CNN: Hong Kong’s unsung heroes: Mothers making the ultimate sacrifice


The film, which was funded by a Kickstarter project, hopes to raise awareness and appreciation for their self-sacrifice and for the enormous contribution they make to Hong Kong society.
“We kept hearing from the women that the main thing they would like is to receive a ‘thank you’ for the work that they do,” Joanna Bowers, the film’s director, told CNN.

Hashtag Legend – Joanna Bowers: The director behind Hong Kong film The Helper

As a matter of fact, while there is a growing abundance of work around the issue of domestic workers in Hong Kong, not many focus on motherhood or on personal empowerment. By telling the stories of the migrant workers, “we tried to show how they positively impacted society, allowing many local women to enter the workforce but most of all, we tried to make a film that could resonate with audiences globally,” Bowers says.

Medium: 《守護者》(The Helper)對你來說,外傭是什麼人?

紀錄片《守護者》談香港的外傭。英文名 The Helper 沒有中文片名的豐富涵意,取名《守護者》自然是視家庭的守護者,協助僱主維持家庭運作。但是,引起英國電影人Joanna Bowers的興趣,不是以外來者的身分守護了陌生家庭,而是她在香港看見外傭佔據街道的場面,提出了疑問:「為何她們無法融入本地社區?要這樣在露天地方席地而坐。」於是,萌生拍紀錄片的念頭,在網上眾籌了九萬元,拍成了這一齣紀錄片 。



Joanna gives voice to stories that usually remain untold. She shows us the husbands whose indolence places the burden of both earning and care-taking on their wives and the children who never understand, even once grown, that their mothers left so they could have a better life. She films the women as they soothe other people’s babies while they ache to hold their own and captures their talents and dreams which go far beyond taking care of a home. Needless to say, there isn’t a dry eye in the house during screenings.

Today (Singapore): “Charity screening raises S$6,000 for migrant workers’ NGO”

Directed by British filmmaker Joanna Bowers and released earlier this year in Hong Kong, the documentary has garnered wide media coverage.

Speaking at the screening, Ms Bowers said she wanted to call attention to domestic helpers — a segment of society that often looks upon themselves as invisible — and remind them of their importance to households. When making the film, she had encountered women who were surprised someone wanted to delve into their lives.

Joanna Bower (left), the director and Tony Verb, the producer of the documentary, The Helper. The Singapore screening of the documentary took place at The Projector on 22 Oct 2017. It features domestic helpers. Photo by Najeer Yusof.




Cathay Pacific – Behind The Scenes

Pleased to be able to share a little behind-the-scenes action from a recent commercial shoot I did for Cathay Pacific in conjunction with the agency Eight Partnership from  Hong Kong.  Eight had spent a really long time work on the rebranding of Cathay and the cornerstone of that was an update of the livery design on the airplanes themselves.

Hong Kong Director Joanna Bowers works with DP Jack Lam on Cathay Pacific commercial shoot

Cathay is one of the most iconic Hong Kong brands in existence and the goal of this short film was to tell the story of how and why the livery needed updating and explore the chronological process that the designers used to reimagine the brand for a modern day consumer. I was lucky enough to have one of my favorite cinematographers Jack Lam on board for the shoot!

Director Joanna Bowers works with talent on set of Cathay Pacific shoot

Adding to the challenge of the filming  (other than hoping that the planes would be where we wanted them on the shoot day) was that I was also 5 months pregnant whilst directing, so not able to run around quite as much as I might usually on set!  It didn’t hold me back though – lucky to always have a PA nearby with a chair!

Commercial Director Joanna Bowers on location shooting for Cathay Pacific

We shot some incredible visuals and created some really powerful and dynamic storytelling for the brand that came together with some awesome VFX shots once we moved into post-production.

Director Joanna Bowers working with talent on Cathay Pacific shoot while pregnant

Added bonus was that the Cathay Pacific staff members we cast were naturals on camera and took direction really well!

Joanna Bowers directs talent on set shooting for Cathay Pacific livery film

And we had a really fantastic team on board for the production!

Behind The Scenes location scouting for Cathay Pacific brand film shoot


You can check out the finished film from this commercial shoot here: