$30 To Antarctica

JULY 5, 2022 | UPDATED JULY 20, 2022
HKG | 18 minutes | 2017

Documentary, family short film directed by Joey Chu
Featuring Ka Foon Chau

$30 To Antarctica

$30 To Antarctica follows the story of Ka Foon Chau, who grew up an impoverished child, and retired a renowned doctor. Raised in 1960s Hong Kong, Chau faced the bias of her elders who attempted to discourage her interest in the academics. Through a small gesture of support she received from a teacher, Chau built a life and career that moved beyond the restrictive boundaries set by her parents’ generation. She is now ready to fulfill a childhood dream – to see Antarctica.

Director’s Statement

Ka Foon Chau is a superwoman among her peers, and even more so to my brothers and I. She never had sit-down lessons with us on how to perceive struggle as motivation. She never pulled me aside and reminded me that I shouldn’t depend on anyone but myself. Instead, I watched my mother drive an hour out of her way everyday to serve the less fortunate communities. She is a living example of good morals and hard work.

Her liberal parenting has given me the ability to expose myself to the world in a way that she never could at my age. I’ve spent the last few years of my life traveling and telling the stories of the many different cultures I have encountered. It felt like the right time to go back to the city and the woman that raised me to do the same.

Being able to take my shield off as a daughter to reach the depth of the story was the most difficult part of the process. This project unveiled aspects of my mother that I have never encountered. I hope the film portrays the contrast of this historical period through her experience: The girl who underwent this tumultuous time in order to become the woman who raised me VS a city of poverty becoming one of prosperity and equality because of people like her within her generation.

About a year ago, Mr Lee passed away during the festival circuit of $30 To Antarctica. My mother has since started a scholarship and foundation in his name to support students who don’t have the means for higher education.

– Joey Chu

$30 To Antarctica is one of the many great projects shared with CineAsian Films through our submissions process. If you’d like to join them, submit your project.


Director, Writer, Producer: Joey Chu
Producer: Kelly McKay
Cinematographer: Dumaine Babcock
Editor: Samantha Cordova
Composer: Adam Traister

Follow and Support the Filmmaker
@__joeychu | director’s website