We were so pleased to screen these amazing short films from talented filmmakers. The audience was moved by each of the films that dealt with the labels that people foist on the ethnically ambiguous to the difficult relationship that is rooted in cultural differences between parents and children. If you have a chance to see any of these films which are doing the film festival circuit don’t miss the opportunity. We can’t wait to see what’s next for these filmmakers.-Heidi Durrow, Festival Founder
List of Short Films Screened at Mixed Remixed Festival 2015
In 1990, producer Dmae Roberts won a Peabody-award for her radio documentary, “Mei Mei, A Daughter’s Song.” It was the first bi-racial and Taiwanese-American radio documentary on public radio. 25 years later, she created a half-hour film using the audio documentary “Mei Mei” as the soundtrack.
Mixing live action, animated effects and archival footage, “Mei Mei” tells the story of Dmae and her mother as they travel to Taiwan together after a long absence.
As Chu-Yin Roberts’ story unfolds she reveals the abuse she experienced when she was sold into servitude at the age of two and her hardship growing up during World War Two. She talks about the female Buddha who saved her life. It soon becomes clear the tensions they experienced with each other had to do not only with the always-complicated mother/daughter relationship, but also the fact they were of different cultures yet intrinsically tied together because they were family.
This multimedia film is the 25th anniversary of the radio documentary that originally aired on NPR, BBC, CBC and ABC.
Dmae Roberts is a two-time Peabody winning radio art/writer whose work often airs on NPR. Her work is often autobiographical and cross-cultural and informed by her biracial identity. Her Peabody award-winning documentary Mei Mei, a Daughter’s Song is a harrowing account of her mother’s childhood in Taiwan during WWII. She recently adapted this radio documentary into a film. She won a second Peabody-award for her eight-hour Crossing East documentary, the first Asian American history series on public radio. She received the Dr. Suzanne Ahn Civil Rights and Social Justice award from the Asian American Journalists Association and was selected as a United States Artists (USA) Fellow. Her stage plays and essays have been published in Oregon Humanities magazine, But Still, Like Air I’ll Rise (Temple University Press), Reality Radio (UNC Press), Alexander Press and The Sun Magazine, Where Are You From? by The Thymos Group and Mothering in East Asian Communities book collection by Demeter Press. Roberts has been writing a personal column for the Asian Reporter and been hosting/producing Stage & Studio on KBOO FM. She is the executive producer of MediaRites Productions in Portland, Oregon.
Dmae Roberts on-line:
dir. Talon Gonzalez
Talon Gonzalez is an independent non-fiction film director from Big Sur, California. He is a recent graduate from Occidental College in Los Angeles, California. He also attended FAMU international film school in Prague, Czech Republic in 2012. His student films explore topics relating to ethnic and cultural identity. He was awarded Best Editing at the 2014 United Nations Associate Film Festival for his short film, Mestizo. Talon is also a creative media director for the tech start-up, Student IDeals.
Check out what some of the panelists (comedians Tehran, Sunda Croonquist, Alex Barnett, and novelist Mat Johnson) from our wonderful panel What’s So Funny About Being Mixed? had to say on stage as well as off! What do you think? – Heidi Durrow
This panel was a favorite of many. We laughed a lot but a lot of wonderful truths were told. We will have video to share soon. But in the meantime, what did you like most about this panel?-Heidi Durrow
What’s So Funny About Being Mixed?
One of the hottest entertainers in Hollywood, Tehran Von Ghasri, better known as simply Tehran is an international comedian, host, TV and radio personality. Born to an Iranian father and African-American mother, Tehran is rare in every sense of the word. With undergrad degrees in International Politics and Communications, a Masters in Economics, and a Law Degree his humor is made up of unique life experience, intriguing cultural perspective, academic intelligence, and pure charm. As seen on Shahs of Sunset, Summer Break, hosting Take Part Live you can see Tehran live Mondays and Thursdays 10PM at The World Famous Laugh Factory on Sunset or hear him weekly on Imperfect Gentlemen.
Alex Barnett’s comedy is about family, specifically his family. As the White, Jewish husband of a Black woman (who converted to Judaism) and the father of a 3 year-old, Biracial son, he focuses his attention on the challenges of being a parent in a bad economy and the issues that confront interracial families (including the dynamics between members of the same family who are of different races). Alex has been seen on the Katie Couric Show and the PIX 11 Morning Show, been featured on Sirius/XM Radio’s “Raw Dog Comedy,” NBC’s EVB Live, RT TV America and NYC-TV and in The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post, and CNN.com.
Mat Johnson is the author of the novels Loving Day, Pym, Drop, and Hunting in Harlem, the nonfiction novella The Great Negro Plot, and the comic books Incognegro and Dark Rain. He is a recipient of the United States Artist James Baldwin Fellowship, The Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection, and the John Dos Passos Prize for Literature. Mat Johnson is a faculty member at the University of Houston Creative Writing Program.
Comedian, talk show host, wife and mother of two Sunda Croonquist is the host of JLTV’s “James and Sunda” show and is the author of the Kosher Soul cookbook hitting shelves April 2015. Sunda can be seen every Saturday night at the world famous Laugh Factory in Hollywood hosting “All Star Comedy.” Credits include The View, Comedy Central, E! and many others. Sunda is also the chair person of Gilda’s Clubs annual event the “Laugh-Off,” that is a event to bring awareness to Gilda’s Club of Northern New Jersey which is a cancer support group for men, women and children who are living with cancer that was created by the late Gilda Radner of SNL fame. She is also the owner and director of the LA School of Comedy in Westwood.
Okay, I try to stay current but I missed the boat on this great talent. Check out Matt “Maestro” Gamin, a spoken word poet, originally from the Bay Area but who now makes his home in LA. He’s now a member of the prestigious Vibrationists writing group, and has been on national television on Lexus Verses and Flow. I love this piece here “Mixed Kids Cope Different”. It’s powerful and wonderful and I’m so glad he’s added his voice to the mix. HT to Michele Beller for the intro.–Heidi Durrow, Festival Founder