For Your Consideration for Best Documentary Short: World Channel and Al Jazeera Airs Yung Chang and Annie Katsura Rollins’ PANDEMIC19

PANDEMIC19, a new documentary short by Yung Chang and Annie Katsura Rollins, is a co-production of Pandemic19 Productions Inc, the  Center for Asian American Media (CAAM) and Tencent Video with Jean Tsien executive producing the film.

PANDEMIC19 captures the story of three doctors in the United States fighting COVID-19, told through their own voices while the chaos of the pandemic rages on outside the frame of their video confessions. In March 2020, as “shelter in place” orders began rolling out, the majority of the populace felt distanced from the opponent they were fighting…the virus was invisible and so was the frontline.

The film sidesteps the salacious news headlines by focusing on Dr. Virginia Brady, Dr. Brian Chang, and Dr. Pooja Aysola as they prepare for the “calm before the storm” and their direct experiences with COVID-19 patients. As the days unfold, the doctors record their changing impressions: fears, hopes, challenges, and triumphs – laying bare their emotional feelings. They are unfiltered and subjective.

PANDEMIC19 brings the doctors’ reflections to the forefront of this historic outbreak in order to awaken the American people to the stark realities of defeating an intangible virus.

PANDEMIC19 received the Matt DeCample Audience Choice Award Short Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival 2020, the Best Documentary Short Special Jury Mention Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival 2020 and the SPE Media Festival 2021 Best Multicultural Film Award.


Watch now in the USA on WORLD Channel

Watch now internationally on Witness – Al Jazeera

Below are selected Q & A’s.

CAAM presented a special talkback featuring an introduction by Donald Young, CAAM’s Director of Programs, Directors Yung Chang and Annie Katsura Rollins in conversation with Dr. Pooja Aysola and Dr. Brian Chang, and moderated by S. Leo Chiang, (Our Time Machine)

Directors Yung Chang and Annie Katsura Rollins in conversation with Dr. Virginia Brady (Harvard) and filmmaker Jeff Reichert, and moderated by James Roosevelt III (DNC)

Directors Yung Chang and Annie Katsura Rollins in conversation with MSNBC Anchor and filmmaker Richard Lui (Sky Blossom).

Dr. Pooja Aysola, MD, is a practicing Emergency physician in Boston and an MBA Candidate and McGowan Fellow at MIT Sloan School of Management. She completed her medical training and residency at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, where she served as president and site chief resident for her institution. Her experiences with the single-payer system in Canada are instrumental in her desire to realign incentives in the U.S healthcare system and she is passionate about improving healthcare through innovation and technology.

Dr. Virginia Brady is currently faculty at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and a clinical instructor at Harvard Medical School. Originally from New York, Ginny received degrees in neuroscience and classics at Brown University before attending Tufts Medical School. At Tufts both her clinical performance and humanistic skills were recognized through induction into AOA, the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award and the Janet Glascow Memorial Achievement Citation. Brady went on to complete an internal medicine-pediatrics residency at Yale and was named chief resident in 2014–2015. She subsequently completed a pulmonary and critical care fellowship at Yale. Her passion for teaching was recognized through the Fellow of the Year Award at Yale in 2016. Since joining the faculty at BIDMC in 2018, Brady has continued to pursue her passion for medical education. She was quickly named the MICU clerkship and capstone director, as well as director of critical care education, through which she oversees the educational needs of residents, fellows and medical students. She has also been the co-director of the integration track for Harvard Medical Students and completed the Rabkin Fellowship in Medical Education in 2020. Most recently, she has been named the associate program director for the internal medicine residency program. Despite being a Boston transplant and working for the official hospital of the Boston Red Sox, Dr. Brady is a die-hard Yankee fan.

Dr. Brian Chang graduated from Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University in 2018. He is a board certified emergency medicine physician in San Francisco, California and currently licensed to practice medicine in California. He is affiliated with UCSF Medical Center and Adventist Health Clear Lake and has a number of emergency medicine interests, includingInternational EM, critical care, and sports medicine.

Yung Chang is the director of Up the Yangtze (2007), China Heavyweight (2012), The Fruit Hunters (2012) and This Is Not a Movie (2019). He is currently completing a screenplay for his first dramatic feature, Eggplant, which was selected to participate in the prestigious Sundance Labs. Chang’s films have premiered at international film festivals, including Sundance, Berlin, Toronto and IDFA, and have played theatrically in cinemas around the world. Up the Yangtze was one of the top-grossing documentary releases in 2008. In 2013, China Heavyweight became the most widely screened social-issue documentary in Chinese history with an official release in 200 Mainland Chinese cinemas. His most recent feature, This Is Not a Movie, world premiered at the Toronto Int’l Film Festival in 2019 and is traveling to cinemas and festivals.  He is a member of the DGC, WGC, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science.

Annie Katsura Rollins is a researcher, artist and educator. Combining a BFA degree in performance from Carnegie Mellon University, an MFA in scenography from the University of Minnesota, and an interdisciplinary Ph.D. from Montreal’s Concordia University, Rollins’ artistic work combines storytelling with deeply researched phenomena in modern society and cultures. She was named valedictorian for her Ph.D. dissertation (2019), which focused on the fragility of traditional performance forms in modern China. Rollins has received a Fulbright Fellowship, the Confucius Institute Joint Ph.D. Research Fellowship and a Canadian SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship, among many other awards, for her research. Recent presentation venues include Toronto’s AGO, The Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry, Luther College, and Bucknell University. She is an adjunct professor at the University of Connecticut and has two book chapters forthcoming this year.

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