We’re seeking filmmakers, writers, bloggers, performers, scholars, and storytellers of every stripe who have stories to share about the Mixed and multiracial/multicultural experience. We’re also seeking panel presentation ideas and workshops. WE HAVE EXTENDED THE DEADLINE TO Feb. 14, 2016. There is no submission fee. Find out how to submit your work here.-Heidi Durrow, Festival FounderApply now as a Writer or Panelist Submit Your Short or Feature Film Apply to Lead a Workshop Apply to Perform
We were so lucky to screen, French Dirty, a feature film by brothers Wade and Jesse Allain-Marcus at the 2015 Mixed Remixed Festival this year just a couple days after its premiere in the Los Angeles Film Festival. The cast and crew were on hand for the well-received film and Wade gave us some insights in the Q&A immediately following the screening which was moderated by Terrell Tilford. Make sure you see this film! It’s getting great reviews and is making the festival circuit now! Here’s what folks are saying:
“[A]n East Hollywood walk-and-talk when it’s not a kind of performance art conversation piece . . . a film as fresh and weird as a day without a plan that takes you places you never imagined were there.” Los Angeles Daily News
“[T]he film speaks volumes about today’s 30 year olds and their social mores, specifically in balancing the equation between friendship and love.” Indiewire/Shadow & Act
Without a doubt, the Featured Writers who read at the Mixed Remixed Festival 2015 were the most captivating bunch ever! We have video of the program and will share that as soon as we can. But in the meantime, you tell us: what did you think? Were you one of the folks who started to weep? I’m happy to report that the official unofficial word is that we will definitely have Jamie Ford back again for 2016. Yes, it’s (almost officially) true! –Heidi Durrow, Festival Founder
List of Featured Writers at Mixed Remixed Festival 2015
Jamie Ford is an American writer of two internationally best-selling books. Ford is best known for his debut novel, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. The book received positive reviews after its release, and was also awarded best “Adult Fiction” book at the 2010 Asian/Pacific American Awards for Literature. The book was also named the #1 Book Club Pick for Fall 2009/Winter 2010 by the American Booksellers Association. In 2013, he released his second book, Songs of Willow Frost.
His stories have also been included in Secret Identities: The Asian American Superhero Anthology, and The End is Nigh, part of the The Apocalypse Triptych, a series of three anthologies of apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction, edited by John Joseph Adams and Hugh Howey.
He is the author of the novels 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.
Marie was born and raised in California to a Japanese mother and American father, and graduated from Columbia University with a degree in East Asian Languages and Civilizations. Her first novel,Picking Bones from Ash, was shortlisted for the Saroyan International Prize for Writing, and a finalist for the Paterson Prize. She has written for The New York Times, Salon, National Geographic, Glamour, and other publications and has been a guest on Talk of the Nation and All Things Considered on NPR.
In 2013, Marie was awarded a Fellowship by the NEA and Japan US Friendship Commission, which enabled her to live in Japan. While there, she was featured in the NHK (Japanese National Broadcasting) Documentary, Venerating the Departed, which was broadcast internationally several times.
Michelle Brittan has had poems published in Calyx, Crab Creek Review,The Grove Review, The Los Angeles Review, Nimrod, Pilgrimage, and Poet Lore, and in the anthology, Time You Let Me In: 25 Poets Under 25. In 2011, she earned an MFA in Creative Writing at California State University, Fresno, where she won an Academy of American Poets Prize. Born in San Francisco, Michelle now lives in Long Beach and is a doctoral fellow in University of Southern California’s PhD program in Creative Writing & Literature.
S. Bryan Medina
A former student of California’s Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera, his poetry has graced stages in the Bay Area, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Kansas City. He founded the Inner Ear as a way to free poetry from the confines of academic institutions, making it accessible to all. Bryan has been awarded two City of Fresno Commendations for contributions to Fresno’s rich artistic and cultural heritage and has been featured as one of the four “Fresno Poets” from writer Nick Belardes’s Distinguished Valley Writers series as well as appeared in journals such as Poetry, Flies, Cockroaches, and Poets, In The Gove, The San Joaquin Review, Jubilee, and Invisible Memoirs and was an Honorable Mention in the ‘06 Larry Levis Poetry Prize. He is a recent graduate of Fresno Pacific University and plans to teach Special Education.
