It’s funny that when chatting with actor and stuntman Kenny Wong a little over a week ago that he didn’t mention at least one of his other new indie ventures to me. It probably slipped his mind or maybe he was worn to secrecy. Not sure, but either way, it was pretty delightful to be caught by surprise with his latest appearance in the new shortfilm from directors Kwaz Fraser and Jacquees Thomas titled Ichiban, with lead actress Kimmy Suzuki portraying a downtrodden sweatshop worker who rebels against her abusive boss, played by Wong.
Both are stunt performers by profession, with Suzuki initially getting her feet wet in voice-over acting at the age of 12 while living in Japan, until moving on to do stage work and commercials, a maneuver that ultimately aided her entry into NYU. Before she knew it and despite leaning more heavily into ballet, a chance meeting with actor Danny Aiello nearly six years ago would eventually be a major stepping stone for Suzuki into a prominent career in stunts for TV and film, a skill set that continues to earn her much-deserved praise in my book.
Ichiban was my own introduction to Suzuki as an actress and I personally look forward to whatever surprises await to arrive in time. Meanwhile, the new shortfilm is about to hit the film festival circuit this weekend, beginning with the events during this Saturday’s Art Walk Festival at the Art Factory from 11:00am to 7:00pm. For more information on location and other details, visit their official website.
A brave artisan is stuck in the monotonous world of conformity and harsh labor. The conditions are brutal as she works under an abusive inconsiderate chain-smoking boss. One day she defies him and refuses to work. She is restless and tired of being treated poorly. A fight scene in the warehouse where she is employed breaks out between her and the boss. She is unable to overpower him, but manages to escape. She fights her way out and ends up on the street playing her flute and wondering aimlessly until she is met by a helping hand. Her underground lair is revealed; where she trains vigorously and begins to create her own designs.
She no longer fears her thoughts of diversity and embraces her individual strengths and style. Once ready she returns to the warehouse. As she approaches the overpowering building she sees the owner looking down at her from a fire escape smoking a cigarette. He recognizes there is a formidable change in her presence. He has the fear of war in his eyes.
Watch Ichiban now – featuring the end title song by co-star and hip-hop artist Willie B., and don’t forget to peep the links in the description.