2019 CAAM Fellowship Mentors

MRIDU CHANDRA is the Director of IF/Then, a new initiative developed by Tribeca Film Institute to stimulate the production and multi-platform distribution of short form documentary storytelling. She is a veteran producer of award-winning documentaries that explore topics of civil rights and peace, gender and sexuality, environmental justice, and the law. These films have premiered at Sundance and SXSW, aired on PBS and HBO, screened for members of the U.S. Congress and the United Nations, and showcased at museums and film festivals worldwide. An alumna of the CPB/WGBH Producers Academy and the TFI’s All Access Program, credits include producing Ask the Sexpert (Hot Docs 2017), Out In The Night (LAFF/POV) and The Canal Street Madam (SXSW); and co-producing Brother Outsider (Sundance/ POV), This Changes Everything (TIFF), A Good Job: Stories of the FDNY (HBO), and Electoral Dysfunction (WTTW/PBS). She mentors emerging and diverse filmmakers worldwide and has taught documentary research, development, and rights clearance courses at The New School, NYU’s School of Continuing Studies, and at The New York Film Academy.

KARIN CHIEN is a producer, educator and distributor committed to championing independent voices. Karin is the recipient of the inaugural Cinereach Producers Award, the Independent Spirit Producer’s Award and the producer of ten independent feature-length films, including STONES IN THE SUN (2012), JACK AND DIANE (2012), CIRCUMSTANCE (2011), THE EXPLODING GIRL (2009), BEYOND OUR DIFFERENCES (2008), THE MOTEL (2005) and ROBOT STORIES (2002). Her films have won over 100 festival awards, premiered at the Sundance and Berlin Film Festivals, been nominated for four Independent Spirit Awards and received distribution in over 20 countries. Karin is the founder/president of dGenerate Films, the leading distributor of independent cinema from mainland China. Karin is the co-creator of the Cinema on the Edge screening series, celebrating the best of contemporary Chinese cinema.  Karin is the co-founder of i love 2, a boutique production company specializing in socially conscious, short-format content. Karin is the creator of the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM) Fellowship, a mentoring program for Asian American media professionals. Karin has consulted for the Sundance Institute, The New York Times, Film Independent, Independent Television Service (ITVS), and Cinereach.

S. LEO CHIANG is a documentarian based in Taipei and San Francisco. His Emmy-nominated film, A Village Called Versailles, picked up eight film festival awards and aired on PBS’ Independent Lens series. Out Run, his recently completed film, received support from ITVS, Sundance, and Tribeca. His other films include CAAM-commissioned Mr. Cao Goes to Washington (Inspiration Award, Full Frame 2012) and To You Sweetheart, Aloha (PBS broadcast 2006).  He is a co-founder of the Asian American Documentary Network (A-Doc) and previously the co-chair of New Day Films, the social-issue documentary distribution co-operative. Leo is a consulting producer for CNEX, the Chinese documentary foundation, and a Documentary branch member of the Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences.

MONIKA NAVARRO recently joined TFI as Senior Director of Programs. Navarro comes to TFI from ITVS, where she managed multiple content and funding initiatives, helmed a development portfolio and acted as consulting producer on a variety of projects, including: Las Sandinistas (SXSW 2018), and Councilwoman (America Reframed). She has previously directed the documentary film Lost Souls (Animas Perdidas), which premiered on PBS’ long-standing ‘Independent Lens’ strand, and has also produced content for World Channel, American Documentary, and the Peabody Award-winning PBS series Latino Americans. She is a member of the Brown Girls Doc Mafia, National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP), and an advisory board member for Firelight Media. She has served as a mentor for CAAM, Points North Institute, Big Sky Native Filmmaker Initiative and the 4th World Media Lab. Monika oversees all of TFI’s documentary, scripted, education and interactive programming initiatives.



Uber-Mentor “Godmother” JEAN TSIEN

Born in Taiwan and based in New York, Jean Tsien has been working in documentary for 35 years as an editor, producer, and consultant. Her credits include: the 2001 Academy Award nominee, Scottsboro: An American Tragedy; three Peabody Award-winning films: Malcolm X: Make It PlainTravis and Solar MamasSomething Within MeDixie Chicks: Shut Up & Sing and Miss Sharon Jones! which were all shortlisted for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.

Tsien was executive producer and editor for The Road to Fame, Please Remember Me, and Plastic China, winner of the 54th Golden Horse Award for Best Editing. She also executive produced People’s Republic of Desire, Grand Jury Award winner at the 2018 SXSW Film Festival; Daze of JusticeThe Storm Makers for POV/PBS; The Oslo Diaries (2018 Sundance Film Festival); and co-executive produced Call Her Ganda and Blowin’ Up, both premiered at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival.

Tsien consulted on many award-winning films such as: Censored Voices, Crime + Punishment, Dancing in Jaffa, Give Up Tomorrow, High Tech, Low Life, Hooligan Sparrow, Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold, Risk, Southwest of Salem, Still Tomorrow, The Unafraid, Tough Love, Wo Ai Ni Mommy, and the 2016 IDFA top Prize winner, Nowhere To Hide.

As a strong believer in mentorship and nurturing emerging talents, Tsien has served as an editing advisor at the Sundance Institute Edit and Story Lab, CNEX Chinese Documentary Forum, IFP Lab, Hot Docs Blue Ice Lab, Dare to Dream Asia, IDFAcademy, Chicken & Egg Accelerator Lab, Hot Docs Cross Currents Lab, and Camden/TFI workshop. Tsien has been invited as a juror and panelist to many film festivals around the world. She is a recipient of Mentor Award at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, and a member of American Cinema Editors, Rough Cut Service, and the Documentary branch of the Academy.