2016 Madison’s Asian American Media Spotlight

Friday, October 7th – Sunday, October 9th

This event was inspired by the knowledge that media play an important role in initiating dialogue and educating audiences about issues in the Asian American community and what it means to be Asian American.The long history of Asian American media production has always been rooted in the desire to empower Asian American communities through storytelling and give voice to those who have been marginalized.These goals are particularly important in Wisconsin, where Asian Americans are a small minority, and where there is no sustained venue for viewing Asian American media. In providing opportunities to screen both contemporary and historical Asian American media, as well as discussions about the films, this event seeks to educate, inform, and inspire through engagements with images of Asian America.


BAD RAP, Q&A with Producer Jaeki Cho | Friday Oct. 7, 7pm at Elvehjem L140

This documentary follows the careers of four Asian American rappers, who must literally and figuratively battle for a space in a hip hop culture that fails to acknowledge their existence. From the fierce rhymes of crowd favoriteDumbfoundeadto the tongue-in-cheek songs ofAwkwafina, the unapologetic visuals of Rekstizzyto the conflicted values of Lyricks, the film paints a memorable portrait of artistic passion in the face of an unsung struggle.

TYRUS, Q&A with Director Pamela Tom | Saturday Oct. 8, 2pm at Vilas 4070

Following the story of 104-year old Tyrus Wong, this documentary reveals the epic achievements of the Chinese American painter whose watercolors provided the inspiration for Disney’s animated feature BAMBI.The film spans from Wong’s early life as a Chinese immigrant to his professional career as one of the first Asian Americans to work in Hollywood, all the while battling anti-Asian racism through his magnificent works of art.

MELE MURALS, Q&A with Director Tad Nakamura | Saturday Oct. 8, 7pm at Vilas 4070

This documentary by Tad Nakamura tells the story of Native Hawaiian youth who are combining indigenous forms of spirituality with the contemporary art of graffiti in order to build community in Waimea, HI. Their unique blend of hip-hop culture and ancient traditions has a transformative effect on two artists who must embark on their own spiritual journey toward becoming mentors, educators, and leaders.

PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF LOVE, Q&A with Producer Yizhou Xu | Sunday Oct. 9, 2pm at Elvehjem L140

Produced by University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate student Yizhou Xu, this documentary examines the cultural, economic, and political implications of contemporary love in China. Some of the stories include a school for becoming the perfect wife, dating shows on television, businesses that specialize in matchmaking, and the struggles of lesbian and gay couples. The film traces the complex shifts in the role of romance, marriage, and partnership alongside many of the other large-scale changes that the country is undergoing.

Thanks to our sponsors, including Cinematheque, The Anonymous Fund, and the Asian American Student Union