Hai-Li Kong

Brooklyn, NY

Hai-Li Kong is a video editor, producer, and researcher. Previously, Hai-Li worked as a qualitative researcher and media producer—helping companies better understand their customers’ needs and sharing those findings through video. Currently, she mainly works as Think!Chinatown’s Video Production Lead, where she hopes to help people better understand Chinatown through videos that highlight neighborhood artists, businesses, and the immigrant experience.

ABOUT THE FILM: Xiao Stories (working title)

The documentary tells the filmmaker's maternal family’s story of separation, survival, and immigration. Xiao Stories weaves oral histories from each of Kong's relatives. Together, they paint an intergenerational portrait of life in China and Singapore from 1940s-1970s before their immigration to Canada. This tumultuous and revolutionary time in Asian history witnessed WWII in the Pacific Theater, Singaporean independence, and the Cultural Revolution. Some stories are told individually, others collectively. One uncle shares how the family found refuge in the thick Singaporean jungle, hiding from Japanese occupiers who had grandfather’s name on their hit list for his pro-Chinese activism. An aunt recounts how another uncle built his own radio to catch static-filled radiowaves carrying Taiwanese pop tunes from across the strait when consumption of foreign culture was banned during the Cultural Revolution. Collectively, Xiao Stories aims to reflect the diversity of the Chinese diaspora and speak to the immigrant experience.