CAAM is Supporting Four New Documentary Films in the Second Half of 2020

when they walk
Still from When They Walk. Image by Jason Dasilva.

Earlier this year, CAAM announced our support for 11 documentary films through our Media Fund and Documentaries for Social Change Fund programs. As part of our continuing mission to uplift authentic Asian American stories, CAAM is excited to support three projects through CAAM’s Media Fund from our Documentary Fund Open Call (February 2020 round) and one short documentary about three doctors fighting on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic. These projects have been selected for their commitment to telling under-told stories to the public. Support for these films has been made possible by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Bloodline directed/produced by Santhosh Daniel and James Q. Chan and produced by Tu David Phu

Stills from Bloodline. Image Credit: Santhosh Daniel.

An intimate profile of Vietnamese-American chef, Tu David Phu, and the evolution of his culinary aesthetic—borne from a bloodline that traces back through childhood and his family’s unspoken history of war, and set within a conversation of image-making and cultural bias, or how preferences for food often mirror our perceptions, and prejudices, of people. (Recipient of CAAM Documentary Fund.)

The Dawn Is Too Far directed/produced by Soumyaa Behrens and Persis Karim

the dawn is too far
Top: Still from The Dawn Is Too Far. Bottom Left: Persis Karim, Bottom Right: Soumyaa Behrens.

This 56-minute documentary explores the history, experiences, and impact of five waves of Iranian-American immigration to the Bay Area and the ways that they have forged a community in the long shadow cast by the tense relationship between the US and Iran since 1979. The Dawn Is Too Far sheds light on this complex Iranian diaspora community in Northern California, and speaks to the larger historical ruptures and personal traumas that have occluded a more nuanced and comprehensive story about Iranians in the United States. (Recipient of CAAM Documentary Fund.)

When They Walk directed/produced by Jason DaSilva and produced by Leigh DaSilva

when they walk
Top: Still from “When They Walk”, Bottom: Jason DaSilva

Filmmaker and activist Jason DaSilva asks the question “How accommodating and accessible is the United States and the world today?” The film shows the problem, and navigates through a proposed solution of mapping accessibility. His quest leads him throughout the urban landscapes of New York City to Paris to Mumbai and beyond. (Recipient of CAAM Documentary Fund.)

Pandemic19 directed/produced by Yung Chang and Annie Katsura Rollins

Top: Still from Pandemic19. Bottom Left: Yung Chang, Bottom Right: Annie Katsura Rollins

Pandemic19 is a short documentary film that captures the story of three doctors in the United States fighting COVID-19 from pre-to-post surge, told through their own reflective, humanizing voices, while the chaos of the pandemic permeates outside the frame of their video journals.