Tag Archives: WORLD Channel

Watch: America Reframed Series Presents World TV Broadcast Premiere of Yi Chen’s Documentary FIRST VOTE

A co-production of C35 Films, the Center for Asian American Media, and WORLD Channel, America ReFramed’s FIRST VOTE offers unparalleled access to a diverse cross-section of politically engaged Chinese Americans. The film weaves their stories from the presidential election of 2016 to the 2018 midterms and explores the intersections between immigration, voting rights, and racial justice. Directed by Yi Chen, a Chinese immigrant and first-time voter herself, FIRST VOTE is a rare long-form look at the diverse Asian American electorate. Her thought-provoking journey into the Rust Belt and South captures four Chinese American voters’ ardent first time grassroots political participation ignited by the 2016 rise of “Chinese Americans for Trump.”  Until 1952, federal law prohibited immigrants of Asian descent from becoming U.S. citizens and voting. Today, Asian Americans are the fastest growing population in the United States. The film is a timely story exploring what it means to be American through personal stories of America’s fastest growing political constituency’s diverse experience at the polls in battleground states.

Yi Chen’s FIRST VOTE

The world premiere television broadcast date for FIRST VOTE is October 20, 2020 on the PBS World Channel at 8PM ET (CHECK LOCAL LISTINGS), as part of the channel’s AMERICA REFRAMED series.  The film will be repeated throughout the month leading to the November 3 presidential election and will be streaming now on PBS.ORG.

FIRST VOTE is also the anchor film for the PBS World Channel’s Your Vote 2020 (#YourVote2020) initiative – a multi platform initiative exploring racial diversity of voters in this 2020 election. This innovative program kicked off on September 28, 2020 with a virtual live screening for the film FIRST VOTE, hosted by WORLD Channel in partnership with several Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) film festivals. The screening was followed by a discussion of the film with filmmaker Yi Chen and film subjects Kaiser Kuo, host of Sinica Podcast, and Jennifer Ho, director of the Center for Humanities & the Arts at the University of Colorado Boulder.  The discussion was moderated by award-winning journalist and NBC/MSNBC news anchor Richard Lui.  Additionally, a panel discussion on voter participation featured Christine Chen, APIA Vote Executive Director, Janelle S. Wong, Professor of Asian American Studies, University of Maryland, Jerry Vattamala, Democracy Program Director, Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Chavi Koneru, Executive Director, North Carolina Asian Americans Together, and Elaine Tso, CEO, Asian Services in Action, Inc.  The event and more about FIRST VOTE can be found here.  

Additional events will take place in the weeks leading up to Election Day in partnership with Latino Public Broadcasting, Pacific Islanders in Communication and Black Public Media.  More details will be announced as they become available here.  

For a complete list of original WORLD Channel programming, visit www.WORLDChannel.org  or follow WORLD Channel on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram using the hashtag #YourVote2020 and subscribe to the YouTube channel. 

About FIRST VOTE 
A soon-to-be first-time voter, the filmmaker’s thought-provoking journey into the Rust Belt and South captures four Asian American voters’ ardent first time grassroots political participation ignited by the 2016 rise of “Chinese Americans for Trump.”

FIRST VOTE is a character driven cinema verité style film chronicling the democratic participation of four Asian American voters from 2016 through the 2018 midterm elections. In Montgomery County, Ohio, a first-time voter Lance Chen avidly mobilizes new Americans to vote republican through his Rush-Limbaugh-style podcast and political action committee. In Orange County, North Carolina, journalist Kaiser Kuo  returns to the U.S. after living in Beijing for 20 years and is unexpectedly confronted with the rise of Chinese American conservativism in the South, personified by a rags-to-riches business woman, Sue Googe, who after an unsuccessful first run for Congress, becomes a “tough Chinese cookie” for the Tea Party. At the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, critical race theory professor Jennifer Ho takes her activism to the classroom teaching about the complexities of race and racism in the American South. 

