University of Wisconsin–Madison

Madison’s Asian American Media Spotlight

Madison’s Asian American Media Spotlight is brought to you by the Asian American Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Although we have had many Asian American film series over the years as part of the Wisconsin Film Festival, this standalone festival was started in 2015 by Dr. Lori Kido Lopez and is now in its third year.  It 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.


Friday Oct. 13, 7pm at Elvehjem L140
Q&A with Director Robin Lung

Documentary filmmaker Robin Lung searches for the lost film KUKAN and the truth about the mysterious female figure, Li-Ling Ai, who may have been crucial to its production. As Lung finds out more about KUKAN, an Academy award winning documentary about World War II China from 1941, the significance of Li-Ling Ai’s role slowly becomes clear. Lung discovers the inspirational, intriguing story of a woman who made a mark on film history in a time of enormous prejudice against her gender and race.

Saturday Oct. 14, 7pm at Vilas 4070
While visiting to help his ill father, Jin (John Cho) begins a friendship with recent high school graduate Casey (Haley Lu Richardson), who works at the local library in Columbus, Indiana. As they explore the striking modernist architecture that fills the small town, Jin and Casey face their complicated feelings for their families and each other. This beautifully shot, absorbing story is director Kogandaʼs first feature.

Sunday Oct. 15, 7pm at The Marquee, Union South
Q&A with Director Jeff Chiba Stearns and Be the Match Bone Marrow Drive

This eye-opening documentary focuses on mixed race blood cancer patients who must consider their multiracial identities as they struggle to find bone marrow donors because of their complex genetics. Combining personal stories from patients and experts in the field with animated segments that provide context about his discoveries, director Jeff Chiba Stearns explores the important topic of how mixed ancestry can impact medical care.


Thanks to our sponsors, including The Anonymous Fund, Cinematheque, WUD Film Committee, the Asian American Student Union (AASU), and the Mixed Student Union (MSU).

For information about Madison’s 2015 Asian American Media Spotlight.

For more information, please contact:
Dr. Lori Kido Lopez
6134 Vilas Hall