The Mixed Remixed Festival 2015 included two very powerful panels about transracial adoption. Transracial Adoption: Parents and Adoptees in Conversation featured a wide diversity of experiences of both adoptive parents and adult adoptees. Festival favorite Santana Dempsey served as our moderator. We weren’t able to get video of this panel unfortunately, but we got some great photos and made great connections with true advocates and leaders in this community that is very much part of our community.
Transracial Adoption: Parents and Adoptees in Conversation
Jillian is the author of the memoir, EVERYTHING YOU EVER WANTED the New York Timesbestselling memoir,SOME GIRLS: My Life in a Harem, and the novel PRETTY, all from Plume/Penguin. Jillian has an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University. Her writing has appeared in The Paris Review, The New York Times, Vanity Fair, Los Angeles Magazine, Elle and Salon, among others. She is a regular storyteller on The Moth. Jillian blogs about motherhood and writing at the award-winning www.jillianlauren.com. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and son.
Siana-Lea Valencia Gildard
Siana is a writer, fundraiser and mixed up Californian. Born and raised in Southern California with a Mexican-American Mom and Anglo East Coast Dad, Siana knows the difference between Menudo and New England Clam Chowder, and likes them both. After writing the bilingual children’s musical The Adventures of Mr. Coconut / Las Aventuras de Senor Coco (performed at the Ford Amphitheatre and VVC Performing Arts Center) Siana and her husband Edgar figured it was time to have kids. Thus began the Lord of the Rings adventure of adopting two children from Mexico, who they brought home in October of 2014. If Siana thought she was confused being a “White Mexican”, being the mother of two “Real Mexicans” only adds to it all. Hilarity ensues…
Jared Van Lehn is currently the Director of Marketing at ESSIO, a Santa Monica startup. Jared moved to LA from Northern California, to pursue his MBA and to continue to develop his entertainment career. Jared has been featured on MTV and ABC, and worked with major sporting brands. Stand-up comedy is a favorite as well. He has a large following on Youtube but just took down his channel to rebrand it in a new direction. He hopes to combine his entertainment, business and collegiate athlete background to take the entrepreneurial route to open an economically accessible athletic training facility. Jared was adopted at the age of 2, and had a humble upbringing that instilled life-long lessons in him. His adoption beginning was rough and he now speaks sharing his journey and the obstacles faced, but most importantly the steps taken to overcome them.
Holly Choon Hyung
Holly Choon Hyang Bachman, Korean Adoptee / Founder and President
Mixed Roots Foundation
Holly Choon Hyang Bachman was adopted from South Korea when she was 3-1/2 years old and grew up in Minnesota…Since then she graduated from high school where she started a high school group called the Mixed Roots Cultural Diversity Group…Mixed Roots at that time was a high school student group that promoted diversity and multiculturalism in the schools. With her personal experience of being adopted into a White family (she has two older brothers whom are biological to her adoptive parents) as well as her desire to search for her birth family in South Korea – she realized that there was a real lack of post adoption resources. Holly had the opportunity to go back to Korea twice in her life, but she still felt that there could be more that could further support adoptees and their families of all backgrounds no matter what stage of life they were in.
In 2011, Holly went onto found the Mixed Roots Foundation in San Francisco, CA and currently serves as President of the organization. Mixed Roots Foundation’s fundamental values are based on identity, diversity and unity with the now overall vision to improve the lives of those who have been touched by adoption and foster care by leveraging philanthropy and grassroots fundraising to provide more post adoption resources by promoting and supporting organizations that serve as a resource to the diverse adoptee community, create more awareness of the adoption experience and inspire future generations of adoptees to achieve their dreams and goals through collaboration with likeminded individuals, businesses, and organizations in the greater community.
