Editor, Music Supervisor
TRT: 80 mins
Festivals: San Francisco International Film Festival, New York Asian American Film Festival
Defender is the feature length version of the short documentary The Ride (see Documentary Shorts below) produced earlier this year. It expands and deepens the investigation into racial injustice in the justice system through the eyes of San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi and his client Michael Smith. Additionally, the film explores the Public Defender's move to represent many immigrants, newly detained in the Trump era, in their fight against deportation.
CHANGING SEASON: On The Masumoto Family Farm
Editor, Interviewer, Music Supervisor
TRT: 56 mins
Awards: Best Documentary Director (LA Asian Pacific Film Festival), Best Documentary Feature (Sacramento Asian Pacific Film Festival)
Festivals: Hawaii International Film Festival, Smithsonian Food History Festival (DC), CAAMFest (SF-Oakland), San Diego Asian American Film Fest, LA Asian Pacific Film Fest, Sacramento Asian Pacific Film Fest, Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival, Toronto Reel Asian Film Festival, SF Indiefest, Houston APFF, Chicago Asian American Film Festival, Colorado Dragon Film Festival
Broadcast: PBS, May 2016
Changing Season chronicles four seasons on the Masumoto family farm, home to among of the most sought after peaches in the world. The film follows patriarch Mas Masumoto, openly musing how many harvests he has left while training his recently returned daughter Nikiko in the family trade. Each of the family generations has had to overcome prejudice barriers: from immigrant to internment to mixed race marriage to sexuality. With the ongoing drought, how many harvests will they have left?
CHANGING SEASON Opening Scene
CHANGING SEASON Adopt-A-Tree Scene
CHANGING SEASON Trailer
Director (with Amir Soltani), Cinematographer, Co-Producer, Additional Editing
TRT: 95 mins
Awards: Emmy Nominee 2017 for Outstanding Business and Economic Documentary, Audience Award for Active Cinema (Mill Valley Film Festival)
Festival Screenings: Mill Valley Film Festival (CA), Salem International Film Festival (MA), Cinema At The Edge Festival (Santa Monica), Harlem International Film Festival (NY), Festival Internacional de Cine Ambiental (Argentina),
Broadcast: Independent Lens on PBS (May 2016)
Support: Sundance Documentary Fund, California Council of Humanities, SF Film Foundation, Berkeley Film Foundation, Pacific Pioneer Fund
Fellowships: Sundance Creative Producing Institute Summit, BAVC MediaMaker
Dogtown Redemption follows a group of homeless shopping cart recyclers in West Oakland, as forces of gentrification gather round them and threaten to shut down the neighborhood recycling center that is their lifeline.
I spent over 5 years with the subjects of the film: on street corners, in abandoned lots, behind and inside dumpsters, in hospitals, shelters, and on one particularly intense night, trapped in a shooting gallery full of dirty needles with a gang outside. It was a richly rewarding experience to bear witness to the lives of these hard working people in hard times who, no matter what the circumstances, found a way to get up every morning, or every evening, rain or shine, cold or heat, and go dig through society’s refuse for their sustenance.
ASWAT NABILA (work-in-progress)
Aswat Nabila highlights the passion and work of Palestinian immigrant Nabila Mango for her musical ensemble, Aswat, which unites musicians from across the Arab diaspora through traditional music and timely political engagement with the issues of the time: from Black Lives Matter to Muslim rights. As she fights her own personal battle against cancer, she uses her musical platform to confront the political issues of our time.
This film is in the later stages of production and the early stages of post-production. This sample was created for grant proposals to give a general sense of the film's scope and direction.
MOVING TRUTH (work-in-progress)
Director/Cinematographer/Editor (all with Jim Choi)
Work-in-progress feature about The Sandpiper, a former successful commercial radio Bay Area DJ now consigned to the pirate radio air waves as he shares his "truths" about the world we live in: UFOs exist, we never landed on the moon, 9/11 was an inside job, etc. After he moves back to his conservative home state of Georgia, he is ridiculed by friends and family alike. So he undertakes one final quest to prove everyone wrong: a cross-country truth seeking tour that will expose all the lies and prove him right.
As The Sandpiper makes his way across the United States with stops at hurricane ravaged Tuscaloosa, JFK's assassination site, NASA, Roswell, Area 51 towards his ultimate destination of Con Con, the annual Conspiracy Conference back in the Bay Area, he gets closer to uncovering a truth he buried long ago that changes everything.