Food From Ah Lan

FEBRUARY 15, 2023
CAN | 1 minute | 2022

Drama short film directed by Peter CS Lee, Kaitlyn Lee
Starring Wynn Siu, Rita Yee, Cynthia Zhou

Food From Ah Lan

Connie Wong struggles under the pressure of finding a trendy name for the rebrand of “Food From Ah Lan”, which carries 30 years of Ah Lan’s legacy in Canada. Meanwhile, Ah Lan just wants Connie to take a break. Through Ah Lan’s food, Connie is transported back to a memory where Ah Lan helped her in a time of need. She finally sees the importance of the restaurant’s original name and the person it represents.


CineAsian Films (CAF): What was the inspiration behind Food From Ah Lan?
Peter CS Lee & Kaitlyn Lee:
“Food From Ah Lan” was created as a part of the Mighty Asian Movie Making Marathon. In the pitch phase, we were really on a roll with ideas about the connection between food and memory. Through discussions and meals with our cast and cinematographer Cathy Ye, we were able to solidify on a specific dish and an understanding that memories around food often are less associated with taste but rather feelings of warmth for the moment and those serving the food. We settled on Congee as our dish because we felt it was synonymous with care and comfort food in Cantonese tradition. We were also heavily inspired by Ratatouille – one of our favourite films growing up – for the way it conveyed the sensations of food visually.

CAF: What was it like directing as part of a duo as opposed to by yourself?
While I’ve made a lot of films, I often feel stuck in the driver’s seat as a director. Kaitlyn and I can communicate pretty well from growing up together so it’s a lot of fun to workshop concepts and brainstorm together. Collaborating with my sister is great because we help each other fill in the gaps and I would do it again when there’s something we both want to make.

Kaitlyn: For me, this was only my second time directing, so it was really nice that I got to co-direct with my brother the second time around. We leaned into each other’s strengths (I love building story and character while Peter has a strong sense of blocking and technical aspects of film). It was really reassuring to know that I didn’t have to figure things out on my own and helpful that we had similar visions for the piece — of creating that sense of nostalgia and warmth tied to food.

CAF: What do you hope audiences can learn from your film?
Peter & Kaitlyn:
We hope this film will touch audiences and bring back warm memories of when food was prepared specially for them. Call your grandparents and parents!

CAF: Do you plan on collaborating more as a directing duo in the future?
Peter & Kaitlyn:
Yes! We don’t know when the next one will be but we definitely want to direct more pieces together in the future.

Food From Ah Lan 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: Peter CS Lee, Kaitlyn Lee
Producer: Chiraag Matthew
Cinematographer: Cathy Ye

More from Peter CS Lee: Spotlight
More from Kaitlyn Lee:
Not My Age

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@the.plee | @kaitl_13