I am a graduate of the University of Florida with a B.S. in Telecommunication and a minor in History. In my four years at UF, I worked at the local PBS affiliate as a reporter for the television and radio stations, anchored live evening newscasts, interned for the Florida Historical Society’s weekly radio magazine, and studied abroad in Spain and Greece. While the production of live newscasts and field reporting was always thrilling, I realized my passion lies within longer-form storytelling, particularly documentary filmmaking. Through this medium, I believe I can combine my two greatest interests: visual storytelling and history. My focus will be on producing films that tell the stories of underrepresented people and issues in our society, particularly those of minority groups that have often been left out of the master narrative of our history.
A lover of history, art, and long walks on the beach, I come from the University of Arkansas where over the last few years I have experienced a lot of two out of those three things. While studying Broadcast Journalism and History, I’ve filled my time making short documentaries and commercials for Student Affairs at the university, making several personal docs (Abroad Horizon, 2012; Stuff About Stuff, 2013), and providing shooting, editing, and motion graphics work on a freelance basis to clients and filmmakers in the area (including the Bill Clinton narrated Up Among the Hills, 2012). An enthusiast in learning everything I can about everything, I’m a very visually minded person who loves technology, a challenge, and a good story. I’m interested in nature, culture, science, politics, and quirky people and hope to explore and experience lots of all of them through documentary as I continue to grow as a storyteller and a filmmaker.
I earned my undergraduate degree at Cal State Los Angeles in Television and Film Media Studies. My parents are Taiwanese, but most of my childhood was spent in Hong Kong, which exposed me to a multitude of different cultures. The first documentary I ever watched as a child was Ian Wright’s Lonely Planet series (now called Globe Trekker) which made me fall in love with the genre. While other kids watched cartoons, I watched documentaries on Discovery Channel and Nat Geo. Curiously though, the idea of pursuing documentary filmmaking as a career didn’t come to me until the fourth year of my undergraduate career. In classes, I noticed my penchant for speaking in front of large groups and wondered if it was possible to utilize it somehow. So I combined my love for creativity in films, with my talent and applied for documentary filmmaking. Thus, my ultimate career goal is to be the host or narrator of a documentary film/TV series. Also, being from Hong Kong, I can do a very convincing British accent.
I received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Media Studies at Texas A&M University. While at A&M, I worked for 12th Man Productions, a student-run production company that covered all A&M athletics. In the 2011-2012 season I was the head media producer for the A&M Women’s Soccer team. It was this experience that confirmed my dedication to filmmaking. After graduation I moved to San Antonio where I worked for a small production company, Lone Star Directions. At LSD I was an associate producer and editor for UTSA Football Insider and Spurs Insider (both aired on Fox Sports Southwest). After a year in San Antonio I decided to branch out from the world of sports and pursue another branch of filmmaking. Documentary film peaked my interest and I hope to make films that share the stories of people who would otherwise be unheard.
I received my Bachelor’s of Arts degree from Wake Forest where I majored in Communication with a concentration in Media Studies and double minored in Theatre and Entrepreneurship & Social Enterprise. During my senior year, I asked myself the very question that everyone was asking “What next, where to?” As a person with many interests, I had no idea how to build a career or a lifestyle based on my interests and talents. Luckily, I had the opportunity to enroll in classes taught by faculty who instilled in me that I had a gift for storytelling and the potential to take over the world (their words, not mine). Now that I look back on my undergraduate career, I realize that I focused my research on race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and ideas of beauty. This made me think about the kind of films I want to create. I want to produce films that encompass these various topics as it relates to the American woman and her station in an androcentric world as well as the minority woman and her place in a Eurocentric world.
I am a perennial student. My professional and academic life as a teacher of history, sociology and Spanish took me from North Carolina, to Texas, to Oklahoma and back. Fortunately, Asheville is my home now, where I have lived for twelve years. I earned a Ph.D. in modern Native American history, and my dissertation focused on the political activism of the Society of American Indians in the 1910s and the organization’s pursuit of U.S. citizenship for all Native peoples. History, for me, lives and breathes. It is not a corpse in need of an autopsy. Like a detective, I’m peering into files, nosing through archives, and shuffling about in the shadowy corners the historical record we have forgotten or have never learned. Documentary film allows me to investigate who controls the creation of how the “official” histories are created and proffered as “true.” I hope to pursue my fascination with documentary film in areas such as the Mexican-American War, the experience of the war correspondent and women’s political history. I am also intrigued by the works of the Spanish filmmaker Luis Buñuel, specifically his pseudo-documentary film, Las Hurdes: Tierra Sin Pan (1933).
I graduated from WFU with a double major in Studio Art & Religion. This did not exactly set me on a clear career path, so I wandered into various things- architecture, community development, real estate photography, and most recently restoring historic houses. In the meantime, my artistic instincts turned to music, and I have played in several bands over the last 10 years. I enjoy the recording process more than any other part of being a musician, and I became drawn to the editing process & how it influences good storytelling. I am drawn to documentary film as a medium for digesting history, social issues, and the struggles of disease, poverty, and politics. I am also interested in documenting the artistic process in its various forms- where does inspiration come from? Why do we create? How does struggle redefine an artist & their work?
I graduated from Western Carolina University with a B.A. in English, concentrating in Motion Picture Studies. I studied film production at Piedmont Community College, where I was able to fill various crew positions for several student films. At PCC I received hands-on training in every stage of production; at Western I focused on analyzing media, considering and discussing its cultural implications, and writing about it. My interest in documentary film comes from the ability of the medium to educate and galvanize people around the world. It is an optimal method of releasing mounds of information in an accessible way and encouraging viewers to think critically about what they’ve been presented. My objective is to broaden my understanding of media and culture, create films that are beneficial and informative, and work to support education in any possible way.
I graduated with a BA in Middle East Studies and Arabic from Brigham Young University in 2010. During undergrad, I spent several summers living in the Middle East as a student of religion, politics, and the Arabic language in Amman, Jordan and Israel. I also worked in Tel Aviv as a research assistant to a biographer, sparking my interest in strong characters as a focus of documentary storytelling. Since graduating, I’ve worked as a middle school teacher, grant writer for a microfinance institute, screener for a film festival, education researcher, and gelatier. The summer before beginning my studies with the DFP, I worked with Rain Media and PBS Frontline on the film Egypt in Crisis. As a filmmaker, I want to tell stories that encourage empathy in polarizing and complex social issues.