by David Ros
Sue Chun has just been named one of the YWCA’s 2014 women of distinction, but you might not be able to tell this based on her humble demeanour.
The 25-year-old filmmaker insists that while she is thrilled to be honoured in such a way, she was taken aback by it.
“To be honest, actually, I was really surprised and even now it’s kind of conflicting in a way because I’m not sure that I deserve this at this time in my life especially,” Chun said. “I myself am growing as well and just seeing the other women that are receiving the award doing things at such great capacity
I know I have a lot to grow still, but it does encourage me to do more and to do better.”
It’s this very passion and humility which led Chun to tell the positive stories, particularly of new Canadians in the Jane and Finch neighbourhood. Which she says is often only portrayed in a negative light.
Chun started off by volunteering to help produce videos for jane-finch.com while she was in high school and it just took off from there.
“I started off by just following the main team around and taking demo shots,” she said. “As I veered into my involvement with the web site, I started developing my own productions.”
Chun said the moment that truly inspired her to continue on as a filmmaker was when she made a short documentary on Robert Sargent, who helped many of the Vietnamese “boat people” who fled during the Vietnam War to settle in Toronto.
“It just really inspired me because during that time, there was a lot of racism going on and not too many people were keen on helping out a new community of people,” she said. “It was inspiring to see that not only was he a white man, but he decided to take on the responsibility to help out these people on his own and through his help, this different generation of the families that he has helped have gone on to do greater things.”
Some of Chun’s short films can be seen at jane-finch.com, she also said she has another project called newcomers, which is coming soon and will feature some more of her films.
Chun will receive her 2014 YWCA Women of Distinction award on May 22 at the Carlu, 444 Yonge St.