CAAM 2013 Fellows


Introducing the 2013 Fellows & Mentors!

DEREK NGUYEN was a 2004 fellow at the Sundance Institute’s Screenwriters Lab for the screenplay adaptation of his play, Monster and a 2004 Screenwriting Fellow at the New York Foundation for the Arts. Seeing Red (co-written & directed by Liselle Mei) was a part of the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival’s All-Access Alumni Program and the 2007 IFP Market’s No Borders Program. Derek made his directorial debut in the comic short film, The Potential Wives of Norman Mao, which was narrated by George Takei and screened at the Short Film Corner at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival, LA Shorts Fest, and the Asian American International Film Festival among others. Derek received the 2006 Urban Artist Initiative/NYC fellowship and is working on several film projects including creative consulting on Stones in the Sun (written and directed by Patricia Benoit), and writing Baby Daddies (directed by Derek Nguyen). Derek was the Associate Producer of a short film entitled Mister Green (written and directed by Greg Pak). In theater, Nguyen’s plays include Voices: A Theatrical Quilt (Sherrill C. Corwin Award), Mother’s Milk (Mark Taper Forum commission), A Slight Itch (Y2K New Voices Award), and Lee/gendary (three 2009 New York Innovative Theater Awards including Best Production of a Play). Nguyen was also a Van Lier Playwriting Fellow at New York Theatre Workshop.

ERIC LIN studied film criticism and sociology as an undergraduate at UC Berkeley. He went on to pursue his passion for visual storytelling at New York University’s Graduate Film Program where he earned his MFA. He has shot numerous short films, including: “Missing” by director Kit Hui, which premiered in competition at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival; and “Franklin and Matilda” by Paul Dano, starring Eddie Redmayne and Zoe Kazan. His feature film work includes Hui’s feature debut, “Fog”, which premiered at the 2010 Edinburgh Film Festival; and Bradley Rust Gray’s “The Exploding Girl”, which premiered at the 2009 Berlin Film Festival and was released theatrically by Oscilloscope Laboratories. His most recent production, Olivia Silver’s “Arcadia” featuring Academy Award Nominee John Hawkes, premiered at the 2012 Berlin Film Festival, where it was awarded the Crystal Bear for Best Film. Lin’s other features have taken him abroad to Hong Kong, Cuba, and Haiti.  Other works of Lin include music videos for Gaslight Anthem and Asobi Seksu, a concert video for Madonna’s 2012 World Tour, as well as projects for Nickelodeon, Google and SAP.

KIMI TAKESUE is an award-winning filmmaker and the recipient of the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in Filmmaking. Her feature-length documentary WHERE ARE YOU TAKING ME? (2010), shot in Uganda, was commissioned by the International Film Festival Rotterdam where it had its world premiere. WHERE ARE YOU TAKING MEwas theatrically released by ICARUS FILMS, was a Critics’ Pick by LA Weekly and Time Out-New York and was described by Variety as ”Beautifully meditative…an uplifting observational documentary that plays on seeing and being seen”.

Takesue’s narrative, documentary and experimental films have screened extensively at festivals and museums internationally, including the Sundance Film Festival, Locarno Film Festival, New Directors/New Films, SXSW Film Festival, the Walker Art Center, London’s Institute of Contemporary Art and the Museum of Modern Art (NYC). Her films have aired on PBS, the Independent Film Channel, and the Sundance Channel.

Among her fellowships and grants are a Rockefeller Media Arts Fellowship, two artist fellowships from the New York Foundation in the Arts, an Eastman Kodak Cinematography Fellowship; grants from ITVS, Ford Foundation, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, The Arts Council of England and artist residencies at Yaddo Artist Colony and the MacDowell Colony. Her films are distributed by Women Make Movies and Icarus Films.

ERNESTO M. FORONDA is a Philippine-born, Los Angeles-based filmmaker. A graduate of UCLA (BA) and Columbia University (MFA) film programs, he is currently a Short Film Programmer for the Sundance Film Festival.  Ernesto has produced several indie features including Better Luck Tomorrow (MTV/Paramount, Sundance, Toronto) and The Owls (Berlin 2010, First Run Features).  Ernesto has made several shorts including Back to Bataan Beach, A Letter For Lisa and The Favor which have screened in festivals worldwide and garnering the Grand Marnier Fellowship (Film Society of Lincoln Center) and an Armed With a Camera Fellowship (2004) for Visual Communications. He continues to work as a freelance screenwriter for both independent and studio features.  His directorial debut, Sunset Stories (2012), which he co-directed with Silas Howard, premiered at SXSW 2012. Currently, Ernesto is writing and developing an adaptation of Scott Heim’s (Mysterious Skin) latest novel, We Disappear, as well as two indie films, Baby I Want and The Last Summer, which he plans to write and direct.  Recently, Ernesto was invited to participate in Project Catalyst in 2012 and the Sundance Writer’s Intensive 2013.


