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Posts tagged with "documentary"

Jul 1

SIGNAL BOOST/FUND THIS -- HuanDao Documentary: a modern exploration of identity

'Like' Tested on Facebook!

Stuyvesant. Bronx Science. Brooklyn Tech: all nationally ranked public high schools considered among the best in New York City and the nation. Each year, thousands of 8th graders compete to secure coveted spots at these elite schools by taking the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (the SHSAT). Admission is granted based solely on that single test score.

ONLY ONE IN FIVE WILL GET IN.


Accusations of racial discrimination have been leveled against this one-test-only policy, as black and Hispanic youth, comprising 70% of the city’s total public school population, now represent only 5% of the student body at some of the specialized schools. Meanwhile, Asian Americans and whites form supermajorities. In September 2012, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights to challenge this admission policy.

This documentary follows the struggles and challenges of a diverse group of students, many of them immigrants and working class, as they prepare for this all-important test.

Oct 8

The Project Ava Story

At Project Ava, we consider ourselves storytellers; yet writing this particular story is weird for me. It’s weird because just a year and a half ago, Project Ava didn’t exist. The dream that I’m chasing now was exactly that, a dream, and now I’m sharing with you our real story. People ask us all the time, “how did Project Ava start?” It’s a simple question with an answer that requires an amount of reflection.

Charlie and I were roommates all throughout college (and now). Not only were we best friends, we also shared two traits: a dislike for college work and a desire to do something meaningful with our lives. I studied business in school, and while the concepts were helpful, there were not many chances to apply them. For me, this was frustrating. It was frustrating because I knew that just beyond the dorm walls there existed a world filled with problems to solve. I was young, naïve, and too eager for my own good. During our sophomore year, Charlie nonchalantly mentioned that he wanted to start a business. I can’t remember if he was fully serious, but I jumped on that–“Yes! Let’s start a business.”

So for the next year, we played around with various entrepreneurial ideas in what we called our search for “The Million Dollar Idea.” Things that were considered included 1) square-bottom taco shells, 2) bottled oxygen, and 3) an American-made goods store. None of them made the cut. To be fair, I thought the taco shell idea was gold, but General Mills beat me to it. Dang.

That year, Charlie and I were also working on a social campaign about LGBT youth homelessness in Colorado. During one of our initial meetings, I naïvely suggested that we produce a documentary for the campaign. We all agreed. We had no idea what we were doing. We literally went around with flip-cams, thinking we were about to create the next Food Inc. or Waiting for Superman. Needless to say, it was a humbling experience. However, this was my first exposure to filmmaking, and I was intrigued.

The following year, I studied abroad in London, so I explored the film industry there. I bought my first camera, the Sony NEX 5N, and started learning as much as I could. I sat in on classes, bought numerous cinematography books, attended seminars, and even started doing some freelance work. My first gig was a burlesque show. Fun stuff. I quickly realized how much I loved filmmaking and telling stories through video. Then one day… it hit me. There are incredible stories everyone; stories about discovering love, overcoming tragedy, fostering talent, etc. Stories like my grandpa’s about how he built an entire farmhouse with his bare hands in rural China. What if these stories were shared with everyone? Could they inspire change? I decided, yes.

I quickly Skyped Charlie. We talked. We talked. He asked a lot of questions because that’s what he does. Blah blah blah. Eventually, the business model for Project Ava emerged. We would share meaningful stories in hopes of inspiring meaningful change. We would give visibility to voices normally unheard. We would finally do something meaningful with our lives. I invited Vanessa to found the company with us because I knew she shared a passion for what we were about to do. And throughout the first year, she really was the one driving our stories. Project Ava was born.

Project Ava’s first year was tough. We really had no idea what we were doing. Our clients were happy, but we were all over the place. Charlie, Vanessa, and I were still students at the time, and being student entrepreneurs is no joke. It sucked. To be honest, I was about to give-up on Project Ava after a year, but after I graduated, I had a life-changing experience. I had the opportunity to produce a film with the Jubilee Project in LA about LGBT bullying. Hanging with the JP guys was brilliant, and the most incredible part of the experience was meeting people with similar passions. After watching the short film I made, Alstroemeria, I realized just how far I had come compared to flip-cam, documentary guy. I couldn’t give up.

