In 2021, Debbie Lum’s “Try Harder!” is just the 4th Asian American-made feature documentary tackling an Asian American topic to premiere at Sundance in the past 10 years. Asian Americans are the fastest growing ethnic group in the U.S., yet our stories continue to be chronically underrepresented in popular culture, with an even worse track record for documentaries. Generations of Asian American filmmakers have been told by gatekeepers that their particular American stories are too niche and not universal enough for the mainstream. Are festivals and distributors perpetuating a racial blind spot? How do Asian American doc-makers move their stories out of the margins and into the spotlight?
Join Debbie Lum (Try Harder!), Ursula Liang (Down a Dark Stairwell), PJ Raval (Call Her Ganda), Jannat Gargi (Vice Studios), and moderator Donald Young (CAAM) as they examine what it means to tell an American story on Monday, February 1, 2021 at 2:00 PST/5:00 p.m. EST. Click here to RSVP.
Co-presented with Brown Girls Doc Mafia, Center for Asian American Media, and Visual Communications.
The Asian American Documentary Network is a national network of 800+ members working to increase the visibility and support of Asian Americans in the documentary field. A-Doc is committed to sharing ideas and resources, providing mutual support and mentorship, and advocating for equity and diversity in the production and distribution of non-fiction storytelling.
ABOUT OUR CO-PRESENTERS
Brown Girls Doc Mafia is an initiative advocating for over 4,500 women and non-binary people of color working in the documentary film industry around the world. We fight inequality by building community and sharing resources, nourishing our creative brilliance, demanding access and visibility in creative and professional environments, enriching our community with the knowledge to sustain ourselves financially, and by cutting through oppressive industry structures to advocate for our members.
The Center for Asian American Media is a nonprofit organization dedicated to presenting stories that convey the richness and diversity of Asian American experiences to the broadest audience possible. We do this by funding, producing, distributing, and exhibiting works in film, television, and digital media. For 40 years, CAAM has exposed audiences to new voices and communities, advancing our collective understanding of the American experience through programs specifically designed to engage the Asian American community and the public at large.
Visual Communications‘ mission is to develop and support the voices of Asian American & Pacific Islander filmmakers and media artists who empower communities and challenge perspectives. Founded in 1970 with the understanding that media and the arts are powerful forms of storytelling, Visual Communications creates cross cultural connections between peoples and generations.
Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young. She is also the Executive Producer for The Cactus, The Language Lesson, The Writer and Cream and 2 Shugahs.
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