Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?
After working as Teaching Assistant at the University of Hong Kong for 3.5 years and producing documentary films for the last 6 years, I reckon that I really enjoy sharing my filmmaking skills and experiences with the younger generation from diverse backgrounds in a higher education setting. I wish to pursue a MFA degree to consolidate my teaching and filmmaking experiences. Hopefully, after my graduation, I will be able to continue sharing the skills with the younger generations, who would like to learn making films as a way to express one’s ideas and emotions creatively through the screen.
Why did you decide to study at UBC?
Knowing that UBC is one of the top research universities, it would be a huge advantage for researchers to find resources to conduct research and seek collaborations, especially when my visual research topic is related to the multigenerational migration experience of the Hong Kong diaspora. I believe that Vancouver, BC is a good place to start. When I was in Hong Kong, I preferred living in a lower-density area near the sea, so I could go for a walk or hike to enjoy a sea view easily. After seeing the photos of the UBC campus, I immediately loved it and would like to stay there for a 2-year study.
What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?
First of all, the Faculty members from the film department are experienced filmmakers and have track records of producing different modes of films, including fiction & non-fiction films etc. Learning from and guided by experienced teachers with a wide range of filmmaking backgrounds is very important for young and emerging filmmakers who would like to learn and explore different styles in filmmaking to become more all-rounded filmmakers, especially during the beginning stage of their career.
What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?
I like to explore the arts & culture of a city by walking. I am very surprised that Vancouver, especially the downtown area, is very walkable. Mass transit in Vancouver is also quite developed. That makes different areas within Vancouver very easily accessible.
What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?
The 3.5 years working as TA at HKU have equipped me with the communication and interpersonal skills needed for teaching a relatively large class in a tertiary education setting. Furthermore, the teaching experience has reassured me about my passion for sharing filmmaking skills and experiences with the younger generations, and hopefully more young people from diverse backgrounds can enjoy filmmaking as a form of art and creative expression, as well as a way to engage the society for the public good. And I would like to express my gratitude to all the people that I came across and transformed me and my life during the years I worked as a TA at HKU and all of the people who participated and helped in my previous works. And I would like to give special credits to acknowledge the generous support and guidance that have been given by Dr. Esther Yau and Ruby Yang.
What advice do you have for new graduate students?
Plan ahead. Write down clear, achievable short-term goals and to-do lists that help remind oneself to work towards achieving major long-term goals that one ultimately wants to accomplish within and beyond the course of studies.