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The Real Story behind Kiwi-Asian Marriages

New Zealand Exclusive – The Real Story behind Kiwi-Asian Marriages

Kiwi-Korean Director Stephen Kang exclusively reveals the untold story behind many Kiwi-Asian marriages in his second feature film Desert. Based on real life events, Desert follows the story of Jenny, a young pregnant Asian girl living in Auckland who is left to fend for herself; when she is abandoned by her Kiwi boyfriend just before they are about to get married. Jenny is rejected by her Asian community for getting pregnant to a westerner out of wed-lock and after unsuccessfully searching for her run away boyfriend; she is forced to look inside herself to find a positive solution for her and her unborn baby.

Jenny’s story is a reality for the growing number of Asian women in New Zealand. The Asia NZ Foundation recently recorded that there are 26 per cent more Asian women than Asian men, aged 25 to 49, living in New Zealand and nearly a quarter came to New Zealand to get married. Stephen’s inspiration for the film came from observing the struggles facing many Asian women living in New Zealand and Desert is the first film of its kind to give a platform and voice to these common challenges and personal stories.

“The subject of Korean woman having babies with Westerners especially out of wedlock is not openly talked about or mentioned and most people in New Zealand are not even aware of this kind of story. That is why I wanted to make this film, so the western world can see the challenges facing Asian women in New Zealand and understand that life for a single, pregnant Asian woman is not easy. Not only are they completely abandoned by their family and community but they are looked down upon and seen as a disgrace, it was important for me to capture and share this increasingly common story and personal journey”, comments Director/Writer Stephen Kang.

Desert is the second film from New Zealand filmmaker, Stephen Kang. Kang’s debut feature, Dream was awarded ‘Winner’ Overseas Independent Korean Contest, ‘Best Digital Feature’ Air New Zealand Screen Awards and ‘Runner Up’ DigiSpaa Australia 2007. Desert had a World Premiere at A-list festival Pusan, Korea and was attended by Kang, his producer Leanne Saunders, and lead actors Jane Kim and Andrew Han.

Desert will be released in New Zealand on May 5th.
Image and trailer is available at

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