June 2019 – Finding Kukan with Robin Lung

[Finding Kukan audience]


Director Robin Lung presented and discussed her film Finding KUKAN with community members at the Eastside Cultural Center in Oakland. Her film uncovers the lost story of Li Ling-Ai, a Chinese American woman whose documentary film KUKAN was recognized by the Academy Awards in 1942.


April 2019 – Asian American Studies Conference



Featured panelists included: Nancy Vue-Tran, Freedom, Inc; Lan Nguyen, activist filmmaker; and Teo Saragi, Southeast Asians RISE.

We organized the panel Documenting the Undocumented: Building Partnerships Between Media and Activists to Combat Southeast Asian Deportation at the annual conference of the Association for Asian American Studies.

We explored how leveraging and creating collaborative networks between community advocates and media makers can strengthen resistance and raise awareness of successful opposition to unjust deportations, to policing and surveillance of black and brown communities, responses to racist public policy, and disengagement with narratives of divide and conquer.

November 2018 – Bad Feminists Making Films Live



[bad feminists]

bfmf photo

Filmmakers discussed how their work addresses feminist intersectional analyses, including race, class, sexuality, nationality, gender, and/or religion at all stages of the filmmaking process.

With Ethnocine, we co-sponsored a Bad Feminists Making Films event at MACLA (Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana), at the annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association with support from Rhiza Collective.

Tricia Creason-ValenciaChanging Boundaries: The History of San Jose tells the stories of working people, political leaders and dreamers who built the city of San Jose.

Elena Herminia GuzmanSmile4Kime explores mental health, race, and policing through the eyes and experience of a young African American woman dealing with the trauma of sexual assault.

Laura Menchaca RuizHay Betl7em, co-directed by Khader Handal, supplements occupation-centric media representations of Palestinians through Bethlehemites telling their stories.

Nadia ShihabJaddoland follows the filmmaker’s return to her Texas hometown to visit her mother, an artist from Iraq, to witness the beauty and solace that emerge through her creative process.

November 2018 – Pluralities Conference


We presented at San Francisco State University’s Pluralities conference, organized by the Docfilm Institute.

The panel, Beyond Inclusivity: New Trends in Documentary Funding and Representation, also included Lisa Berger, Independent Arts and Media; Jenny Slattery, SFFILM; Debbie Ng, San Francisco Arts Commission; with moderator Marc Smolowitz.

We reviewed preliminary findings from our survey of emerging documentary filmmakers of color regarding their experiences of the industry and strategies for support.


March 2018 – Asian American Studies Conference

AAAS 2018

We presented at the annual conference of the Association for Asian American Studies with a panel titled: “Embracing West Asia (the Middle East) in Asian American Identity in Media Representation.”

We screened film clips by Ina Adele Ray, Sabereh Kashi, Jennifer Crystal Chien, and Raeshma Razvi on personal stories of family, friends, and community leaders of immigrant communities from Vietnam, Iran, Turkey, and Afghanistan.

We spoke on the cultural and historic relationship between West Asia (Middle East) and East and South Asian people. We supported thinking of Asian American more broadly to be inclusive of Middle Easterners, as a voluntary multiple identity in addition to other identities.

February 2018 – Tales from the Middle East

[filmmaker photos]

[Tales from the Middle East]

With support from California Humanities, Neda Nobari Foundation, and in collaboration with Kehilla Synagogue and the Islamic Cultural Center of Northern California, we presented three filmmakers from the Middle East who engaged audience members in short film screenings and community dialogues.

Michal Aviad, Sabereh Kashi, and Itir Yakar focused on personal storytelling as a way to bring greater understanding of communities from Palestine, Israel, Armenia, Turkey, Iran, and the U.S.

Two sold out events took place on February 17th and 18th in Oakland, California and brought together community members of diverse ethnic and faith backgrounds.

Outreach partners included: IC3, Jewish Film Institute, ONiT, City of Oakland Cultural Affairs, and SFFILM.


December 2017 – Family and War: Women Filmmakers Asserting the Personal

We co-promoted a panel discussion produced by IC3: Incubating Creativity, Community & Civic Engagement, featuring Ina Adele Ray and Sabereh Kashi presenting their films-in-progress and sharing personal and family stories on global conflict in Iran, Vietnam, and the U.S.

[Filmmakers at IC3]

September/October 2017 – Emerging Filmmakers of Color Convenings

We hosted two convenings in September and October 2017 with emerging documentary filmmakers of color. About 25 filmmakers participated in-person and online. We discussed challenges, trends, and solutions in distribution and funding of personal story films.

As a follow-up, we will be soliciting written feedback in a survey and will report back on the findings in 2019.


May 2017 – Personal Perspectives in Asian American Documentary Film

As part of the United States of Asian America Festival, we showcased four filmmakers in a panel workshop focused on personal stories in Asian American filmmaking, moderated by RJ Lozada.

This event was presented by the Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center, funded by Grants for the Arts and SFAC


We featured:

  • Ina Adele RayLost Pictures A Vietnamese-Scottish-Irish American uncovers her Vietnamese grandparents’ identity and war-time stories, while coping with inter-generational trauma, 9/11 and its aftermath.
  • Sabereh KashiHome Yet Far Away An Iranian American reconciles two homelands in conflict. She explores the evolution of immigrant identity amidst stigma against Iran and Islam in American culture.
  • Jennifer Crystal ChienWaiting for Bekir An immigrant from Turkey lives an ordinary life in the U.S. while pursuing the American Dream. He is one amongst a community of international middle class immigrants.
  • Raeshma RazviSailor, Sufi, Spy Robert Darr is a white American who follows an unusual path of being asked to serve as the Sufi spiritual leader of an Afghan refugee community in the U.S.