OFF THE MENU: ASIAN AMERICA
What exactly does food reflect about Asian Pacific Americans? Off the Menu: Asian America grapples with how family, tradition, faith, and geography shape our relationship to food. The program takes audiences on a journey from Texas to New York and from Wisconsin to Hawaii using our obsession with food as a launching point to delve into a wealth of stories, traditions, and unexpected characters that help nourish this nation of immigrants.
Off the Menu is a roadtrip into the kitchens, factories, temples and farms of Asian Pacific America that explores how our relationship to food reflects our evolving community. The feature documentary is a one-hour PBS primetime special by award-winning filmmaker Grace Lee (American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs) co-produced by the Center for Asian American Media and KQED, with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
GRACE LEE (Director)
Grace Lee directed the documentary American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs, which The Hollywood Reporter called ”an entertainingly revealing portrait of the power of a single individual to effect change.” The film premiered at the 2013 Los Angeles Film Festival where it won its first of six festival audience awards before its broadcast on the PBS series POV. Her previous documentary The Grace Lee Project won multiple awards, broadcast on Sundance Channel and was called “ridiculously entertaining” by New York Magazine and “ a funny but complex meditation on identity and cultural expectation,” by Variety.
Other directing credits include the feature film Janeane From Des Moines, which premiered at the 2012 Toronto Film Festival as well as American Zombie, which premiered at Slamdance and is distributed by Cinema Libre. Grace received her MFA in Film Directing from UCLA Film School where her short film Barrier Device, starring Sandra Oh, won a Student Academy Award. Grace returns to her alma mater and other universities frequently as a guest speaker and lecturer. She has served on many panels including the Independent Spirit Awards, POV’s EdComm and the International Documentary Association. Most recently, she produced and directed two documentaries for PBS’ Makers: Women in Politics and Off the Menu: Asian America. She lives in Los Angeles.
EURIE CHUNG (Producer)
While pursuing a graduate degree at UCLA in Asian American Studies, Eurie Chung fell into community filmmaking, directing & editing “Metro es Para Todos: Hee Pok ‘Grandma’ Kim and the Bus Riders Union,” a documentary short profiling an elderly Korean immigrant activist, for her master’s thesis. She has continued working on independent documentaries such as Life on Four Strings: The Jake Shimabukuro Story (Dir. Tad Nakamura) and American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs (Dir. Grace Lee) as well as working on studio and commercial projects for ABC/Disney, Warner Bros., and HGTV.
TINA NGUYEN (Editor)
Tina Nguyen is a documentary editor based in Los Angeles. She worked on the feature documentary Fed Up, which premiered at Sundance and was released theatrically in 2014. She edited and co-produced Seeking Asian Female (Dir. Debbie Lum), which premiered at SXSW in 2012 and was broadcast by PBS as part of the “Independent Lens” showcase in May 2013. Her additional credits include the feature documentaries Holy Wars and Bilalian, which won awards while on the festival circuit, and the upcoming films Breathin’: The Eddy Zheng Story and Out Run.
QUYEN TRAN (Director of Photography)
Quyen Tran is an award winning cinematographer based in Los Angeles. Beginning her career as a stills photographer, her work has been published in numerous magazines and newspapers including the New York Times, USA Today, and Scientific American. A graduate of UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television, her films have screened at Telluride, Sundance, Tribeca, Festroia and Toronto. Her most recent short, Smilf, won best U.S. Fiction Short at Sundance 2015. Off the Menu is her second collaboration with director Grace Lee, first partnering together on American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs.
CEIRI TORJUSSEN (Composer)
Multi-award winning composer Ceiri Torjussen’s music was described by the Los Angeles Times as “a sudden bolt of creative lightning.” Welsh-born but based in Los Angeles, his credits run the gamut of independent films, documentaries, network TV, animation and large-budget studio films. Recent projects include The Canal, premiering at Tribeca 2014, and Big Ass Spider. He composed additional music for Repo Man, Live Free or Die and Underworld Evolution. An accomplished composer of concert music, he has been commissioned by groups such as the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, The Vale of Glamorgan Festival and the Henry Mancini Institute. His work has been recorded and released commercially and performed worldwide, including the USA, UK, Germany, France and India.