This Is My Home Now documents the lives of four Montagnard youths whose families have come to American in the past decade from Asia. They live in two worlds—that of their parents and grandparents, who lived in the highlands of Viet Nam but fled from government persecution for their Christian religion and desire for autonomy—and one of constant learning and adaptation to be Americans in North Carolina.
The half hour program also explores how Montagnards (a French colonial reference to “mountain people”) allied with U.S. Army Special Forces in the 1960’s and their coming to the safety of America starting in the 1980’s and continuing until recently. The transition is seen through the challenging lives of the families of the four teens, and viewers learn there are more Montagnards in North Carolina than anywhere outside of Asia, an estimated population nearing 20,000.
Questions of self-identity, concerns about losing their cultural heritage, the role faith plays in forging ahead on a new life, and the remarkable kindness and support of those who are helping these new Americans to succeed make for a compelling story whose ending is still to be created.
The film premieres April 18, 2015 at the Greensboro Historical Museum. The documentary will air April 28, 2015 at 11 p.m. on UNC-TV in North Carolina and nationally on public TV in May. Check local listings.
Mariah Dunn Kramer is an instructor in Film Studies at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, and an independent documentary filmmaker. She has received multiple awards for her work, which has been screened in over twenty festivals including the Portland Oregon Women’s Film Festival, Cucalorus Film Festival, and the Bend Film Festival. Kramer’s graduate thesis film, The Healing Power of Art, won both the Audience Choice Award at the BolderLife Film Festival in Denver. It also won a Royal Reel Award from the Canada International Film Festival. Mariah enjoys working on films that allow her to combine her interests in filmmaking and teaching, by involving the youth featured in her productions in the filmmaking process. For more information visit mariahdunn.com
Dean MacLeod is the curator of education at Greensboro Historical Museum, where he helps the community make meaningful connections with history. In 2013, he led the Smithsonian Affiliations’ Young Historians project, enabling underserved students to tell their stories through film. That lead to the museum’s role in producing This Is My Home Now in collaboration with the Center for Asian American Media, which is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Previously, he worked at the National Law Enforcement Museum, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, as a high school social studies teacher, and an English for Speakers of Other Languages instructor in Europe.
Carol Ghiorsi Hart is the director of the Greensboro Historical Museum, and has been in North Carolina for three years. Prior to that, she lived in New York where she was the executive director of the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum and Planetarium and the executive director of the Smithtown Historical Society. Carol has been a museum curator, educator and adjunct professor of anthropology.
The Greensboro Historical Museum commemorates Greensboro’s local culture and the city’s prominent place in American history. A division within the Greensboro Public Library, the museum operates through a partnership with the City of Greensboro and the Greensboro Historical Museum, Inc. http://greensborohistory.org.
David Hosley has been a content creator for a half century, starting as a teenaged journalist in rural California and including leadership positions at radio and television stations in Miami, San Francisco and Sacramento. In the public media, he has been the executive in charge of more than a dozen documentaries on the immigration of ethnic groups to America, many of which have been distributed in collaboration with the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM). Dr. Hosley has taught broadcast news at the University of Florida, Florida International University and Stanford University. He is currently co-executive producer of Changing Season on the Masumoto Family Farm, a story of family farm succession during the uncertainty of a four-year drought, which CAAM will be presenting on PBS next year.
The Center for Asian American Media (CAAM) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to presenting stories that convey the richness and diversity of Asian American experiences to the broadest audience possible. CAAM does this by funding, producing, distributing and exhibiting works in film, television and digital media. For more information on CAAM, please visit www.caamedia.org.
IN THE NEWS
“People of the Mountain” – O.Henry Magazine
“This is My Home Now” – WUNC public radio
Please contact momo[at]caamedia.org with any questions.