The Best Dumplings in Melbourne

The Best Dumplings in Melbourne an 11-minute comedy-adventure short film written and directed by Brendan Wan, produced by Felicia Jong, cinematography by Matt Wood and composition by IAC Research Fellow Dr Nicholas Ng.

During Friday after-work drinks, Laura, Mel and Shari are at a loss on what to eat for dinner. All they know is they want something that properly satisfies their hunger. After Laura and Mel reject her idea to eat pasta for dinner, Shari suggests dumplings - the glorious quintessential food staple of Melbourne. This prompts Laura’s memory of the perfect dumplings she’s ever had but could never find again. Ignited by their passion for dumplings, the three friends set out on an adventure to find the best dumplings in Melbourne. Imagine a dish you’d seen in MasterChef framed with the poise of a Wes Anderson film, placed in the neon-lit world of a Wong Kar-Wai film and edited altogether with the dynamism of an Edgar Wright action movie.

The director writes:

The Best Dumplings in Melbourne is more than just dumplings. It is our love letter to Melbourne’s Chinatown. The Chinatown district was one of the first areas that was affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Many iconic businesses in Lt Bourke St have closed after many decades of operating and serving the people of Melbourne. Although Melbourne is slowly returning to a Covid-normal world, Chinatown has somewhat become a shadow of its former self with recovery still slow. The Chinatown I know should be bustling and full of life. The fact that this is no longer the case in this post-Covid world saddens me. As a Chinese-Australian, Chinatown has a special place in my heart. I remember the countless trips made to Little Bourke Street for family outings, the annual Lunar New Year celebrations and of course, the dumplings! My ideal hope is that this project can help revitalise Chinatown and give people the confidence to return to the amazing restaurants and businesses in this area.

Dr Ng delved in a series of popular music idioms based on the vision of the film and drew from a variety of Chinese instruments within a contemporary sonic soundscape.

This film is supported by the City of Melbourne Quick Response Arts Grant and produced in collaboration with the Institute for Australian and Chinese Arts and Culture.

The Best Dumplings in Melbourne was released on Friday 28 January via Facebook, Instagram and YouTube and will be submitted to local and overseas festivals.

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