We expanded our team at Project Ava. We are launching our website. We have clients lined up. It’s all surreal and happening so fast. I tell stories at Project Ava full-time for no salary (and probably none for a while) because this is my passion. If there was ever a time in my life to be chasing dreams, it is now. I am young, crazy, and too blinded to realize if this is a stupid idea–and most importantly, I have a brilliant team that also believes in the power of storytelling. We are in this because we truly believe in our mission: to share and celebrate meaningful stories that move the advocates of today and tomorrow. I have this wonderful vision in my mind that one day Project Ava will be a platform for those who care to share what they care about. We aren’t the best entrepreneurs, filmmakers, photographers, or artists in the world. We are simply people who care.

Another question we get is “What does ‘Ava’ stand for?” I came up with “Project Ava” because “Ava” was the most popular baby girl’s name in England at the time. For me, it sounded youthful and fun. When I told people that, they were confused and gave me weird looks. “Ava” now stands for Advocacy Via Art. We tell stories through a variety of mediums, not just films. We call our brand of advocacy “Avalove.” For us, we believe choosing to celebrate and share the people, moments, and events around us is a lifestyle. It is a life filled with love, and that is what drives this company.

For us, we believe choosing to celebrate and share the people, moments, and events around us is a lifestyle. It is a life filled with love, and that is what drives this company.

Over the next couple months, we have amazing stories and campaigns in store for you, and to be honest, our whole entire movement depends on you. It depends on you watching, reading, sharing and celebrating the content we produce, so we thank you for your support. Now you know the Project Ava story.

Avalove,

Joseph

Support "Tested", A New Film By Curtis Chin

pag-asaharibon:

fascinasians:

Every year thousands of American men go to China to find a bride. The documentary film “Seeking Asian Female” follows an eccentric modern love story about Steven and Sandy – an 60 year old aging white man with “yellow fever” who is obsessed with marrying any Asian woman, and the young 30 year old Chinese bride he finds online. When Steven meets a willful young woman named Sandy from Anhui, China, over the internet and she agrees to migrate to the US to marry him. Fantasy and reality collide in this modern love story.

Told through the lens of Chinese American filmmaker Debbie Lum, who becomes the couple’s reluctant translator and marriage counselor, the film examines the penetrating effect of stereotype and expectations on love and relationships today. Debbie documents and narrates with skepticism and humor, from the early stages of Steven’s search for an Asian bride, through the moment Sandy steps foot in America for the first time, to a year into their precarious union. Global migration, Sino-American relations and the perennial battle of the sexes, weigh in on the fate of their marriage in this intimate and quirky personal documentary. “Seeking Asian Female” is at the intersection of several timely subjects – finding love online, an increasing interest in New China, and what it means to have a race-based dating preference in a supposedly “post-racial” America.



Read more: Channel APA

Wow reminds me of this Canadian documentary Say I Do that features Filipino mail order brides. Its quite a contrast from this documentary.

Also here’s an interview with producer Debbie Lum.

^^^ always quality content from pag-asaharibon!

angrygirlcomics:

lady-jei:

linanq3l:


(via CHINATOWN: A Documentary Film in Post-Production by Yi Chen — Kickstarter)
PLEASE DONATE! This project is awesome and supports the local Asian American community in DC. 


My friend is making this documentary! Please help her out! Every penny counts!
WHAT IS THE PROJECT’S GOAL?
CHINATOWN is a half-hour vérité style documentary profiling the oldest ethnic community in Washington, D.C. through the untold stories of three Chinese immigrants.  It will be the first documentary to look at contemporary D.C. Chinatown.
After a year of filming and six months of editing, the film is very close to finish. We have been able to complete shooting and rough cut editing with a small but talented team on a shoestring budget. Independent filmmaking means putting in 30-35 hours a week on a project we’re passionate about without getting paid. Fortunately there are organizations and individuals who understand the importance of independent media.  To date I have invested my own money and earned critical support from Center for Social Media, Fudan Fuzhong Overseas Foundation, and individual donors for the development and production of the project.  Now Kickstarter provides a platform for us to connect with you.
Our goal is to raise $6,000 completion funds so we can hire professionals to do finishing editing, color correction, audio mixing, motion graphics, and music composing for the film. It will allow us to put the finishing touches on the film and bring it to audiences around the world. Funding on Kickstarter is all-or-nothing. If we don’t reach our goal, we’ll get nothing, and that’ll be very sad. We have 30 days to reach the goal and we need your help. We’ve set unique incentives for your contribution and each dollar helps. 
WHY THIS FILM SHOULD BE MADE?
The immigration history of Chinese Americans goes as far back as 1820.  Chinatown is one of Washington’s oldest ethnic communities – the first documented Chinese resident of Washington, D.C. settled on Pennsylvania Avenue in 1851.  The original Chinatown was relocated to H Street to make way for the Federal Triangle Project in 1931.  The city’s urban renewal and redevelopment plans in the 1970s displaced 13% of Chinatown residents.  Wah Luck House was completed in 1982 to provide subsidized housing for displaced residents and low-income families.  Today around 400 Chinese immigrants remain in Washington’s Chinatown. 
The film takes audiences into the private lives of the characters to explore the intricate cultural and social issues facing the community today, from language access, affordable housing, seniors services, to a lack of Chinese grocery stores.  A year of filming has allowed us to document a mere fragment of Chinese American history, but we believe it will contribute to a better understanding of our collective past, present and future.  The story is relevant to all of us because it’s about immigrant experience and the American Dream.
In a more abstract sense, you are helping to bring the issues of gentrification, affordable housing, language access and senior services to the forefront of conversations at film festivals, theaters, museums, universities, broadcast television…everywhere we plan to show the film.  We posted some video clips on our YouTube channel and Facebook page. 

