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Amanda Sum’s Powerful Promo Takes a Stand Against Anti-Asian Hate Crimes

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Created by Boldly, Musubi Arts, the ‘Different Than Before’ video features actors Tzi Ma and Olivia Cheng

Amanda Sum’s Powerful Promo Takes a Stand Against Anti-Asian Hate Crimes

Canadian production company Boldly have today unveiled an empowering new music video for singer-songwriter and performer Amanda Sum’s latest single ‘Different Than Before’. Taken from her upcoming debut album, the music video is released in conjunction with Asian Heritage Month. The song, originally written in May 2020, when anti-Asian hate crimes were at an all time high, exacerbated by the pandemic, aims to promote change and inclusivity through a hopeful story.

Directed by award-winning writer and director, Mayumi Yoshida, and starring world-renowned talents Tzi Ma and Olivia Cheng, the striking music video takes place at the engagement party of Sarah (Olivia Cheng), where she is celebrating with her sister Amanda, her parents, fiancé and friends in a Chinese restaurant. The family is in the middle of an epic karaoke when their celebrations are rudely interrupted by a group of racist hecklers. The father, Baba (Tzi Ma), who is the central character of the film and the head of the family is put at a crossroad where he needs to decide what to do that is best for his family.

Strong advocates and activists against anti-Asian hate crimes themselves, Hollywood stars Tzi Ma and Olivia Cheng's casting perfectly compliments the powerful message of the video. In addition to the cast promoting diversity and demanding change for the Asian community, for Boldly and the artist, it was important that all creators and producers on the project were represented both behind and infront of the camera, with more than half of the crew being female and BIPOC. 

Sebastien Galina, executive producer at Boldly, comments: “I met Amanda a few years earlier and was always impressed by her music - I had secretly always wanted to work with her on something and out of the blue both her and Mayumi approached me and Boldly to be involved in this project at the pitching stage. I was so delighted.”

Mayumi Yoshida, director, adds: “Amanda and I had a different concept in mind at first, which was about sisterhood. However, we then talked about centering it around an elderly figure who is in the age range of common victims of Asian hate crimes, which is how we thought of the dad being the main character. I really enjoyed the whole process of creating this music video, from seeing design updates for the cabaret scenes to when I saw Tzi come out in that suit with those BIG feathers, it was a dream come true. Also, this song is the most played track on my iTunes. That is how much I adore this song. So to be able to make a music video for a song you love so dearly, is truly a blessing. Thank you Amanda.”

Lynne Lee, producer, notes the hurdles the team overcame: “The biggest challenge was coordinating our stars' schedules.  We were so blessed that the one we wanted to play the lead (Father) and sister both fell in love with the project and the message, and agreed to be in the video!  However, trying to find time between the two highly sought-after actors, Tzi Ma and Olivia Cheng, especially when Tzi was mid-production for his TV series, Kung Fu, was no easy task.  In the end, we got lucky and found that very last weekend before Tzi had to fly back to LA and before Olivia had to move on with other projects.  We also had challenges getting all the financing needed as we became more ambitious with achieving a higher quality product, given a stellar cast AND crew, but we were very lucky to be supported by a number of generous organizations who believed in our cause.”

Amanda Sum, musical artist, says: “The song was written at a time when my news feed was saturated with incidents of Asian hate crimes. I remember feeling worried for my family and elders, and also confused and disappointed about the lack of support from my non-Asian friends. It felt to me like a communal grieving within the Asian community, that wasn’t given significant weight to anyone outside of it. I wrote ‘Different Than Before’ from a place of craving a social shift. One of the things I’ve enjoyed so much about this project is that despite the song and video being rooted in something heavier, there is so much lightness inside of it. I think that’s so important, and Mayumi, Sebastien and Lynne are so positive and fun to be around! “

Built as a community effort, the music video was sponsored by businesses and individuals, whose contributions helped to make it happen. Additionally, the film received funding from MVP Project, Prism Prize, the Canadian Academy of Film & Television, as well as the Province of British Columbia's Creative BC initiative, ‘Different than Before’ will be released globally online and across social media platforms on May 20th, 2022.

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Genres: Storytelling

Categories: Music video, Short Films and Music Videos

Boldly, Mon, 23 May 2022 08:23:00 GMT