Since then, Holly has volunteered her time over the past 3 years to help establish and grow Mixed Roots Foundation and ultimately moved the global headquarters from San Francisco, CA to Los Angeles, CA. Through this transition, Holly took a brief break and served as a Membership Representative for the LA Area Chamber of Commerce where she was able to assist in growing membership amongst small, medium and large businesses and organizations in the community. She also served as a marketing/PR and business development consultant for small to medium size businesses with clients nationwide including Minneapolis, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Holly received her B.A. in Sociology/Social Psychology from the University of Minnesota and has been living in California for the past 9 years. She enjoys spending time with friends and family, watching movies and most importantly giving back to the community through mentoring and organizing various local and national events that promote identity, diversity and unity. Holly currently resides in the Pasadena area and recently got engaged to her boyfriend Glenn Bowie in which they plan to have a mixed roots family of their own soon in the future.
Carlos Collard is a former Los Angeles County foster youth who owes his life and perspective to the Collards, the foster parents who adopted him and served as his first and most enduring leadership model. The Collards grew up during the Great Depression in rural Michigan, married out of high school, and fostered over 200 children over 25 years. Some of these children became Carlos’ adopted brothers and sisters who gave him an occasional black eye from their wrestling matches that were far more real than the ones they watched on TV. His multicultural family eventually settled in California’s Mojave Desert.
Carlos is committed to providing leadership to the communities that have helped shape his life. UCLA was a pivotal point in his leadership development, as he was the first in his large family to attend college and helped lead the Peer Helpline, Bruin News 29 (UCLA’s first student-run live television news program) and guided many Bruins and high school students as a counselor and through programs he created. At UCLA, Carlos earned a dual bachelor’s degree in Communications and Political Science, the Chancellor’s Service Award and Distinguished Bruin Award. Today, Carlos continues to serve UCLA as a Chancellor’s Society Executive Committee member.
Due to his desire to impact local communities, Carlos has spent most of his professional life in public service and currently works for the City of Santa Monica. While pursuing this career path, he founded the City of Los Angeles’ South Robertson Neighborhoods Council (SORO NC) within his residential area and served as the City of Los Angeles’ youngest-ever neighborhood council president (a system of nearly 100 councils citywide). He has also been appointed to commissions by a former Los Angeles mayor and Los Angeles city councilmember. Carlos is currently the Young Professionals Chair of the International Visitors Council of Los Angeles (IVCLA), which provides Angelenos opportunities to meet emerging international leaders visiting Los Angeles through dinners, home hosting and volunteer activities.
To engage his foster youth community, Carlos currently supports UCLA’s Bruin Guardian Scholars and serves as Board President of California Youth Connection, a nonprofit that trains foster youth statewide to transform the foster care system through legislative and policy change.
Carlos’ values of connecting with communities, listening to and learning from different perspectives, and initiating adventure are incorporated within his leadership style and have steered him to try likely over 100 ethnic cuisines in Southern California alone and taken him to many countries including Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Brunei, Cyprus, and Zimbabwe. If there is a food to try, he will always take the lead, even if it involves silkworm pupa, rotten shark, and cobra’s blood!
Santana Dempsey, Moderator
Adoption and Mixed Race Advocate SANTANA DEMPSEY has been a rocket in her short time in L.A. Last year, she was part of the prestigious ABC Talent Showcase and performed alongside Wade Allain-Marcus in “One Night Stand” at El Portal Theatre in NoHo. Recently, Santana played Harlow Gillman in the Lifetime Movie “MegaChurch Murder”. She was fortunate enough to work alongside talented actors such as: Mike Beach, Malcolm Jamal-Warner, Lil Romeo, Tamala Jones, and Corbin Bleu.
Currently, Santana is shooting an episode of FX’s hit comedy “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’ . This spring she will be starring opposite Ian Verdun in a new web pilot “Life’s A Drag”. Santana is thrilled to announce the indie film French Dirty where she has a supporting role has been accepted into the LA Film Festival where it will have its world premiere in June. She also wrapped filming a supporting role in Crave:The Fast Life. Santana has Costarring roles on HBO’s The Newsroom and DirecT.V’s new drama Kingdom.
