Folding instantly takes the audience inside the frantic world of Li (Shin-Fei Chen, Chinese Burn), a vulnerable, injured Taiwanese woman on the run. Desperate to escape the men pursuing her, she seeks uninvited shelter inside the home of eldery St Lucian widower, Errol (Joseph Marcel, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air). Despite not speaking one another's language, the two form an intimate bond of friendship over the course of one day. What unfolds is a universal tale of compassion and trust that reveals two resilient people helping one another through trauma and grief.

Folding is an inclusive story, on and off screen, made with a majority cast and crew who are underrepresented across race, class and gender. It showcases east and southeast Asian talent in the UK, who continue to be grossly excluded from the film industry.

  • Paul Sng
    Poly Styrene: I Am A Cliché
  • Maisie Chan
  • Jo Blair
    Newsreel 1
  • Joseph Marcell
    Key Cast
    The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
  • Shin-Fei Chen
    Key Cast
    Chinese Burn
  • Paul Donnelly
    Key Cast
  • Andrew Join Tait
    Key Cast
    The Last Bus
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
  • Runtime:
    15 minutes 51 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    July 5, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    25,000 GBP
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    United Kingdom
  • Language:
    English, Mandarin Chinese
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Paul Sng

Paul Sng is a bi-racial British Chinese filmmaker whose work is driven by methodical research, creative storytelling and a collaborative approach that strives for inclusivity and diversity. Underpinning all of his films is an eye for strong characters and compelling narratives, all the while working to establish and maintain trustful relationships both in front of and behind the camera. His documentaries have been broadcast on national television and screened internationally and include Sleaford Mods – Invisible Britain (2015), Dispossession (2017) and Poly Styrene: I Am A Cliché (2021). He is the editor of two narrative photography books, Invisible Britain: Portraits of Hope and Resilience (2018) and This Separated Isle (2021).

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Director Statement

We live in a divided land, separated by our views, our politics, and any number of issues on which we stand in opposition to one another. The ubiquitous presence of social media can amplify opinions that view society through a prism of Them and Us, which is less concerned with who and what we are than with who or what we are not. Yet while it may seem like our society has gone backwards in recent times, in Folding we meet two people who reflect our disparate and multicultural society, and show us that acceptance and respect are values to strive for over tolerance (in my mind a dreadful word when it comes to equality and inclusivity). I wanted Folding to explore the universal values that can bring people together and propose that the divisions within our society are often created through ignorance and fear. British culture is enriched due to the diversity of ethnicity and nationality in our communities, which are essential qualities for a healthy society.

Folding is a story of hope and resilience that speaks to my lived experience as a biracial British Chinese person who struggled to be accepted in the working class community where I grew up. It also reflects my desire to see more stories told by British East Asians on screen that reflect our identities and concerns. There's been a shocking increase in race hate crimes against east and south east Asians (ESEAs) since COVID-19, which can be traced back to the anti-Asian racism in the last century that has contributed to the way our community is perceived and treated in the UK today. Furthermore, the absence of ESEAs from culture and positions of public influence shows the lack of representation and an absence of opportunities, so it's vital that we see more of our stories onscreen that are created by people from our community.

I’m hugely proud to have made my debut as a director of drama with Folding with a team that includes five fellow ESEAs in the roles of writer, DOP, Editor, Assistant Editor and Executive Producer. I hope we will get the opportunity to work together again – we have stories to share.