You Saved the Valley

Two long-estranged friends are reunited after saving a senior's community from redevelopment. Tension arises between them.

  • Ronald Lee
  • Ronald Lee
  • Ronald Lee
  • Lynn Liong
    Key Cast
  • Peter Kim
    Key Cast
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  • Runtime:
    3 minutes 4 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    July 31, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    800 USD
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Director Biography - Ronald Lee

Ronald Lee is a Chinese-Canadian director, writer, producer, and photographer who recently returned to filmmaking at the end of 2022. His mission is to increase Asian/BIPOC representation in film and support marginalized communities through charity work, typically involving food, soup kitchens, and food banks, and by creating awareness of their stories through media. He is an advocate for the revitalization of Vancouver's Chinatown and strives to balance the gentrification of areas where Chinese seniors live.

As a filmmaker, Ronald is heavily influenced by Asian films and has a unique perspective to showcase the human condition through choices made by characters in his films and is fascinated by the relationship dynamic between people and the situations they find themselves in.

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Director Statement

This short film is inspired by true events. It explores what could happen when two people who were once attracted to each other and possibly dated, meet again over a decade later. One person stayed in the area and became a champion for helping seniors against gentrification, while the other travelled to Asia where he has been for a number of years.

When they meet up again, there is a sense of familiarity between them...and tension. They are brought together by circumstance, to help the seniors of their community fend off gentrification (developers wanting to take their seniors' homes and build apartments), not brought together by choice nor at the most opportune time. This time, with more life experience behind them as well as knowledge about each other's history, their reunion is off to a shaky start.

I wanted to show some tension, mutual respect, admiration, and some history between the characters. I debated whether to do it as one single long take or tell the story through several angles, and ultimately this short story is best told when the audience can see both characters' faces.