Kenda is a filmmaker whose family origins in Canada go back to the turn of the century. He has been the Chair of Edmonton’s Chinese Head Tax & Exclusion Act (Redress) Committee since 1998, and had the distinction of delivering the keynote address at the Going Global Conference of New Zealand’s Chinese community in Auckland, 2007. A graduate of the Documentary Production Workshop at Ryerson University through the support of the National Film Board of Canada, Kenda was also selected as a finalist of the 2005 National Producer Apprenticeship Programme by the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television and for the Alberta Motion Picture Industry Association Producers Programme in its inaugural year from which he graduated among the top three. In 1998, he produced and directed a documentary short with the Edmonton Chinese Television Society, entitled, China Clipper on Larry Kwong, the first Chinese Canadian player in the National Hockey League. Kenda is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School, Toronto and the recipient of a United Nations Secretariat graduate internship in New York with the Offices of Political and Legal Affairs.
His landmark feature documentary, Lost Years, which touches upon 150 years of the Chinese diaspora in Canada, the United States, New Zealand and Australia, has received over 21 international awards and award nominations to date. The film premiered on December 5, 2011 at the Guangzhou International Documentary Film Festival, where it won the Best Documentary Award for history and culture.
The award-winning work has also been shown as a two-part television mini-series for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, nationally, February-March 2012, with extended episodes on CTV Two Alberta, June 2013. It holds the distinction as the first Chinese (Asian) Canadian documentary mini-series to be broadcast on a major national network in Canada and is currently on pace to becoming the most viewed Canadian-made production in television broadcast history before the end of 2014 with an international audience in Asia and Oceania. It was nominated for two Canadian Screen Awards for Best Original Music, and Best Sound in a Documentary Program or Series, Toronto, March 3, 2013, in the nation event's inaugural year.
Lost Years is a multiple Winner at the International Film Festival Manhattan for Best Feature Documentary, Best of the Best (Festival), and Film Achievement & Social Advocacy, Oct 17-20, 2013; the Winner, Best Feature Documentary, Asians on Film Festival, Los Angeles, February 15-17, 2013; and, the Grand Prize Winner, Best Feature Documentary, 16th Rhode Island International Film Festival, August 7-12, 2012.
The film represented Canada at the biennial Sichuan TV Festival, November 16-18, 2013, where it was nominated for the Special Jury Award (Society), its 21st award nomination, to date. In July 2012, Lost Years was named one of the top films of the past decade by Guangzhou International Documentary Festival's "Golden Days".