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Exclusive: A-Doc Announces 2024 Microdocs Series Selection and Impact Fellows

By IDA Editorial Staff

A grid of smiling headshots on a red and pink background.

Courtesy of A-Doc

The Asian American Documentary Network, colloquially known as A-Doc, announces nine participants across two funding initiatives: the Our Stories, Our Voices Microdocs series, and the inaugural Impact Fellowship.

The third A-Doc-produced microdocs series, Our Stories, Our Voices, will consist of six 2-minute short documentaries on the 2024 U.S. elections and civic engagement. According to a press release, selected filmmakers will receive $3,000 in production funding plus another $750 in “impact support to create and conduct an impact campaign leading up to November, in partnership with APIAVote and other organizations.” Previous A-Doc Storytelling Initiative microdocs series were themed around Covid-19 and resilience.

“Aligned with A-Doc’s mission to uplift filmmakers, the Storytelling Initiative is designed to foster support, alliances, knowledge sharing, and community building to nurture a vibrant and inclusive filmmaking ecosystem,” says Supervising Producer Anuradha Rana.

The 2024 series is supported by Rana, Pallavi Somusetty, and Lily Qi, in addition to impact strategic support from Kitty Hu. Selected filmmakers will also receive mentorship from veteran producers Sergio M. Rapu (TPT/Twin Cities PBS) and Jessica Q. Chen (Surf Nation). Projects were selected through a three-step review process involving filmmakers and programmers from A-Doc.

Three films of the series will premiere as part of a shorts program on May 12 at 2024 CAAMFest, and the other three films will be featured at the festival’s Filmmaker Summit on May 11.

A-Doc also continues impact-focused storytelling support through the inaugural Impact Fellowship, which grew out of the 2023 Impact Speaker Series. The three fellows, previously announced on social media, were selected from a pool of 112 applicants and received a $20,000 grant toward the implementation of their impact project plus a year-long fellowship program.

“We hope that the A-Doc Impact Fellowship can continue to push the conversation of reimagining and redefining what impact can look like through a lens of cultural strategy, political education and the various ways documentary film and storytelling can inspire change,” says Project Coordinator Ash Goh Hua, who co-leads A-Doc’s Impact Initiative with PJ Raval and Gerry Leonard.

A-Doc was established at Getting Real 2016, and has since blossomed into a robust network of locally organized meetups, knowledge-sharing, peer networking, and artist development activities, including the Storytelling Initiative. 

Read more below for information about selected filmmakers and their projects.


Our Stories, Our Voices Series

Desi Mom (Dir. Chithra Jeyaram)
An apolitical mom, Lakshmi, urges South Asians to shape their children’s and local future. 

Ohio is in the Heart (Dir. Sonia Desai Rayka)
A mother and daughter in Ohio reflect on their Filipino roots, which propel their advocacy for a more inclusive K-12 social studies curriculum.

Uncommitted (Dir. Aisha Sultan)
A young, first-time voter struggles with her election choices and seeks guidance from a community elder.  

The Fight Continues (Dir. Eden Sabolboro)
After losing the 2022 state representative election in Michigan’s 57th district by a narrow margin, Aisha Farooqi, a first-generation Pakistani-American lawyer, embarks on a renewed campaign for the same seat in the 2024 elections.

Votes For Verona (Dir. Joseph Duque)
Verona Sagato-Mauga, a first-generation American business owner in Salt Lake County, Utah, campaigns to become the first Samoan to win a state legislative seat in the continental United States.

Apathy Is Not An Option (Dir. Mia Barnett)
During the annual pilgrimage to a site where thousands of Japanese Americans were incarcerated during World War II, two seasoned community activists talk to voters about the 2024 election. 

Impact Fellowship

Jiefei (Faye) Yuan
Born in Shanghai and raised in the American Midwest, J. Faye Yuan is a New York-based curator, producer, and documentary editor. Her work explores socially relevant issues related to historical memory, diaspora identity, and climate activism. In addition to filmmaking, she is a curator for the Queens Memory Project – a community-led archiving program supported by Queens Public Library and Queens College – and the host of its multi-lingual podcast about Asian immigrant communities in Queens, NY.

Impact Project: Memories of Water is a neighborhood oral history and podcast initiative that simultaneously convenes two climate discussion groups. It aims to reimagine a future in which our neighbors can thrive in the face of a changing climate. Northeast and southeast Queens have some of the most flooded blocks in New York City, where Asian immigrant families face severe risk of climate displacement. To stay or go? For some Flushing and Hollis residents, the options are currently limited. 

Tanzila Ahmed
Tanzila (Taz) Ahmed is a political strategist, storyteller, and artist based in Los Angeles. She creates at the intersection of counternarratives and culture-shifting as a South Asian American Muslim 2nd-gen woman. 

Impact Project: The LA South Asian Radical History Map and Driving Tour maps the radical history of South Asian Americans in Los Angeles. From the Ghadar Party’s revolutionary roots in Southern California that led to the overthrow of the British in India to the first South Asian Congressman representing the Imperial Valley to contemporary actions of South Asian American resistance in recent acts of islamophobia, the narratives of South Asians in Los Angeles are rich with radical history. When complete, this Driving Tour will allow explorers to drive across Southern California and listen to echoes of history left behind at that location.

Vivian Chang
Vivian Chang is the Executive Director of Asian Americans United, where she builds AAPI power and youth leadership to challenge oppression. She previously worked in labor organizing and direct voter outreach, organizing multiracial coalitions in battleground states. She holds an MPA from Princeton University and a B.S. in Biological Physics and B.A. in Hispanic Studies from Carnegie Mellon University. She is a Midwesterner daughter of Taiwanese immigrants and lives in Philadelphia. 

Impact Project: No Arena in the Heart of Our City will train community members on nonfiction storytelling to create three-dimensional experiences with marginalized stories. Philadelphia’s Chinatown is under threat from predatory development: a basketball arena proposed six inches away and pushed by billionaires. This arena, called 76Place, threatens a dynamic, 150-year-old community and the last working class community of color in downtown Philly. This movement builds up solidarity with other communities experiencing displacement. We will integrate stories into the built environment of Chinatown, creating more opportunities for general audiences to encounter these narratives.