Signal boosting! Please donate if you can

angrygirlcomics:

lady-jei:

linanq3l:

(via CHINATOWN: A Documentary Film in Post-Production by Yi Chen — Kickstarter)

PLEASE DONATE! This project is awesome and supports the local Asian American community in DC. 

My friend is making this documentary! Please help her out! Every penny counts!

WHAT IS THE PROJECT’S GOAL?

CHINATOWN is a half-hour vérité style documentary profiling the oldest ethnic community in Washington, D.C. through the untold stories of three Chinese immigrants.  It will be the first documentary to look at contemporary D.C. Chinatown.

After a year of filming and six months of editing, the film is very close to finish. We have been able to complete shooting and rough cut editing with a small but talented team on a shoestring budget. Independent filmmaking means putting in 30-35 hours a week on a project we’re passionate about without getting paid. Fortunately there are organizations and individuals who understand the importance of independent media.  To date I have invested my own money and earned critical support from Center for Social Media, Fudan Fuzhong Overseas Foundation, and individual donors for the development and production of the project.  Now Kickstarter provides a platform for us to connect with you.

Our goal is to raise $6,000 completion funds so we can hire professionals to do finishing editing, color correction, audio mixing, motion graphics, and music composing for the film. It will allow us to put the finishing touches on the film and bring it to audiences around the world. Funding on Kickstarter is all-or-nothing. If we don’t reach our goal, we’ll get nothing, and that’ll be very sad. We have 30 days to reach the goal and we need your help. We’ve set unique incentives for your contribution and each dollar helps. 

WHY THIS FILM SHOULD BE MADE?

The immigration history of Chinese Americans goes as far back as 1820.  Chinatown is one of Washington’s oldest ethnic communities – the first documented Chinese resident of Washington, D.C. settled on Pennsylvania Avenue in 1851.  The original Chinatown was relocated to H Street to make way for the Federal Triangle Project in 1931.  The city’s urban renewal and redevelopment plans in the 1970s displaced 13% of Chinatown residents.  Wah Luck House was completed in 1982 to provide subsidized housing for displaced residents and low-income families.  Today around 400 Chinese immigrants remain in Washington’s Chinatown. 

The film takes audiences into the private lives of the characters to explore the intricate cultural and social issues facing the community today, from language access, affordable housing, seniors services, to a lack of Chinese grocery stores.  A year of filming has allowed us to document a mere fragment of Chinese American history, but we believe it will contribute to a better understanding of our collective past, present and future.  The story is relevant to all of us because it’s about immigrant experience and the American Dream.

In a more abstract sense, you are helping to bring the issues of gentrification, affordable housing, language access and senior services to the forefront of conversations at film festivals, theaters, museums, universities, broadcast television…everywhere we plan to show the film.  We posted some video clips on our YouTube channel and Facebook page

Signal boosting! Please donate if you can

Tonight was extraordinary - a night I will never forget. We screened a 9 min film preview on the Oak Creek tragedy for the victims’ families, the mayor, and community members who lived through the event just four months ago. I had been on the ground after the mass shooting for many weeks, reporting and filming the aftermath with Sharat Raju. But tonight was the first time we shared our work with the community. We screened clips from American Made and Divided We Fall and ended with a preview of a potential upcoming film on Oak Creek.

