Taking a page from her own Tiger Cop fanfare, 80s Hong Kong nostalgia reigns supreme once more for filmmaker and actress Maria Tran in the official trailer for action comedy, Operation Kung Flu. The short is headed for an online release this month, marking the latest step for Tran and her devoted independent film crew who are more than steadfast and ready to place their stake in fighting back against the kinds of violent and racist reprisals against Asian communites around the world in the past year.
Operation Kung Flu hails from Tran’s independent film production banner, Phoenix Eye Entertainment, in association with Diversity Arts Australia’s program “I Am Not A Virus”. The project was shot on a shoestring budget over two days involving sixty cast and crew members, marking a sheer collaborative volunteer effort of Western Sydney filmmakers and creatives to speak out on this topical issue during this heated time.
Here’s the logline: “When a cop from the eighties wakes up in the year of the COVID pandemic, she finds that racism is rampant and justice is scarce. She is sent on a mission to rescue a group of Asians who have been kidnapped by ASS-HOLs—an organization hell-bent on stopping the spread of the virus by resorting to extreme measures… and Kung Fu.”
It should be noted that it’s not all a laughing matter for some folks. Not everyone, Asian or other, needs to get on the bandwagon right away and deal with the pain and trauma of feeling like a target, and that’s perfectly fine. We all have our own paces at which we function and heal from certain things – what matters most is that the healing is done, and imaginably, Tran and her team are fully aware of the often (and varying levels thereof) stoic terms one deals with these kinds of things.
The announcement from Phoenix Eye reads as follows: “The COVID pandemic has brought a tsunami of insensitive anti-Asian sentiment all over the world and terms such as “Kung Flu” have been have been used amongst global leader Trump that have inspired racism against Asians from all levels of society. Racism is no laughing matter, and one of the most difficult topics to address, but what if we made an action film, Asian-centric and led, dealing with all the tropes of racism?”
“Operation Kung Flu, is a film that entertains us with the notion of how we deal with racism in a Hong Kong action female cop genre way. A genre that rose to popularity in the 80s-90s where Asian women were the forefront of action movies across Asia. They were the underdogs in a patriarchal world and they are armed with a diehard sensibility in seeking justice!”
A perfect opportunity to help raise awareness while promoting the arts and entertainment with feel-good, over-the-top comedy and drama, as well as notable independent action cinema for all it’s worth? Sold.
Operation Kung Flu stars Gabrielle Chan (SBS “Hungry Ghosts”), Joy Hopwood (ABC “Playschool”), Joe June (Ch. 7 “Fat Pizza”), Takashi Hara (“Echo 8”) and newcomers Quyen Chung and Ross Page. Special guests include action actress and world champion martial artist Sarah Chang (“Blood Hunters: Rise of the Hybrids”, The Trigonal & “The Monkey King”),
and Melbourne-born but currently LA based actor Chris Pang (“Crazy Rich Asians”, “Charlie’s Angels”, “Palm Springs”).