Short Film Program
June 13, 2015 10am-10:50am with Filmmaker Q&A
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: