February 9, 2018 — Welcome to the World will have its Ontario premiere at the Reelout Queer Film + Video Festival at noon on February 10, 2018, at The Screening Room in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. The film plays in the session Queerly Canadian Shorts Program, a collection of experimental and traditional narrative and documentaries that explore queer identities across Canada. Co-director, writer, and actor Albert M. Chan is a native of Ontario, Canada.
Founded in 1999 by Marney McDiarmid, Reelout Queer Film + Video Festival is now in its 18th year. In 2006, the festival was honoured with the Queen's University Human Rights Initiative Award for their contribution to the community. In 2007, the Reelout Arts Project Inc. became a registered charitable organization and a member of Volunteer Canada and in 2008 established the Reelout in Schools Project specializing in diversity and gender diversity education.
February 4, 2018 — UK Film Review published a highly favorable review today of Welcome to the World. Rachel Pullen writes, "Leading man Albert M. Chan... plays an emotionally raw man with a grace and ease that is often only seen within some of the most high end actors". She adds that the film "packs a huge punch... to create such an impact on a viewer in only seven minutes with just one man, a script and a camera certainly speaks volumes of the skills that Chan has as a director, writer and performer". Click here for the full review.
January 14, 2018 — Welcome to the World will have its northwest premiere at the 13th Annual DisOrient Asian American Film Festival of Oregon running April 19-22, 2018, at Bijou Art Cinemas and the University of Oregon.
DisOrient Asian American Film Festival of Oregon is a social justice film festival that takes place in Eugene, Oregon. It is dedicated to deconstructing the media stereotypes of Asians and Asian Americans as "Orientals", and promoting the power of film-as-art to educate, heal and improve the lives of people by giving voice to our experiences. Started in 2006 by artists, educators, and activists, DisOrient is a grassroots and volunteer-run film festival committed to presenting honest portrayals of the diversity of the Asian and Pacific Islander American experience. DisOrient is a program of the Chinese American Benevolent Association (CABA), a 501(c)(3) non-profit cultural arts organization that also runs a youth group (Chinese Lion Dance Troupe), which is comprised of middle school, high school, and college age students. CABA also offers college scholarships for local Asian American youth and aspiring filmmakers.
January 10, 2018 — Operation Condor reviewer Max White praises Albert M. Chan's performance in Welcome to the World: "Chan gives a gripping, heartfelt and sincere performance which plunges you into the murky waters of modern humanity and masculinity before you get to glimpse the surface light again." Referring to the fact that the film is shot in one continuous 7-minute take, he writes, "How he squeezes so much raw emotion into a single shot makes this the best possible way to spend–and put into perspective–the next seven minutes of your life." Click here for the full review.
November 28, 2017 — Welcome to the World will have its Canadian premiere at the Image+Nation Festival Film LGBTQueer Montreal on November 28, 2017, at 6pm. Co-director, writer, and actor Albert M. Chan is a native of Canada.
Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, Image+Nation Festival Film LGBTQueer Montreal is Canada's oldest LGBT film festival. Welcome to the World will be screened at District Vidéo Lounge as part of a celebration of the festival's 30th anniversary.
October 21, 2017 — Welcome to the World will have its east coast premiere at the Boston Asian American Film Festival on October 21, 2017, at 3:15pm, at The Paramount Center. The film screens in the session Life & Liberty: Resilience and Righteousness in the Bright Family Screening Room. Co-director, writer, and actor Albert M. Chan is scheduled to be in attendance, as well as actress Mary Niederkorn.
BAAFF empowers the Asian American community through film by showcasing Asian American experiences and serving as a resource to filmmakers and the Greater Boston Community. BAAFF's film selections highlight both historic and contemporary stories in an effort to deepen understanding and appreciation of Asian American experiences. Hosted in Boston, Massachusetts, this festival attracts people from all over the country every year. The 2017 festival theme is Liberty & Justice — a showcase of inspiring stories about self-empowerment, activists, and civic responsibility advocates who find their voice to be a catalyst of change and in turn motivate change within ourselves.
