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Saving Chinatown



Part 1: SAVING CHINATOWN – The Rise Of The Dragons

Documentary Synopsis

What started off as a documentary project in 2017 to explore the forgotten historical contributions to Canada made by the first Chinese immigrants and to raise awareness about the gentrification of Montreal’s Chinatown quickly expanded its mission and shifted its focus when the COVID-19 pandemic caused a rise in anti-Asian hate. This short documentary explores the growing threat of gentrification and the rise in anti-Asian racism that Montreal’s Chinatown and Asian community has been facing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a result of racial connotations associated with the COVID-19 virus, the residents and businesses in Montreal’s Chinatown have been experiencing a rise in anti-Asian racism, vandalism and robberies. This documentary explores how the government’s lack of action and support towards Chinatown reveals an underlying issue of gentrification and racism. With developers looking to buy off historical buildings in Chinatown and convert them into commercial and real estate projects, the Chinese community of Montreal has been struggling to convince the government to designate Chinatown as a heritage site so that its historical and cultural value can remain.

With the city lockdown and restrictions, the businesses in Chinatown have been suffering due to lack of traffic and tourism; many of the businesses have been forced to close permanently and the remaining ones are struggling to survive.

The lack of police presence and security in Chinatown has left its businesses and residents vulnerable to increased racial attacks, vandalism and burglaries during the pandemic. Documentary producer and community leader Jimmy Chan has taken matters into his own hands and has started a Security Patrol group to ensure the safety of Chinatown’s residents, businesses and patrons.

This documentary is also based on the 30 years of experiences that film producer Jimmy Chan has went through growing up in Montreal’s Chinatown.

Although the documentary takes place in Montreal, it highlights issues that all Chinese communities across North America and America are facing. This documentary not only aims to raise awareness, but also aims to educate the viewer about the historical contributions made by the Chinese that helped build the country of Canada. Additionally, this documentary aims to fight anti-Asian racism by educating and empowering viewers and by promoting diversity and solidarity.

As a result of the huge impact that our documentary had made, the municipal and provincial officials announced on January 24, 2022 that Montreal’s Chinatown will be granted heritage status by the province to protect it from excessive development and gentrification. The heritage designation was particularly hopeful that it would lead to improved community affordable access to housing, health and social services, security, health and safety, cultural development and green space.

Watch the Movie Trailer

2nd installment of saving chinatown

PART 2: SAVING CHINATOWN – Our Heritage. Our Legend.


We must remember our roots so that we may plant the seeds of a brighter future.

With the rising success of our documentary, we are proud to announce that we have completed our second documentary, which explores the forgotten history of the first Chinese immigrants of Montreal, re-telling never-before-heard stories passed down to film producer Jimmy Chan from his elders, the elders of the Chinese community, and similar stories from other families.

Our second documentary highlights the sacrifices and hardships that the first Chinese immigrants went through to establish a home in Canada as well as highlighting the contributions they made to help build the country. It connects these past events with the recent situation regarding the gentrification of Montreal’s Chinatown, the rise in Anti-Asian hate and discrimination, following-up on the issues explored in our first documentary.

As our first documentary was self-financed, pulling $100k of funds from our own pockets, we have self-financed our second documentary as well. Our second documentary entitled SAVING CHINATOWN – OUR HERITAGE. OUR LEGEND. premiered on July 31st, 2022 at the CCIFF Canada China International Film Festival in Montreal. Despite our limited budget, our team managed to produce an excellent film. Our documentary was very well-received by the audience! Another great success!

After the screening, we announced to the audience that we are continuing the SAVING CHINATOWN documentary series, and have already begun planning out the third installment of SAVING CHINATOWN. The audience had nothing but great comments to say about our documentary and encouraged us to produce the next installment of SAVING CHINATOWN. With the success of our first two SAVING CHINATOWN documentaries, we are hoping to acquire funding from third parties to help finance our next project with a larger budget, so we can make it an even greater success than our previous ones!

Check out the official trailer of our documentary SAVING CHINATOWN – OUR HERITAGE. OUR LEGEND:

Part 3: Pre-Production

With the success of our first two SAVING CHINATOWN documentaries, we are now in the process of planning out the 3rd installment of our documentary series.



Jimmy Chan


Norman Woo

Director of photography

Matthew Chan

Post-production//On-set support


Buy Tickets

Canada China International Film Festival

Sun, 31 July 2022, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM EDT – Montreal, Quebec


Quebec Grants Heritage Status To Montreal’s Chinatown

Quebec’s government finally granted heritage status to the core of Montreal’s Chinatown …

7th Canada China International Film Festival Press Conference.

Our film producer/director Jimmy Chan was invited to speak at the 7th Canada China International Fil…

CBC Interview With Jimmy Chan Concerning Recent Anti-Asian Racism In Montreal

CBC Montreal News interviewed Jimmy Chan as the Chinese community leader to voice out on behalf of o…


  • Best Canadian Documentary – Toronto Independent Film Festival of Cift – February 2022
  • Best Documentary Short – Independent Shorts Awards – April 2022
  • Best Feature Documentary – Paris Film Awards 2022
  • Best Canadian Documentary Feature Film at Cyrus International Film Festival of Toronto
  • Best Documentary Feature: (Awards of Prestige) at Vegas Movie Awards July 2022
  • Best Director Feature: (Awards of Merit) at Vegas Movie Awards July 2022
  • Best Documentary Of The Year 2021 Award and Artist Of The Year at the Zensa Media International Film Festival
  • Best Social Impact Community Initiative at Social Impact Film and Art Festival – SIFA Festival Awards
  • Award of Merit: Documentary Short  at The IndieFEST Film Awards – January 2022
  • Best Editing and Best Director (Male) at Indie Short Fest
  • Best Editing – Independent Shorts Awards – April 2022
  • Semi-Finalist – Best Documentary Feature – Hong Kong Indie Film Festival 2022
  • Semi-Finalist – Best Feature Documentary – Seattle Movie Awards 2022
  • Semi-Finalist – Best Documentary Short at Indie Short Fest
  • Official Selection at Paris Film Awards
  • Official Selection at New York Movie Awards
  • Official Selection at Florence Film Awards
  • Official Selection at  Boston Independent Film Awards
  • Official Selection at Miami Indie Film Awards
  • Official Selection at Toronto Film and Script Awards
  • Premiere at Canada China International Film Festival (Montreal)
  • Special Screening at Canada China International Film Festival (Toronto)

Latest Awards

Best Documentary Feature & Best Director Feature at Vegas Movie Awards

We are proud to announce the we received 2 awards from the Vegas Movie Awards July 2022 Edition! Bes…

Best Canadian Documentary Feature Film Award (Cyrus International Film Festival of Toronto)

It was such an honor to receive the Best Canadian Documentary Feature Film Award at the Cyrus Intern…

Best Social Impact Community Initiative (SIFA Festival and Red Carpet Gala Awards)

Our documentary SAVING CHINATOWN – THE RISE OF THE DRAGONS won the Best Social Impact Communit…

Best Documentary Short Award At Independent Shorts Awards

It was an honor to have received a Bronze Award for winning the Best Documentary Short category of t…

BUDGET (self-financed)
MINUTES OF social impact
viewers reached

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