Representation meets so much to those who do not feel seen in the stories told on any screen. No matter the genre, the chance to be the protagonist means so much. And now Disney is showcasing that by revealing the first trailer for Jingyi Shao’s “Chang Can Dunk.”
The coming-of-age high school sports drama stars Bloom Li, a shy 16-year-old, Asian American high school student in the marching band, who bets the school basketball star that he can dunk by Homecoming. The bet leads the 5’ 8″ Chang on a quest to find the hops he needs to dunk in order to impress his crush, Kristy, and finally gain the attention and respect of his high school peers. But before he can rise up and truly throw one down, he’ll have to reexamine everything he knows about himself, his friendships and his family.
Said Shao, “This movie is my love letter to basketball and about how it helped me better understand family, friendship and the Asian American/immigrant experience, about growing up and taking responsibility even when the odds are against you, and about learning to believe in yourself and break through not only the barriers set by others but more importantly, the barriers set by YOURSELF.”
Film producers Rishi Rajani and Lena Waithe said, “We’re so proud of this film. Jingyi and the entire cast and crew have poured their hearts into telling a brilliant, nuanced coming-of-age story that we believe everyone will be able to relate to. Growing up, we all had our version of a “dunk” – a dream, some lofty goal – that we thought would change our lives for the better. ‘Chang Can Dunk’ is about the pursuit of that dream, the desire to be seen, and the lessons we learn along the way. It’s inspiring, empowering, and full of humor and heart. We can’t wait for audiences to see it!”
While it may look like your average underdog story, the film looks like it has plenty of heart of overcoming insurmountable odds through sheer will and determination. Moreover, it’s a story through the Asian American immigrant lens.
“Chang Can Dunk” also stars Dexter Darden, Ben Wang, Zoe Renee, Chase Liefeld and Mardy Ma. The film is scheduled to start streaming exclusively on Disney+ on March 10, 2023.