September 21, 2017 — Welcome to the World will have its world premiere at Cinema Diverse: Palm Springs LGBTQ Film Festival at Camelot Theatres. The film screens in the session Life Can Be Tough At Times in Camelot Theatre Two on Friday, September 22, at 11am.
Co-director and actor Albert M. Chan's previous film The Commitment also had its world premiere at Cinema Diverse: Palm Springs LGBTQ Film Festival in 2012 and won an Audience Award for Best Short Series alongside Groom's Cake and Little Ones.
Celebrating its tenth anniversary this year, the festival is a presentation of the Palm Springs Cultural Center and is dedicated to presenting the best in LGBTQ cinema. With the current gay and lesbian population in Palm Springs estimated to be about seven times the national average, a concentration even greater than that of San Francisco, Palm Springs is a fitting location for the premiere of Welcome to the World.
April 5, 2017 — Richard Propes, The Independent Critic, describes Welcome to the World as a "riveting piece of human drama". He praises Albert M. Chan's performance as "deeply moving without ever seeming to stretch for those deep emotions... an indicator that he's in touch with his character and demands dignity for every step of his journey". He concludes, "Welcome to the World is the kind of find that lingers in your brain long after the closing credits have rolled by, from the illuminating final sequences to the revelation of new life to the honest, heartfelt journey of one young man in a world where he is seemingly surrounded yet feels so incredibly alone." Click here for the full review.
April 1, 2017 — One Film Fan reviewer Kirk Fernwood praises Welcome to the World as "intelligent, inventive, and inspired". On Albert M. Chan's performance, he writes, "Chan does a fantastic job... drawing you in with every word". He adds, "the finale is a stroke of creative brilliance and artistry, its potency greatly affecting." Click here for the full review.
January 31, 2017 — Welcome to the World has wrapped principal photography and is in the post-production phase. The film will be edited and mixed in the weeks to come, with the film completed by Spring 2017.
January 12, 2017 — Veteran actor, director, and teacher Anthony Grasso has signed on to co-direct Welcome to the World alongside Albert M. Chan.
Some of his primetime television credits include: Blue Bloods (CBS), Untitled Wall Street Project pilot with Jon Cusack (CBS), Unforgettable (CBS), Law & Order (NBC), Law & Order: CI (NBC), and Law & Order SVU (NBC), The Black Donnellys (NBC), and Sex & the City (HBO). Anthony has also been seen in a variety of commercials both regionally and nationally, most notably the American Express campaign directed by M. Night Shamalayan.
Anthony studied at the legendary The Actors Studio with Frank Corsaro, Ellen Burstyn, Lee Grant, Estelle Parsons, Christopher Walken, and the late Arthur Penn. He also studied Meisner technique with Kevin O'Connor at the Neighborhood Playhouse and most recently completed several master classes with the renowned Larry Moss. He also went abroad to continue his studies at The British Academy of Dramatic Arts in Oxford, England, with John Barton, David Leveaux, Fiona Shaw, Debra Warner, and Jane Lapataire.
Anthony's teaching career started back in 1998. His eighteen years of teaching experience includes being on the faculty of the Film and Television Studio at NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Paper Mill Playhouse, the New York Film Academy, and The New York Conservatory For The Dramatic Arts, and heading up his own acting school, Anthony Grasso Studio (AGS), formerly Breakthrough Studios.
December 14, 2016 — Mary Niederkorn has been added to the cast of Welcome to the World, starring Albert M. Chan.
A professional opera singer, Mary made the crossover to film and theater hoping to express herself in a more personal way through acting, and to reach a wider audience beyond classical music. Within months of recovering from ovarian cancer, Mary was cast as Dr. Vivian Bearing in Wit, receiving both popular and critical acclaim. Other career highlights include: her role as the social worker in the independent short film The Commitment which earned a national media film award for Best Film from the National Association of Social Workers, beating out Moonrise Kingdom (Tilda Swinton) and What to Expect When You're Expecting (Kim Fields); her performance in the Boston premiere of Sousa's opera Transformations on the work of Sylvia Plath at The Huntington Theatre; and the short film Homophonia which she wrote and produced, and was an official selection in three Oscar-qualifying short film festivals. She will be appearing in American Repertory Theater's production of Violet in April 2017 under the direction of Sammi Cannold.