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Disney's 'Chang Can Dunk' features immigrant story, Fil-Am musicians

Yong Chavez | TFC News Hollywood

Posted at Mar 13 2023 04:55 PM

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In "Chang Can Dunk," the latest release from Disney+, Chang dreams of becoming a basketball player like his idol Kobe Bryant.

But first, he has to accomplish a major life goal: having faith in himself.

Bloom Li stars as the 5’8” student Chang, who aspires to prove to everyone that he could reach the 10-foot-high hoop net and score a dunk.

"I relate to Chang's immigrant experience and his desire to want to be seen a lot," Bloom said. "There's a scene in the movie where Chang sits down with his mother while she's asleep on the couch. And I've had that moment in my life many times."

The coming-of-age movie is loosely based on writer-director Jingyi Shao’s own experiences growing up as an Asian American.

"I think all minority people of color who are filmmakers," Shao said, "because the opportunities are so slim, that when they do get a chance, they are representing more than just themselves."

The heartwarming music in the film was done by a pair of Filipino music talents.

Angela Asistio is its music supervisor who found songs for the film. "Chang Can Drunk" Film Composer Nathan Matthew David is also a Filipino.

"A lot of times, basketball is associated with hip hop, but we wanted to bring in other aspects of music that could change the way that the movie feels," said Shao. "Just working with them was an incredible experience."

The movie also features a song by the Grammy-winning Filipino-American singer Steve Lacy.