The New Zealand Film Commission and other agencies are working to grow the number of “Asia-aware creatives” in the film industry to diversify the range of voices telling contemporary New Zealand stories, says Raymond Suen, the Film Commission’s Asia Outreach Executive.
Array of experiences within the Asian-Kiwi community
It’s such a vast area when you’re talking about Asian-New Zealanders. What we want to achieve is to find contemporary stories that reflect New Zealand today that appeal to New Zealanders and abroad.
When you think about Asian-New Zealand creatives, sometimes I describe it as four different “baskets” of people.
- You’ve got people who are fifth or sixth generation, all the way from the gold-digging eras. They would be very Kiwi; they may not have as many ties with their Asian ethnic backgrounds.
- You’ve got a second group of people who are maybe the first or second generation; born here. They will identify themselves as more Kiwi, have some linkages to Asia through family.
- And then you’ve got people like myself who have been here for 20 or 30 years, who are very connected on both sides in terms of the identity and the culture, in terms of the thinking.
- You’ve got your fourth basket – people who have just come to New Zealand for study, for work.
The interesting thing is there’s four very different sets of stories, of New Zealand, of their Asian backgrounds. But they are all relevant to our society today and we want to find out what these stories are.
– Asia Media Centre