Streams Flow From a River – Toronto director Christopher Yip’s web series debuts as part of Canadian Film Fest – March 28 to April 1, 2023
Streams Flow From A River mini-series premieres on Super Channel (Apple TV, Prime Video) as part of this year’s Canadian Film Fest slate streaming March 28 to April 1, 2023, and is the first ever series to be included in the festival. It’ s an Asian-Canadian family drama and the first series for Toronto based queer director Christopher Yip.
The six-episode short-form series is a drama about the invisible struggles immigrant families face while trying to make a home in the West. A freak snowstorm traps a dysfunctional Chinese-Canadian family together in their rural Albertan hometown, forcing them to confront events from a decade ago that tore them all apart.
The series revolves around the Chow Family, Chinese immigrants who dreamed of owning land and placed their bets on a laundromat in the tiny rural town of Frank, Alberta. Henry and Loretta watched overwork and rural isolation choke out their parents’ dreams. When Gordon and Diana’s marriage disintegrated, they took it out on each other and their kids. Loretta escaped by running away from home. Henry buried his frustrations and his queerness deep inside. Then one night, a snowstorm fell over the small town and the family reached its breaking point. Everything fell apart.
Fast forward to the present day. The Chow children are all adults grappling with their broken familial ties, together under the same roof once more after Gordon has a stroke. A freak blizzard hits town, much like the one a decade prior. Now, the family must excavate secrets and resentments in order to weather a new storm together.
“Today’s generation of immigrant kids bear the burden of the traumas we grew up with and the need to address the wounds of generations past. Hundreds of years of unspoken pain, trickling down like a river. What can we do with these streams flowing over us?”, states Director, Christopher Yip.
Canadian Film Fest will showcase nine features and 25 shorts, along with the Streams From The River web series, running concurrently for audiences to enjoy in-person at Toronto’s Scotiabank Theatre and virtually on Super Channel Fuse. View the full Canadian Film Fest line up here.
The series stars Jane Luk, Simon Sinn, Liam Ma, Danielle Ayow, Jinny Wong, Raymond Chan, Adrian So and Dana Liu, with Benjamin Sutherland, Brett Houghton and Wesley French.
The series is directed by Chinese Canadian writer-director Christopher Yip (Fishboy), born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta. It is Executive-Produced by Christopher Yip and Shant Joshi (Framing Agnes), co executive produced by Abdul Malik (Peace By Chocolate), and produced by Lindsay Blair Goeldner (I Like Movies).
CREATOR STATEMENT – CHRISTOPHER YIP
Streams Flow From a River is a story about surviving (with) family. Chinese folks pride themselves on “eating bitterness” – bearing hardship and enduring suffering without complaint. It’s no wonder Chinese immigrants have lived on the prairies for more than a hundred years. What’s more bitter than a Canadian winter?
While that hardness is what allows these families to survive, it’s also what can tear them apart. The traumas of overwork, racism, and domestic abuse flow from one generation to another, trickling down like streams. How do we talk to our parents about trauma? How does growing up in white spaces shape us?
Streams Flow From a River breaks down the complex tenements our families are built on – from patriarchal hierarchy and misogyny, to domestic violence and cycles of trauma – so that we can heal. In a year of scrutiny, hate, and alienation against the Asian community, creating a space for us to see ourselves reflected and emerge from grief is more important now than ever before.
Streams Flow From a River is a bridge between younger and older generations, opening up conversations about domestic abuse, cycles of pain, and the toll survival takes on us – not only for immigrant folks who grew up in Alberta, but for families everywhere.
About the Author
Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.