For Asian Pacific American Heritage Month in May, you can watch a range of Asian American stories right on your local PBS TV station, including premieres of new CAAM-funded documentaries Donut King and Hamtramck, U.S.A., as well as encore presentations. Here’s look at some of the highlights:
The Donut King
Series: Independent Lens
Premiere Date: May 24, 2021
Ted’s story is one of fate, love, survival, hard knocks, and redemption. It’s the rags to riches story of a refugee escaping Cambodia, arriving in America in 1975 and building an unlikely multi-million-dollar empire baking America’s favorite pastry, the donut. Ted sponsored hundreds of visas for incoming refugees and helped them get on their feet teaching them the ways of the donut business. By 1979 he was living the American Dream. But, in life, great rise can come with great falls.
Series: America ReFramed
Premiere: May 25, 2021
Once a city that was 90% Polish, Hamtramck became the first Muslim majority city in America. Now, this new wave of immigrants aims to gain representation in city hall. Hamtramck, USA follows Kamal Rahman, a Bangladeshi candidate for Mayor, Fadel al-Marsoumi, a 23 year old Iraqi immigrant running for City Council, as well as the current mayor, Karen Majewski, Hamtramck’s first female mayor in the city’s 100 year lineage of Polish mayors. Throughout the election, candidates look to build support, coalitions, and partnerships across ethnic and religious lines. Weaved into the election season, the film showcases the vibrant life, celebrations, and culture of those who call this city home. At the end of the election, regardless of who ultimately wins, Hamtramck will need to come together, with a new identity or the remaining fragments of the past, to face the many challenges ahead.
Encore Presentations of CAAM-funded Films
PBS (check your local listings)
Asian Americans is a five-hour film series that delivers a bold, fresh perspective on a history that matters today, more than ever. As America becomes more diverse, and more divided, while facing unimaginable challenges, how do we move forward together? Told through intimate and personal lives, the series will cast a new lens on U.S. history and the ongoing role that Asian Americans have played in shaping the nation’s story.
May 18 at 8 p.m.
FIRST VOTE is a rare long-form look at Asian American passions on both sides of the political divide in election battleground states Ohio and North Carolina.The film crafts an insightful look at the power and diversity of the Asian American electorate, the fastest growing eligible voters in the United States, and explores the intersection of immigration, voting rights and racial justice.
Other Asian Americans films on public television for APAHM
Far East Deep South
May 4 at 5 p.m.
Far East Deep South details the emotional story of a family as they rediscover their deep roots in America. Follow the Chiu family on their journey to the Mississippi Delta, where they uncover the forgotten history of Chinese Americans in the South and their complicated relationship with their adopted homeland.
Times listed are for EDT and PDT. Please check your local PBS station to confirm broadcast times in your area.
Keep watching this space as we will update it with additional broadcasts as information becomes available!