Until 1952, federal law prohibited immigrants of Asian descent from becoming U.S. citizens and voting. Today, Asian Americans are the fastest growing population in the United States. FIRST VOTE is a timely story exploring what it means to be American through personal stories of America’s fastest growing political constituency’s diverse experience at the polls in battleground states.

About WORLD Channel

WORLD shares the best of public media in news, documentaries and fact-based informational programming that helps us understand conflicts, movements and cultures that may be distinct from our own. WORLD’s original content examines issues too often ignored by mainstream media by sharing stories from a diversity of voices. WORLD has won a Peabody Award, an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award, a National News and Documentary Emmy Award and other national honors — including 1st and 2nd place Native Media Awards, an RTNDA Kaleidoscope Award, a Media for a Just Society Award, two Lesbian & Gay Journalist Awards, two Gracies and an Asian American Journalists Award. WORLD is a growing platform carried by 174 partner stations in markets representing more than 72% of US TV households. It is also available on WORLDChannel.org and social media platforms. Funding for WORLD Channel is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the MacArthur Foundation, the Wyncote Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts and Artworks. WORLD Channel is curated by GBH in partnership with WNET and is distributed by American Public Television (APT).

Yi Chen

About Director Yi Chen
Yi is a 2019 Soros Equality Fellow and 2020 DC Arts and Humanities Fellow. She is currently in post-production with FIRST VOTE, a feature length documentary supported by the Ford Foundation, Open Society Foundations, Center for Asian American Media, ITVS, DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, and Southern Documentary Fund. Her last film CHINATOWN, about three long-time residents’ activism for affordable housing in Washington, DC’s historic Chinatown neighborhood, aired on PBS station WHUT and won the IndieCapitol Awards Best Documentary Short. Yi previously worked at the UN Foundation, National Geographic, and Voice of America. She has also produced documentaries for Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum, Investigative Reporting Workshop, WAMU 88.5, and Financial Times. Yi holds an MFA in Film and Media Arts from American University and has served as an adjunct professor at George Mason University. 

 

Ursula Liang’s Award-Winning Documentary 9-MAN Screens on America ReFramed on World Channel at 7pm EST

Ursula Liang’s Award-Winning Documentary 9-Man screens on America ReFramed on May 26, 2020 on World Channel at 4pm PST/6pm CST/ 7pm EST. Check your local PBS listings.

After the film (before, for West Coast folks), at 8:40 EST, Liang will be host an Instagram Live with subjects and crew from the film, featuring an Olympian, chicken/trout enthusiast, railroad worker, dentist and more! Please join @9mandoc for the IG LIVE.

9-Man is an independent feature documentary about an isolated and exceptionally athletic Chinese-American sport that’s much more than a pastime. Since the 1930’s, young men have played this gritty, streetball game competitively in the streets, alleys and parking lots of Chinatown. When the community was a Bachelor Society (men outnumbered women by huge percentages) at a time when anti-Chinese sentiment and laws like the Chinese Exclusion Act forced Chinese restaurant workers and laundrymen to socialize exclusively amongst themselves, nine-man offered both escape and fraternity to men who were separated from their families in China and facing extreme discrimination and distrust. Today, some 80 years later, nine-man is a lasting connection to Chinatown for a community of men who know a different, more integrated America and it’s a game that has grown exponentially in athleticism. Nine-man punctuates each summer with a vibrant, aggressive, exhausting bragging-rights tournament that unites thousands of Chinese-Americans and maintains traditional rules and customs—sometimes to the malcontent of outsiders.

9-Man introduces the history of the game and spotlights a chorus of modern-day characters—from 6’7″ Olympian Kevin Wong to a 91-year-old pioneer—combining direct cinema footage and interviews with archival footage and photos sourced directly from the community. The film follows teams in four main cities through the summer as they prepare for the Labor Day championship in Boston. Pivoting between oil-spotted Chinatown parking lots, jellyfish-filled banquet scenes, sweat-drenched summer practices and intimate home scenes, the film captures the spirit of nine-man and Asian-American life as players not only battle for a trophy but struggle to preserve a faded tradition in the face of a society rife with change.

