Thanks to the invaluable guidance and funding we received through Hindsight, my colleagues and I made films that present a more nuanced understanding of the lived experiences of communities of color in the American South and Puerto Rico.
I was first introduced to CAAM in 2017 when I met Stephen Gong and Sapana Sakya at the New Orleans Film Festival, where they told me about Diverse South, CAAM’s initiative that deepens their support of historically underrecognized Asian American filmmakers in the American South. In 2018, CAAM invited me to its convening, Beyond Borders: Diverse Voices of the American South, in North Carolina. This experience changed my life. I will never forget walking into the first session at UNC-TV and seeing dozens of Asian American filmmakers, and feeling overcome with a sense of belonging I had never felt before. Many of the filmmakers I met there for the first time have become close friends and colleagues who continue to inspire me deeply.
In 2019 CAAM supported me with a much needed research and development grant for my film Within, Within. The film is a reimagining of my grandmother’s experience in post-war Japan when she was pregnant with my mother—who in turn carried the seed of myself, within, within.The grant from CAAM made it possible for me to travel to Japan, interview family members, and film my ancestral home.
When the pandemic began, I was a thriving artist with multiple film and theater projects in full swing, but as a mother of two small children, my life changed dramatically. I found myself consumed by virtual learning, childcare, and losing my identity as an artist.
CAAM encouraged me to submit an idea for Hindsight, and I immediately knew that I wanted to document and make visible the experiences of being a mother during COVID-19. I am so grateful to CAAM for the opportunity to make my film We Stay in the House, an intimate portrait of four New Orleans mothers, including myself, as we struggle to care for our families and ourselves during COVID-19.
CAAM has been so instrumental in my growth as a filmmaker throughout the years—providing me with a sense of community I’ve never had before and the resources needed to make the kinds of films I’ve always wanted to make.
We need organizations like CAAM that are committed to nurturing filmmakers and uplifting communities. You can help Asian American filmmakers tell our stories and lived experiences by donating to CAAM and helping amplify the work of filmmakers like me.
2021 Hindsight filmmaker