Private Project

A Chinese Love Song

Two worlds collide when a first-generation Chinese-Canadian is forced to come to terms with the unravelling of her relationship before the eyes of her blood. In a time where interracial dating is taboo, 22-year old Jiale Deng is faced with the choice of staying true to her herself or harmonizing with the strict cultural conformities within her family. With guardianship of her aunt Mei, she is now exposed to the new city of Toronto, Canada, where cultural diversity is what makes this metropolis home to many. Jiale is forced to conceal her Jamaican-Canadian boyfriend, René, to keep family confrontation on the hush. A Chinese Love Song dives into the unspoken cultural barriers that 1st generation Canadians experience when finding a soulmate.

  • Lara Besa
    Kids These Days, Secondary, Period Purse, Boyfriend Season
  • Vanessa Tang
    Memory, Boyfriend Season, Love Beyond Accessibility
  • Cody Bennett
    Catch Your Eyes, Memory, Love Beyond Accessibility
  • Andy Ko
    Director of Photography
    Catch Your Eyes, Kids These Days, Watch Dog
  • Wendy Vu
    Production Designer
    Insert Name, Catch Your Eyes
  • Monique Fullwood
    Art Director
    Dinner for Five, Creep Night
  • Keith Goh
    Laying Tracks, GuilTV, Creep Night, The Replacement
  • Renee Wong
    Key Cast
  • Corry Ng
    Key Cast
    The Trip, Never Will I ever, The Tuesday Kids
  • Brian Williams
    Key Cast
    Sexual Health Ontario
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student
  • Genres:
    Romance, Drama
  • Runtime:
    13 minutes 36 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    April 6, 2020
  • Production Budget:
    5,200 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
    Chinese, English
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital 4K
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Asian Cinematography Awards
    March 27, 2021
    Best Student/First-Time Director
Director Biography - Lara Besa

Director of A Chinese Love Song, Lara Besa is a Toronto-based filmmaker. From a young age, she has specialized in creative storytelling through screens, and has learned to evolve a passion for film since the day she could pick up her parents' camcorder. Majoring in Information & Communications Technology in high school, Lara has just completed her third and last year in the Humber College Film & Television Advanced Diploma Program in 2020.

With experience in camera, editing, sound, production management, and 1st AD work, Lara is able to translate her creative abilities in any sector of film.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

I became attached to the script when it stuck a heartstring within me and saw myself in the shoes of the lead character, Jiale. I come from a Filipino background, and when first reading the original draft called, Unspoken Lies, I connected to the plotline and characters on an intimate level. I’ve always believed there’s no one better to tell a story than someone who has experienced and lived the dialogue themselves, as no one else can truly break down that one wall. Being in a couple of interracial relationships, and growing up with immigrant parents who have preconceived ideas of who their own daughter should be with, I’ve not only lived through it but also have seen other family members go through the emotional rollercoaster of love vs. acceptance from parents. This story does not only belong to one person- but to many. It is only currently that Asian
filmmakers and actors are starting to rise to the surface in the film industry. I’m working hard to be a part of that. I hope to be able to tell the common story that many Asians are experiencing, when trying to live up to the strict expectations that Asian cultures have placed on dating and relationships.