It was a heart-wrenching experience to watch these families see their stories on the big screen and wipe away tears. After the film ended, Kamal Saini, Harpreet Saini and Pardeep Kaleka, who lost parents in the shooting, stood up to tell their remarkable stories. The love and support that had poured in from all corners emboldened them to respond to hate with love and forgiveness. Their stories opened up a space for brave new dialogue in the audience. Community members opened their hearts: a woman tearfully confessed that she wanted to visit the gurdwara after the tragedy but kept her distance out of respect and expressed her condolences for the first time, a schoolteacher described how the tragedy inspired her students to learn everything about the Sikh faith and gave her hope in the future, and a former member of a hate group stood up to tell his story of transformation and began to cry and ask for forgiveness, in the name of the six people who were killed. Pardeep crossed the theater to embrace him and they sat together for the rest of the night, an unlikely pair who had both resolved to combat hate and wage peace.

Tonight’s event was a profound experience for me — it reminded me how storytelling can inspire bravery and vulnerability that can touch and transform us. I left the theater once again astonished by the generosity of the families in Oak Creek - Kamal, Harpreet, Pardeep, Raghvinder Singh who all feel like second family to us. As I reflect back on this year, I am deeply grateful for the privilege of witnessing and playing a role in the healing process in response to the Oak Creek tragedy. Four months later, it has faded from national discourse, but the call to end hate and fear in America is still upon us. And everyone has a role - the schoolteacher, the mother, the civil rights advocate, the neighbor, the storyteller, the healer. We have long hard and beautiful work ahead in the new year.

PS. We will post the film preview online soon! Now that we have shared it with the families and the people of Oak Creek, we can share it with you all! Stay tuned —

- Valerie Kaur (via nomoretexasgovernorsforpresident)

Calling for short film submissions!

If you have made a short film and want to submit it to an awesome film festival, email your 

Name

City/State

Title of film (or if it’s online, the link)

Length of film

Phone Number

to juliet@relentlessaware.com

AWESOME.

JIRO DREAMS OF SUSHI is the story of 85 year-old Jiro Ono, considered by many to be the world’s greatest sushi chef. He is the proprietor of Sukiyabashi Jiro, a 10-seat, sushi-only restaurant inauspiciously located in a Tokyo subway station. Despite its humble appearances, it is the first restaurant of its kind to be awarded a prestigious 3 star Michelin review, and sushi lovers from around the globe make repeated pilgrimage, calling months in advance and shelling out top dollar for a coveted seat at Jiro’s sushi bar.

For most of his life, Jiro has been mastering the art of making sushi, but even at his age he sees himself still striving for perfection, working from sunrise to well beyond sunset to taste every piece of fish; meticulously train his employees; and carefully mold and finesse the impeccable presentation of each sushi creation. At the heart of this story is Jiro’s relationship with his eldest son Yoshikazu, the worthy heir to Jiro’s legacy, who is unable to live up to his full potential in his father’s shadow.

The feature film debut of director David Gelb, JIRO DREAMS OF SUSHI is a thoughtful and elegant meditation on work, family, and the art of perfection, chronicling Jiro’s life as both an unparalleled success in the culinary world, and a loving yet complicated father.
Angry Asian Man just posted about this scrumptious looking documentary, Jiro Dreams of Sushi, about the world’s greatest sushi chef! Check out the trailer here and the website here.

(Source: blog.angryasianman.com)

Mar 1

Every year thousands of American men go to China to find a bride. The documentary film “Seeking Asian Female” follows an eccentric modern love story about Steven and Sandy – an 60 year old aging white man with “yellow fever” who is obsessed with marrying any Asian woman, and the young 30 year old Chinese bride he finds online. When Steven meets a willful young woman named Sandy from Anhui, China, over the internet and she agrees to migrate to the US to marry him. Fantasy and reality collide in this modern love story.

Told through the lens of Chinese American filmmaker Debbie Lum, who becomes the couple’s reluctant translator and marriage counselor, the film examines the penetrating effect of stereotype and expectations on love and relationships today. Debbie documents and narrates with skepticism and humor, from the early stages of Steven’s search for an Asian bride, through the moment Sandy steps foot in America for the first time, to a year into their precarious union. Global migration, Sino-American relations and the perennial battle of the sexes, weigh in on the fate of their marriage in this intimate and quirky personal documentary. “Seeking Asian Female” is at the intersection of several timely subjects – finding love online, an increasing interest in New China, and what it means to have a race-based dating preference in a supposedly “post-racial” America.



Read more: http://www.channelapa.com/2012/02/seeking-asian-female-trailer.html#ixzz1nochRxlc