Saturday, August 3, 2019

Judge passes on would-be-director's pitch for permanent residency

Judge passes on would-be-director's pitch for permanent residency

Immigration officer unmoved by Zhiming Wei's lack of plans or knowledge of either French or English

Zhiming Wei claimed he wanted to establish himself as a player in Vancouver's film industry. But a federal court judge said he had only the vaguest of plans. (David Horemans/CBC)
It was the audition of a lifetime — for a real-life role as a permanent resident of Canada.
But aspiring film director Zhiming Wei earned two thumbs-down from a pair of critics whose opinions carry real weight: an immigration officer and a federal court judge.
Justice Peter Annis gave Zhiming's plans to become a self-employed player in Vancouver's film scene a withering review last week in a rejection of the Chinese man's bid to overturn an immigration officer's decision to reject his application for residency.
"(He) was unable to provide anything but vague statements of limited participation in the past film productions, with minimal research for the planned 30 episodes of a TV drama," Annis wrote.
"(He) appears to have little idea of what is conceived in meeting the definition of a self-employed person who can make significant contributions to a specified cultural economic activity in Canada."

'Road to Study Abroad'

Zhiming appealed to federal court after his application was denied following an interview in Hong Kong in June 2018.
According to Annis' ruling, Zhiming has a net worth of about $20 million.
Zhiming Wei claimed he wanted to film a 30-episode TV drama about the lives of Chinese foreign students. But a judge said it was hard to see how that would count as a contribution to Canadian culture. (David Horemans/CBC)
"In his application, he expressed his intention to establish a company in Vancouver for film and television culture communication or to take part in the operation management of a television drama production," Annis wrote.
Zhiming — who doesn't speak either of Canada's official languages — claimed that he planned to bring Chinese content to Canadian audiences and introduce Canadian television programs to China.
According to the decision, Zhiming claimed he was planning a TV drama based on the lives of Chinese foreign students in Canada. It was to be called Road to Study Abroad.
But he had "only the vaguest of plans with nothing in the way of concrete steps taken to put them in place."
"States all workers and actors will be from China," the immigration officer who heard Zhiming's application noted.
"He may plan to hire temporary workers in Canada if required. No details can be provided."
The officer also asked Zhiming about reports she found online claiming he had been convicted of bribery and sentenced to six months detention.
He claimed he didn't mention the allegations because they were against a company in which he was a major shareholder — along with his wife — and that he was not involved.

'It should not involve Chinese actors'

Zhiming claimed the immigration officer erred when she found he didn't qualify as a "self-employed person" because he didn't have the experience and ability to work for himself while contributing to his chosen sector.
In dismissing Zhiming's bid for a judicial review, Annis gave a detailed analysis not only of what counts as "ability" when it comes to film production but also what counts as a "contribution" when it comes to Canadian culture.
According to the federal court ruling, Zhiming Wei failed to mention a conviction in China for bribery. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images)
"By its very nature film production of a series of 30 episodes for television is a complex deliverable requiring extensive planning and coordination of all manner of associated activities that go into writing, producing and marketing a film," Annis wrote.
The judge pointed out that the sheer number of people needed to make a project is "demonstrated on a daily basis whenever full credits are provided for all the participants that made the film possible."
Zhiming's back-of-a-napkin plans didn't fit the bill. Nor did his intention of using all Chinese cast and crew.
"To make a significant contribution to Canadian culture, unless otherwise essential, it should not involve Chinese actors from China, or recourse to the applicant's Chinese facilities in China to support filmmaking," Annis wrote.
"In order to contribute significantly to the Canadian cultural economic scene, all aspects of the production of the films should occur to the greatest extent possible in Canada."
Zhiming can still appeal Annis' decision — if he wants to risk a sequel.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments always welcome!