This past year has felt like a turning point in many ways, that pivotal scene in which there is clear action and the future comes into focus. Both for the world at large and for us here at the Center for Asian American Media, we are getting a glimpse of how to navigate the world again, and it’s a world more complex than it was even a few years ago. As 2022 draws to an end, we’re reflecting on our work and how we’re carrying on our legacy of uplifting Asian American stories in a changing landscape. Please join us in looking back at our achievements over the past 12 months.
Keep reading to learn more details about the main pillars of our efforts this year…
Rededicating to Storytelling
After two years of seeing each other mostly through screens, we welcomed filmmakers and audiences in theaters for our 40th anniversary CAAMFest, the first festival led by our new Festival and Exhibitions Director Thúy Trần. Then in June, CAAM staff traveled to Detroit for the Vincent Chin 40th Remembrance and Rededication and the first Midwest Asian American Documentary Filmmakers Convening. These events were not just opportunities to meet in person, but represent the Center for Asian American Media’s commitment to our 40-plus year mission of shining light on the authentic and diverse stories of our community.
In addition to our Midwest convening, we partnered with PBS and Firelight Media to launch the Homegrown initiative, mentoring eight BIPOC filmmakers in the heartland. And The Sauce Fellows—emerging directors based in the American South—premiered their series of short documentaries online through WORLD Channel, illuminating experiences as diverse as growing up Mexican and Japanese in Texas or the never-ending hustle of a Pakistani immigrant entrepreneur. CAAM also continued our Fellowship program, pairing experienced mentors with three emerging storytellers, who had a chance to pitch their projects to national funders.
Centering Our Narratives
With more Asian American films and stories surfacing, we here at CAAM are bringing our work more sharply into focus: a wide spectrum of lived Asian American experiences, told by makers who know these communities. No matter the format, the story is key. Whether it’s through short digital series like Historian’s Take, podcasts such as Problematic Fave, or hour-long documentaries broadcast on public television like Rising Against Asian Hate and An Act of Worship, the common thread is the unflinching centering of the narratives that come from the real lives of Asians from all corners of the United States.
Engaging New Audiences
Even with four decades of experience, we’re continuing to reach out to and learn from younger and newer segments of our community. That might take the form of co-presenting screenings of buzz-worthy movies such as Everything Everywhere All at Once or trying out new forms of social media. With the guidance of the respected journalism think tank Poynter Institute, CAAM is expanding our online engagement, particularly in the short video formats most popular with Gen Z. Yes, we’re even on TikTok now.
We are grateful to our donors, members, and partners who support our mission of presenting Asian American stories to the broadest audience possible and hope to steward this vital work for future generations.
If you have the means, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution before December 31. Donate today and help bring Asian American stories to light.