ANGELA CHENG CAPLAN is the President and CEO of Cheng Caplan Company, Inc., a literary/talent management and production company based in Los Angeles, California, representing Academy Award nominated filmmakers, Emmy Award winning television show creators, international best-selling book authors, Tony Award-winning playwrights and world-famous comic book creators. Two weeks after finishing college, Angela was in Los Angeles working for a
talent and modeling agency. By the age of 25, Angela became Hollywood’s youngest literary agent. After working for two prestigious agencies in Los Angeles and New York City, she opened Cheng Caplan Company, Inc. Her clients include Philip McKinley (SPIDERMAN on Broadway with Bono and
Edge), Will Rokos (MONSTER’S BALL), Craig Lucas (KING KONG on Broadway), Leo Chu and Eric Garcia (SUPAH NINJAS), Arlene Gibbs (JUMPING THE BROOM), Brian Azzarello (100 BULLETS), Warren Ellis (RED), Greg Rucka (WHITEOUT), Karin Slaughter (GRANT COUNTY series), Jason Aaron (SCALPED), Blake Crouch (PINES), Michael Koryta (THE PROPHET), Ali Selim (SWEET LAND), Brian Wood (DMZ), Chris Savino (KICK BUTTOWSKI), and Mitch Watson (SCOOBY DOO), among others. Angela holds a BA in Semiotics-French from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island and lives in Los Angeles with her husband and her three children.

is Executive Content Advisor at the Independent Television Service (ITVS), which funds, promotes and distributes independently produced programming to public media.   At ITVS, she oversees programming strategy and advises on content recommendations and the international funding initiative.  She commissions programming from the global community of independent producers and is curator of Independent Lens, the PBS prime-time series of independently produced programming.


is the co-founder of KAWI Content, a transmedia company out of Singapore that identifies and develops intellectual property from Southeast Asia for multiple platforms, for the regional and the larger international market. Previously, she spent 15 years in Los Angeles where she worked in development, most recently as a consultant for clients like The Dino de Laurentiis Company and a development executive at Millar Gough Ink. She currently divides her time between Los Angeles, Singapore and Manila (where she grew up) and when she can’t get on a plane, Skype is her best friend.


DAVID HENRY HWANG was awarded the 1988 Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics, and John Gassner Awards for his Broadway debut, M. Butterfly, which was also a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His play Golden Child, which premiered at South Coast Repertory, received a 1998 Tony nomination and a 1997 OBIE Award.  His new book for Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Flower Drum Song earned him his third Tony nomination in 2003.  Yellow Face won a 2008 OBIE Award for Playwriting and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His most recent work, Chinglish, won a 2011 Chicago Jeff Award before moving to Broadway, where it received a 2012 Drama Desk Nomination.  Other plays include FOB (1981 OBIE Award), The Dance and the Railroad (1982 Drama Desk Nomination), Family Devotions (1982 Drama Desk Nomination), The Sound of a Voice and Bondage.  He co-authored the book for Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida, which ran almost five years on Broadway, and was the bookwriter of Disney’s Tarzan, with songs by Phil Collins.  As America’s most-produced living opera librettist, he has written four works with composer Philip Glass, as well as Osvaldo Golijov’s Ainadamar (two 2007 Grammy Awards), Bright Sheng’s The Silver River (1997), and Unsuk Chin’s Alice in Wonderland (2007 “World Premiere of the Year” by Opernwelt Magazine). Hwang penned the feature films M. Butterfly, Golden Gate, and Possession (co-writer), and co-wrote the song “Solo” with composer/performer Prince.  He won the 2011 PEN/Laura Pels Award for a Master American Dramatist, the 2012 Inge Award for Distinguished Achievement in the American Theatre, the 2012 Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award, and is a 2013 US Artists Donnelly Fellow. He is currently the Residency One playwright at New York’s Signature Theatre Company, which has recently revived two of his earlier plays, and will premiere his newest work, Kung Fu, in 2013-14.

photo: Lia Chang

david_headshotM. DAVID MULLEN, ASC studied filmmaking and cinematography at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), where he received his Master’s Degree. Since then, he has photographed more than thirty independent feature films and three television series. He was nominated for the IFP Independent Spirit Award for Best Cinematography in 2000 for Twin Falls Idaho and again in 2004 for Northfork, both films by Michael and Mark Polish. In 2000 he photographed Jackpot, the first 24P HD feature to be released theatrically in North America. He has worked with a number of digital cinema cameras since then, including the Red Epic and ARRI Alexa. In 2004 he became a member of the American Society of Cinematographers; in 2007 he joined the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Projects released theatrically in the past few years include Jennifer’s Body (2009) and Seven Days in Utopia (2011). The TV series Smash aired on NBC in 2012 through 2013. Many of his features have played at major film festivals over the years. Twin Falls IdahoNorthforkTwo Brothers & A BrideAssassination of a High School PresidentManure, and Big Sur were shown at the Sundance Film Festival. Stay Cool played at the Tribeca Film Festival and Jennifer’s Body at the Toronto International Film Festival.  He also updated the classic textbook Cinematography with original author Kris Malkiewicz, and has written a number of articles about his own work for various filmmaking magazines.


QUAN PHUNG is a producer and television executive based in Los Angeles.  He currently heads up the television division for Bluegrass Films and most recently executive produced the comedy Whitney on NBC.  Prior to this, he was an executive at 20th Century Fox Television and Fox Broadcasting Company, where he developed critically acclaimed shows such as How I Met Your Mother, My Name Is Earl, House, The Bernie Mac Show and Arrested Development.  He also works as a community leader advocating for Asian American in the arts, and currently serves on the board of directors of Visual Communications, the California Community Foundation, and the Stanford Alumni Association.

CAAM Fellowship Program

Under our newly minted James T. Yee Talent Development Program, we are excited to launch the application process for the new and improved CAAM Fellowship Program. The change this year is that what used to be a stand alone James T. Yee Fellowship for documentary makers is now a part of our CAAM Fellowship Program. The CAAM Fellowship Program caters to both fiction and non-fiction talent. Our goal remains to nurture a community of makers and professional mentors from within the Asian American media microcosm. For more info, click here.