A University of Missouri alumnus, Santana is a veteran of New York City’s Primary Stages, INTAR, Soho Rep, Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre and Carnegie Hall. She also wrote and starred in the critically acclaimed one woman show, “The Other Box” which she workshopped this past November at the Actors Comedy Studio in Los Angeles.
Santana is an ambassador for the non profit Mixed Roots Foundation which helps to bring awareness to anyone touched by adoption. On March 14th, Santana teamed up with LupusLA by running in the Asics Big 5k to raise money for a cure. She is working on an interdisciplinary art project called Somewhere In Between (working title) that celebrates identity and diversity.
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
“I’m half-Mexican – get used to it ’cause in about five to 10 years, you’re all gonna be related to one. Whether you like it or not, no matter how much you prepared your family, you’re gonna show up at Thanksgiving one of these years, you’re gonna walk in and say, ‘Hey! What’s happening? Since when did we start serving flan?'”-Al Madrigal
“As a kid who grew up never feeling Chinese enough (because I didn’t speak Cantonese like my dad) and never feeling white enough (because I ate stuff like chicken feet and dried cuttlefish that freaked out my Caucasian friends), Mixed Remixed was like Camelot. It was magical. Everyone had gone through their own weird, bi-racial journey. It was a giant, collective, beautiful validation.”-Jamie Ford
by Heidi W. Durrow
Heidi W. Durrow is the author of “The Girl Who Fell From the Sky,” a novel.
JUNE 16, 2015
“Are those your eyes?” It’s a question I’m asked almost daily as a brown-skinned woman who has dark curly hair and bright blue eyes.
My father was African-American and my mother is Danish and I’m ethnically ambiguous. I look Dominican to Dominicans, Bangladeshi to Bangladeshis, Puerto Rican to Puerto Ricans, and Greek to Greeks. I’m a reluctant shape-shifter.
I learned that because of the peculiar way that math and race work together in America, I was black. But those facts conflicted with my actual experience.
So I couldn’t help but celebrate when I saw the headlines last week that multiracial Americans are the country’s fastest-growing population. In the future, it’s possible that people who look like me will be the norm.
This past weekend some 700 attendees celebrated stories of mixed-race people and families at the Mixed Remixed Festival — an annual film, book and performance festival in Los Angeles. There was much discussion of the bizarre case of Rachel Dolezal, the now past president of Spokane’s N.A.A.C.P. chapter, who was outed by her family as passing as black.
Read the rest of the article here.
We can’t wait to see you either! In the meantime, let’s keep the good energy and connection going. Here’s how you can stay involved:
- Maybe you have a special skill you’d like to share with the Festival? Join us!
- Maybe you just have extra time? Join us!
- Maybe you just want to hang out with some cool folks? Join us!
- $20 gets you a Festival t-shirt and makes you look as great as our volunteers!
- Do you shop on Amazon? Well, now a portion of what you spend will go to Mixed Remixed. Just remember to use this link via Amazon Smile.
- We also would love to accept a good old-fashioned check. Please mail to Mixed Remixed c/o Heidi Durrow PO Box 66848 Los Angeles, CA 90066. Make the check payable to Mixed Remixed.
3. Spread the Word!
- Share the Festival video on Facebook, Twitter, or your personal blog. Let people know about this amazing event. And follow us on the hashtags #mixedremixed #multiracial #mixedrace on all our social media channels.
We’ll be announcing the dates–yes, you heard me: “dates” with an s–in the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned! –Heidi Durrow, Festival Founder
We’re looking for your ideas about who should receive the 2016 Storyteller’s Prize at the Mixed Remixed Festival next year. We have a stellar list of distinguished past honorees including: Key & Peele, Al Madrigral, Susan Straight, Jamie Ford, Cheerios and Honey Maid. Who do you think we should consider? Let us know!