Karen Cho is a Chinese-Canadian filmmaker  most known for her compelling and socially-engaged documentaries. Interested in using documentary as a tool for social change, Karen’s films explore untold histories and themes of immigration, activism and social justice.

Karen has directed the award winning In the Shadow of Gold Mountain (2004) a documentary about the legacy of the Chinese Head Tax and Exclusion Act.

Her second film is the Gemini-Nominated Seeking Refuge (Terre d’asile) (2009) a film that tells the story of five asylum seekers in Canada.

Her most recent film, Status Quo? The Unfinished Business of Feminism in Canada (2012) won the Whistler Film Festival’s World Documentary Award and was launched in over 67 community screenings across the country.

When she is not busy with her own projects, Karen also works as a Writer / Story Editor on various documentary television series.

Karen is currently in postproduction on an experimental docu-fiction about family secrets and cooking up her next batch of cultural subversion.


Currently – Things Left Unsaid – family Secrets (Writer / Director / Producer)

Currently – We Are Canada, CBC (Series Director)

2016 – Interrupt This Program (Season 2), CBC (Series Director)

2015-2016 – Vice Guide To Film, Viceland (Story Producer / Writer / Field Director)

2015 – Working It Out Together, APTN (Story Producer / Creative Consultant)

2008/2010/2015 – Extraordinary Canadians (Seasons 1,2,3) CBC, OMNI, Biography, City TV (Series Director)

2014 – Restoration Garage, History (Writer/Story Editor) 

2013 – Yukon Gold (Season 2), History (Story Editor / Creative Consultant) 

2013 – Dangerous Flights (Season 2), Discovery (Writer/Story Editor) 

2012 – Status Quo? The Unfinished Business of Feminism in Canada, NFB (Writer/Director)

2012 – Licence to Drill (Season 3), Discovery (Writer/Story Editor) 

2012 – The Beat (Season 2), OLN, City TV (Story Editor / Creative Consultant) 

2010 – All for One with Debbie Travis, CBC (2nd unit Series Director / Story Editor)

2009 – Seeking Refuge (Terre d’asile), SRC, RDI, CBC (Writer/Director)

2005 – Past Lives, Global (Series Director)

2004 – In the Shadow of Gold Mountain, CBC, Knowledge (Writer/Director)



2012 – World Documentary Award, Whistler Film Festival (Status Quo)

2010- First Place, Toronto Human Rights Docfest (Seeking Refuge)

2009 – Gemini Nomination – Best Direction in a Documentary Program (Seeking Refuge)

2006 – Golden Ribbon Award for Diversity in News and Information Programming (In the Shadow of Gold Mountain)

2005 – Golden Sheaf Award – Best Multicultural Documentary, Yorkton Film Festival, (In the Shadow of Gold Mountain)

2005 – Honourable Mention, Columbus International Film and Video Festival, (In the Shadow of Gold Mountain)

2003 – Winner Reel Diversity Competition, NFB, (In the Shadow of Gold Mountain)

2001 – Mel Hoppenheim Award (top of graduating class, Concordia University)

2000 – Telescene Communications Scolarship

1999 – Kodak Award