The Toyota Matrix FREE YOUR STORY Contest

We have selected 5 finalists for the Toyota Matrix Free Your Story contest! Go to our video gallery under the CAAM Channel to see all of the talented finalists!


A CAAM Digital Story Initiative
Presented by
Toyota Matrix

Check out the semi-finalists in our video gallery!

CAAM is dedicated to presenting stories that convey the richness and diversity of Asian American experiences to the broadest audience possible. In the spirit of our mission, we have launched the CAAM Channel, your online source for the latest trends in AA media arts and a digital outlet for sharing stories of your own.


Beyond event coverage and filmmaker interviews, the CAAM Channel provides a platform for emerging artists everywhere to connect with a worldwide audience interested in works by or about Asian Americans. Our latest digital initiative challenges you to tell your story without the constraints of space or time. Ten applicants will be chosen, six will compete, and one finalist will win a brand new HD camera and one year Supporter level membership to CAAM.

CAAM and Toyota Matrix are looking for 6 emerging storytellers to explore ideas of activity and movement in this exciting digital age. In a 5-7 minute piece in any film/video genre, allow your vision to take flight across time and space, from real to virtual, from intertia to motion. To drive your story, imagine you have a powerful Toyota Matrix device that moves your narrative forward – and keeping with the theme, this object is as open to interpretation as your story. Whether you use the actual vehicle or a Matrix-shaped portal, free yourself to delve into any subject matter – from immigration stories to voter voices to global issues. We challenge you to make the most interesting and insightful works and prove that creativity knows no boundaries.

Deadline is Monday, June 23, 2008 at 8PM PST.

Grand Prize Winner* receives a HD video camera.

*Restrictions apply. See Contest Rules and Regulations for more details.

1. Create a one (1) minute video introduction, telling us who you are and why you should be chosen to compete for the grand prize. Be original, creative, and resourceful. Use anything to capture that video: web cam, camera phone, digital camera, etc. Videos need to be one minute or less. One introduction video per contestant.

2. Email michella[at]asianamericanmedia[dot]org the following information:
– Your Name
– Age
– Address
– Phone number
– A brief written bio
– 3 – 5 URLS for samples of works (all sample works must be online, youtube, google, myspace, personal sites, etc.)
– A short treatment (no more than 300 words) for the video you would make if you were chosen to compete in the Toyota Matrix FREE YOUR STORY Video Challenge

You have to be eighteen (18) years of age or older and a legal resident of the fifty (50) United States. To be able to participate, all entrants will be registered as CAAM Fans. CAAM Fan is a free membership to the Center for Asian American Media. For more information and benefits of CAAM Fan, click here.

3. Upload your video introduction here. YOUR NAME MUST BE IN THE TITLE OF YOUR UPLOADED WORK.
(Accepted video file formats are: .WMA, .MP3, .MPEG, .DV, .MPG, .MOV, .GCELP, .WAV, .WMV, .QT, .MP4, .AVI, .AMR-NB, .MOD, .3G2, .ASF, .3GP, .FLV, .MOVIECLIP. The maximum video length is 1 minute. Maximum file size is 100MB.)
If you have trouble uploading contact michella[at]

4. Deadline is Monday, June 23, 2008 at 8PM PST
No entries or videos will be accepted after the deadline. Please make sure to allow enough time to upload your video.

1. The Top 7-10 Most Resourceful, Creative and Energetic applicants, selected from all the submissions by the FREE YOUR STORY CAAM Judges, will be posted on on Tuesday, July 1, 2008 at 5PM PST. Public Internet Voting will then determine the six finalists that advance to the video challenge round.

2. Voting Officially Ends Monday, July 21, 2008 at 5PM PST.

3. The six finalists of the FREE YOUR STORY Contest, chosen by Public Internet Voting, will be announced on the on Wednesday July 22, 2008.

5. The six finalists will then have three weeks to each make a 5-7 minute video about activity and movement using the Toyota Matrix object. Their final video deadline is August 12, 2008 at 5PM PST. The six videos will be posted on on August 13, 2008.

6. The FREE YOUR STORY jury will determine the winner by September 1, 2008. The winner will be featured on and screened at a TBA outdoor screening in early Fall 2008.

The Jury:
Sapana Sakya is Media Fund Director at the Center for Asian American Media where she manages CPB funding initiatives and supports independent filmmakers. Sapana’s background is in independent documentary and journalism. She produced and directed, “Daughters of Everest”, an award winning film about the first Nepali women’s Everest expedition. Her other works include “Oklahoma Home”, about two Filipino doctors living and working in rural Oklahoma, part of the series, “Searching for Asian America”. She also produced and directed, “Red White Blue November” a portrait of a Hmong American family from Fresno, California.

Ellen Park is the Media Fund Associate for CAAM. She was born in Chicago, and lived in South Dakota and Ohio before moving to New Jersey, prompting her to wonder ever afterwards “why oh why oh why oh did I ever leave Ohio?” After attending Smith College in Massachusetts and living in New York, Ellen moved to San Francisco where she worked as a bartender, music promoter, and rape crisis counselor with SFWAR, a non-profit sexual assault advocacy group, before joining CAAM. In her spare time, Ellen suspects (hopes) she might be the 5th Cylon and ponders over whatever happened to Dale Cooper and Bob.

Christine Kwon is Program and Publications Manager at the Center for Asian American Media. Born in San Francisco, Christine grew up in Fremont and attended Gomes Elementary where she majored in tetherball and foursquare. Christine also studied literature and film at UC San Diego and the University of KwaZulu-Natal. The youngest of four, Christine is also the shortest in her family, a lifelong motif that many speculate led to her famous tagline, “I get no respect.” After trying her hand as a futbol player, a reporter and finally a barista, Christine was inspired by many friends and teachers to pursue positive political work through the arts.

Stephen Gong is the Executive Director of the Center for Asian American Media. Stephen joined CAAM after working for 18 years at the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, most recently as Deputy Director. Previously, he held positions at the National Endowment for the Arts in Washington, D.C. He has been a lecturer in the Asian American Studies program at UC Berkeley, where he developed and taught a course on the history of Asian American media.

Sonjia Hyon is the festival director of the Asian American International Film Festival and manages the “Archives Project” at Asian CineVision. She is a Ph.d. candidate at the University of Minnesota in American studies, and is an adjunct instructor in Asian American studies at Hunter College.

video gallery under the CAAM Channel to see all of the talented finalists!" />