gYu Films

The World is Bright

Ying Wang headshot

Ying Wang (Director, Writer, Producer)

A journalist and photographer in China, Ying moved to Canada from Beijing in 1997 first as an international student then became a landed immigrant. As a migrant navigating between multiple cultures, Ying is fascinated by stories that reveal the geopolitical complexity of global migration. Her younger sister developed a mental illness after immigrating to North America. Inspired by her sister’s experience, Ying wrote and directed her first feature film Sisters. The World is Bright is Ying’s second film tackling the topic of immigration and mental health from a broader sociocultural perspective. Ying’s credits as a documentary filmmaker include producing Tricks on the Dead: The Story of Chinese Labour Corps in WWI, a Canada-China-France co-production that won two 2016 Canadian Screen Awards and the 2015 Vancouver International Film Festival Audience Must See Award.

While making the documentary, in 2007, Ying co-founded Cinevolution Media Arts Society in Richmond BC, a city with one of the highest new immigrant populations in Canada. Under her 10-year leadership, Cinevolution has grown into one of the most promising arts organizations in metro Vancouver.

Jian Ping Su headshot

Jian Ping Su (Producer, Cinematographer)

Jian Ping has worked with Ying on this documentary since 2007. Before adventuring into film production, Jian Ping worked at Shaw TV and Shaw Multicultural Channel in Vancouver BC as a producer and videographer for over ten years where he produced series about the life of new immigrants in Canada. Jian Ping was also Line Producer for the Canadian Screen Award winning documentary Tricks on the Dead: The Story of Chinese Labour Corps in WWI. He is currently working on an international co-production documentary series about the life of Dr. Norman Bethune as Executive Producer and cinematographer.

Lawrence Le Lam headshot

Lawrence Le Lam (Editor, Co-writer, Associate Producer)

Lawrence is an award-winning filmmaker from Richmond, BC who loves telling music-centric stories that explore underground worlds in the Asian diaspora. His first short film, The Blue Jet, a story about forbidden 70s rock & roll and long-haired Taiwanese hippies in Taipei, won the Best Student Production (Whistler Film Festival / Leo Awards 2016), Best Short, Best Male Actor, Best Director (Vancouver Short Film Festival 2016), and Best in Canada at the Toronto International Short Film Festival. His second short film, Cypher, explores the conflict between the Korean and Black communities during the 90s in post-riot LA through the underground hip hop scene. It was screened at the 2017 edition of Whistler Film Festival and also won the Best Period Piece at Hollyshorts Film Festival 2018. Lawrence participated the 2017 TIFF Talent Lab and is currently developing his first feature.

Jordan Paterson headshot

Jordan Paterson (Producer)

Jordan Paterson is a Richmond based writer and filmmaker whose films often focus on stories of migration and the social dynamics of communities through history. A graduate of SFU’s film program, Paterson has directed many award-winning documentaries for festivals, and broadcast and collaborated within Chinese communities, artists, and broadcasters locally and abroad for the past 10 years. His last documentary Tricks on the Dead, about Chinese migrant labour in the First World War, won the BC Must See Audience Award at the Vancouver International Film Festival (2015), Best International Co-production at the Guangzhou International Documentary Film Festival; three BC Leo Awards, two Yorkton Golden Sheaf Awards and two Canadian Screen Awards. Paterson's current documentary series is a Canada-China co-production with CCTV 10 on the life of Dr Norman Bethune.

Pieter Stathis headshot

Pieter Stathis (Cinematographer, Co-producer)

Pieter has been crafting award-winning films for 25 years, shooting features, television series, documentaries and commercials across North America, Europe, Asia and the South Pacific. He immigrated to Canada from Greece, gaining a degree in Literature and Fine Arts. His favourite film projects are international documentaries that both entertain and galvanize positive change. Pieter’s love of cinematography comes from discovering the character of real locations with naturalistic lighting, bold camerawork, and thoughtful collaboration with directors. Deeply grounded in traditional 35mm film, Pieter’s insight with modern digital-film cameras, technology, and post workflow has carved him a creative niche, reflected by cinematography awards for TV series Secret Files of the Inquisition and feature films Hit-n-Strum and 3 Days in Havana. Pieter’s recent collaborations include working with Director X shooting Centre Stage En Pointe for Sony Pictures and working with director Xiaolu Xue on the Chinese cross-cultural hits Finding Mr. Right and Book of Love.

