all-Asian cast.
Yipeng Ben Lu (producer) is an award-winning television drama and commercial producer and director with over a dozen national awards for his creative work. Born and raised in Southern China, Ben left for the UK in his late teens to study and work for a number of years before moving to Canada. For over a decade he has been working with a number of prolific Canadian producers to develop projects as well as financing with an Asia focus. Ben’s latest producer credit includes a unprecedented prime time drama that has English and Chinese as performing languages, a miniseries titled BLOOD & WATER (Season 1, 2015) first aired in 2015, winning wide critical acclaims. The Globe and Mail called it a “brilliantly messy drama”, and The National from CBC touted it as “barrier-breaking.” Season 2 is currently in post production scheduled to air in late fall, 2016.
Fiona Fu is a multiple award-winning television personality, director and producer. Recently, she was nominated for a Leo Award for Best Supporting Actress for Blood & Water.
Elfina Luk is an artist with over a decade of experience as an actor for film & television, a voice actor, a producer and writer along with a history as a singer songwriter. She has acquired many elements of creativity that lend to her continuing journey and career as an entertainment professional.
BC Lee is a well-known stage actor in Vancouver’s vibrant theatre scene. He is a former Vancouver city councillor and currently hosts a talk show on LS Times TV. He also speaks fluent Cantonese and Mandarin.
SFU Professor Helen Hok-Sze Leung (Gender Sexuality and Women’s Studies) will join the conversation. Helen Hok-Sze Leung is an Associate Professor in the Department of of Gender, Sexuality & Women’s Studies and the co-director of the Institute for Transpacific Cultural Research at Simon Fraser University. She is the author of Undercurrents: Queer Culture and Postcolonial Hong Kong (UBC Press, 2008) and Farewell My Concubine: A Queer Film Classic (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2010). She co-edits the Queer Asia book series (Hong Kong UP) and serves on the editorial boards of Journal of Chinese Cinemas (Routledge), Transgender Studies Quarterly (Duke UP), and Asian Visual Cultures (Amsterdam UP). Her current research projects include a study of queer media from sonic perspectives and a study of Vancouver as a transpacific film city. http://www.sfu.ca/~hhlSFU
Professor Paul Crowe (Humanities and Asia-Canada Program) will facilitate discussion. Paul Crowe teaches for the Department of Humanities and the Asia-Canada Program at SFU. His research focus is on Chinese cultural and intellectual history. His Asia-Canada teaching focuses on the intersection of identity, culture and migration with attention paid to the history and evolution of multiculturalism public policy and philosophy in Canada.