Filmmaker Spotlight: J.P. Chan

The X1 Asian American Film & TV destination will feature “Cosmic Dental Associates of Clifton, NJ,” by writer, director, cinematographer, editor and producer J.P. Chan. You can find the film in the Lunar New Year collection this February. We had the chance to ask J.P. about his filmmaking journey, and how his Asian American heritage influences his work.

Image Credit: J.P. Chan

Tell us about your film featured on X1 this month!

J.P. Chan: “Cosmic Dental Associates of Clifton, NJ” is a short infomercial I made for an astrodental practice back in 2004. It ran a lot on local cable in northern New Jersey and was one of my first paying gigs as a video making professional. The practice was wiped out a few years ago in a freak x-ray accident, so it no longer exists.

Image Credit: J.P. Chan

How did you get into filmmaking?

JC: I had wanted to make movies since I was a kid, but there aren’t many artistic enrichment opportunities when you grow up in a working-class single-parent immigrant household. So it wasn’t until I was well into adulthood that I was able to pursue film, mostly on nights and weekends while holding down a day job. I taught myself filmmaking mostly by making short films and showing them at festivals.

What are some films and/or filmmakers that have inspired you?

JC: Gosh, too many to choose from. Influence and inspiration are everywhere. But in the past year, I have to admit that I’ve watched “Blade Runner 2049” probably twenty times all the way through, in every setting from IMAX to my iPhone while riding the subway. Denis Villeneuve is a phenomenal filmmaker.

Do you have a favorite Asian and/or Asian American film?

JC: Kurosawa’s “High and Low” and Wong Kar-Wai’s “In the Mood for Love” are at the very top.

How does your Asian heritage influence your work?

JC: I’ll leave that to others to figure out. I’m not the best at connecting those dots.

Image Credit: J.P. Chan

What is your outlook on the state of Asian American cinema?

JC: Very optimistic, as it always has been. The message is finally getting through that we need enthusiastic Asian American audiences as much as we need great Asian American filmmakers.

What’s next for you?

JC: A new feature, shooting sometime this year.


Come back each month when you want to know what to watch. Remember, if you’re unsure, just say “Asian American” into your X1 Voice Remote to discover more Asian American content. There’s more entertainment waiting for you!

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