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.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2020 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

Kenneth Eng’s MY LIFE IN CHINA to premiere on AMERICA REFRAMED on May 24

Kenneth Eng’s acclaimed documentary MY LIFE IN CHINA will premiere Tuesday, May 24, 2016 at 8 p.m. on WORLD Channel (check local listings), as part of the fourth season of AMERICA REFRAMED, public media’s newest documentary series hosted by Natasha Del Toro. The broadcast will be followed by 90 days of free streaming for audiences across the U.S. at www.worldchannel.org/americareframed starting on May 25th.

Kenneth EngMY LIFE IN CHINA is an unvarnished portrait of the life and memories of a stoic and reticent man committed to his family and two sons. Director Kenneth Eng’s father would often tell them the story of how he walked for seven days and six nights before swimming for four hours to Macau to escape poverty and Communism. Upon their visit to rural China for the first time in 18 years, Eng and his father retrace the perilous steps his father chanced in search of a better life. Eng’s father reflects, “In 1966, everyone wanted to go to the U.S., people were starving.” His father was one of thousands to make the journey.

Despite being educated, the only work Eng’s father could secure in the U.S. was in fast food Chinese restaurants. Although he eventually worked his way to owning a restaurant, his accomplishment was short-lived when the business shuttered due to bankruptcy. Most days, Eng’s father cares for his wife who was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. Believing he failed in his goal of attaining the American dream, Eng’s father earnestly considers a move back to China. In 2007, Eng accompanied his father to his village, visiting with family along the way.

Toisan (also spelled Taishan or Toishan) is a county in Guangdong Province in the Pearl River Delta and home to Eng’s ancestral village. The province is known as the “Number One Home of the Overseas Chinese.” It’s estimated that over 75 percent of all Chinese in North America hail from this region. In Toisan, Eng and his father visit their family home, now vacant, to discover a mesmerizing portrait of the family matriarch, his grandmother who, he learns, sold her only treasure during WWII to feed the family.

The film explores the universal themes of home, exile and belonging, as well as contrasting the elusive American dream with life in modern China and the emerging Chinese dream. Conflicting and heart-wrenching emotions come to the fore as memories from the past collide with the present. With his father, Eng not only witnesses but participates in ritual and shared meals, connecting him to tradition, ancestry and family bonds shaping his identity.

As a result of the documentary process, intensified by his father’s deep love and quiet strength, Eng finds his true self revealed through the camera lens. Poignant and life affirming,MY LIFE IN CHINA is a universal story about promise, purpose and living life without regrets. “My father’s story would fall on my deaf ears until I returned to China with him,” says Eng. “During my entire childhood, I couldn’t comprehend the magnitude of his story until I saw it with my own eyes. It’s only now that I am beginning to understand and truly value his selfless act.”

In 2007, Kenneth Eng was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship to make MY LIFE IN CHINA.

Film Credits
Director: Kenneth Eng
Writer/Producer: Ehren Parks

My Life in China Website

About AMERICA REFRAMED
AMERICA REFRAMED is a co-production of the WORLD Channel and American Documentary, Inc. and is hosted by journalist Natasha Del Toro.

Season 4 of AMERICA REFRAMED curates a diverse selection of films highlighting innovative and artistic approaches to storytelling from emerging and veteran filmmakers alike. Viewers will be immersed in personal stories from the streets of towns big and small to the exurbs and country roads that span the spectrum of American life. The documentaries invite audiences to reflect on topics as varied as culture, healthcare, politics, gun violence, religion and more. Several episodes feature a roundtable discussion moderated by host Natasha Del Toro with special guest commentators and filmmakers.

In 2015, AMERICA REFRAMED won a GRACIE Outstanding Series award, and was nominated for an EMMY award as well as an Independent Documentary Association award for best curated series. In its first season, AMERICA REFRAMED received five 2013 CINE Golden Eagle Awards, and one Imagen Awards nomination.

Video: HIDE AND SEEK Starring Lia Chang and Garth Kravits to Screen in 2016 Katra Film Series in New York on May 14; Complete Lineup

Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits
Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits

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 is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. 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 and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Examiner.comJade Magazine and Playbill.com.