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LAist Interview: Dim Sum Funeral Director Anna Chi

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From left to right: Kelly Hu, Anna Chi, Talia Shire, Julia Nickson, Lisa Lu and Bai Ling.
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Dim Sum Funeral revolves around the lives of four estranged Chinese American adult siblings who are summoned home to Seattle to mourn the death of their mother. The film opens this Friday June 12th at the Laemmle Sunset 5 and Laemmle Pasadena. In the movie, all of the children have issues with their mother as well as issues with each other. But the late Mrs. Xiao’s last request was for the children to come together and arrange a traditional Chinese funeral that takes seven days. As the children come together they learn about their mother, Chinese traditions, themselves and what it means to be a family.

Dim Sum Funeral stars an impressive list of actors such as Bai Ling, Steph Song, Talia Shire, Julia Nickson, Lisa Lu, Kelly Hu and Russell Wong. LAist caught up with Director Anna Chi at a press conference for the film held at Chinatown’s Ocean Seafood over dim sum.

LAist: How was the story for Dim Sum Funeral developed?

Chi: It came to my mind after my parents came to visit me from China, showing me some of the photos that they have for my grandmother's funeral. The photos showed that a car was burned along with some servants. It was visually very interesting and exotic too. At that time, my writing partner Donald Martin was going through an experience of losing someone in his family, so we talked about death, family, relationship, etc. and we thought "won't it be great if we can use the tradition of a Chinese funeral to tell a family story that anyone can relate to?”