Daniel J. K. Ross headshot

Daniel J. K. Ross (Composer)

AAt age 7, Dan taught himself Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata on the piano by ear (though his hands couldn't quite reach the left hand octaves!) and he's been immersed in music ever since. Next was the Eb horn, the recorder, and in his teens, the guitar, which became his main instrument, followed by keyboards, bass and drums. While completing a Bachelor's Degree (Philosophy/English Literature), Dan continued to develop his music on many projects, from original bands, to record production (Allan Dobb, Cameron Dobb, John Bottomley, Fear Of Houses). As a guitarist, he has shared the stage with Peter Frampton, Jewel, Radiohead, Joni Mitchell, and many more. Eventually he became almost exclusively immersed in music for picture. These rich experiences have shaped his distinctive style as he continues to evolve his craft, with a particular focus on hybrid scores combining traditional score elements with cutting edge digital technology. Dan's credits include well over 200 episodes of episodic television — from CTV's quirky series Robson Arms, to HGTV's hit Timber Kings, and also the innovative award winning films of director Wayne Wapeemukwa (Luk’ Luk’ I, Srorrim).

Matt Drake headshot

Matt Drake (Sound Design)

Matt is a Canadian film producer, post production supervisor and sound designer based in Vancouver BC. With experience in many areas of film, Matt is able to offer a broad variety of skills in the markets of production and postproduction making him a huge asset to independent filmmakers. Matt worked as a visual effects supervisor for Zoic Studios working on broadcast network shows such as ABC's Once Upon a Time. When not on set, he and his company, White Hart Post Production, continue to evolve with Vancouver’s growing film industry. Owning and operating this company has landed him multiple awards and film collaborations on projects that have screened worldwide. His most recent credits include Luk'Luk'I (Wayne Wapeemukwa), Never Steady, Never Still (Kathleen Hepburn), and Adventures in Public School (Kyle Rideout), all of which had their World Premieres at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2017. In 2018 Matt was nominated for a Canadian Screen Award for his work on Never Steady Never Still, and was selected as one of 250 participants in the 2018 Berlinale Talents program.

Tyler Hagan headshot

Tyler Hagan (Executive Producer)

Tyler is a Métis-Canadian filmmaker based in Vancouver, B.C. His producing credits include the feature debut from Kathleen Hepburn Never Steady, Never Still (2017; Shirley Henderson, Theodore Pellerin), The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open (2019) by Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers and Kathleen Hepburn; and the three short films: No Words Came Down (2011), Jimbo (2013) & Never Steady, Never Still (2015). The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open premiered at the Berlinale 2019 and the rest have premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, followed by three selections by TIFF for Canada’s Top Ten. Never Steady, Never Still was nominated for 8 CSA Awards, including Tyler’s nomination for Best Motion Picture. His directorial work has shown at Berlinale and includes work with the NFB, CBC, and the Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver. He received his BFA in Film from Simon Fraser University.

Natasha Damiano headshot

Natasha Damiano (Associate Producer)

Natasha is a trained qualitative health researcher with a Master degree in Anthropology and experience with both research and documentary film. An enthusiastic collaborator, she enjoys contributing to projects that have social value. Most recently, she was a researcher and co-writer with Jordan Paterson on Tricks on the Dead The Story of the Chinese Labour Corps in WWI (Rare Earth Media Group). Currently a research coordinator at the UBC Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, Natasha is passionate about writing, editing, the value of human diversity, and research on mental health. She finds inspiration in the uniquely human capacity to make meaning out of failure or suffering, and believes that sharing stories is an important part of that process.

Berlin Lu headshot

Berlin Lu (Leading Actor)

Berlin was raised in Melbourne, Australia by his beloved Chinese parents in the 1990’s. As a child, both his parents suffered from mental illnesses. His mother has schizophrenia and he lost his father to dementia at the age of 15. Berlin was fascinated by acting when he watched A Beautiful Mind, the first time he saw a character with schizophrenia portrayed on screen. Determined to make his mother proud, Berlin graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Melbourne and worked four years at KPMG. However, he did not give up his dream of acting. After performing in some amateur theatres, indie films and a TV show in Australia, he decided to pursue acting full-time and moved to Vancouver, Canada in late 2016. He has since been fortunate enough to play various roles on TV and films, including Supernatural, iZombie, and Supergirl; among them, the most meaningful role to Berlin was to perform Shi Ming in The World is Bright, a story that is very close to his heart.