There are benefits to making a film in Windsor, says Tony Lau. A professor of communications, media and film, he grew up in the city, graduating from Dougall Avenue Public School, Kennedy Collegiate, and the University of Windsor (BA 2004).
He produced the comedy feature Stand Up Man, which will celebrate its Ontario premiere November 2 at the Windsor International Film Festival. The film was shot in locations across Windsor in 2016.
“We got support here we could get in no other city,” Lau says. “You’re trying to maximize what you can get out of your budget, and our dollars went a lot further here.”
He points to the co-operation of businesses and institutions who opened their doors to provide settings during filming.
“People were so incredibly generous,” says Lau.
He notes that the film crew included dozens of UWindsor alumni and students, helping them to learn the craft in a professional environment.
In addition, Lau says, the community made sense for the story. Aspiring comedian Moses Kim finds his dreams derailed in his family’s restaurant, complicated further when his teenaged cousin unexpectedly shows up from Korea.
It echoes some of what Lau went through as an immigrant from Hong Kong.
“This is a film about the Windsor experience,” he says. “It’s touching and, in a way, it’s a personal story. I think people should come just to see how beautiful the city is.”
Stand Up Man premiered in September at the Atlantic International Film Festival in Halifax. Following Windsor, it will screen at festivals through November — including at the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival.
The WIFF screening is set for 8 p.m. Thursday at the Capitol Theatre. Lau and director Aram Collier plan to attend. Find details and tickets on the festival website.
Watch the trailer: