Mẹ, mother in the northern Vietnamese dialect, follows two generations of moms as they create a new dish for the family restaurant. Reimagining their parent’s pho shop, the next generation carries on the family legacy through Vietnamese cuisine.

  • Derek Kwan
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    10 minutes 14 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    August 7, 2018
  • Production Budget:
    8,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
    Canada, Viet Nam
  • Language:
    English, Vietnamese
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Seattle Asian American Film Festival
    Seattle, WA
    United States
    February 23, 2019
    Grand Jury Award - Best Short Documentary
  • DisOrient Asian American Film Festival of Oregon
    Eugene, OR
    United States
    March 16, 2019
    Winner Best Short Documentary
  • 42nd Asian American International Film Festival
    Brooklyn, NY
    United States
    July 31, 2019
    NEW YORK Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Vancouver Short Film Festival
    Vancouver, BC
    January 26, 2019
    Official Selection
    Edmonton, AB
    United States
    May 5, 2019
    ALBERTA Premiere
    Official Selection, Best Canadian Short Nominee
  • Spokane International Film Festival
    Spokane, WA
    United States
    February 1, 2019
    Official Selection
  • Houston Asian American & Pacific Islander Film Festival
    Houston, TX
    United States
    June 23, 2019
    TEXAS Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Oregon Short Film Festival
    Portland, OR
    United States
    February 23, 2019
    Official Selection
Distribution Information
  • Telus
    Country: Canada
    Rights: Video on Demand
Director Biography - Derek Kwan

Derek Kwan is an actor and filmmaker based out of Vancouver, Canada. His Short Documentary, Taste of Identity, was an Official Selection at the 19th Annual Vancouver Asian Film Festival where it was also nominated for Best Canadian Short. His latest film Mẹ, is a Short Documentary funded by Telus Storyhive and has won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Short Documentary at the 2019 Seattle Asian American Film Festival, as well as Best Short Documentary at the 2019 DisOrient Asian American Film Festival of Oregon. Derek is also a producer on the narrative short film Idols Never Die which recently screened May 2019 at Cannes as part of Telefilm's Not Short on Talent Program.

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Director Statement

Mẹ is a film providing a contemporary lens into the classic family restaurant. A story of struggle, triumph, and legacy, this documentary captures the Vietnamese refugee story following the journey of a family legacy through the humble family restaurant.

With aspirations of screening this film internationally I plan to bring to light the diverse stories of our generation. Food and family are staples to the human condition and I hope to connect with audiences, as we all share these comforts in our own unique way.