Films and Filmmakers

Boonkhun, by Virada Chatikul

Virada Chatikul was born and raised in San Francisco, California.  Since the age of six, she has been a student at WatMongkolratanaram Thai Buddhist Temple in Berkeley. She has studied Thai language and dance at the temple's Thai Cultural Center and continues to perform for the center's Bay Area events. Chatikul’s short documentary, Boonkhun, looks at three students of traditional Thai music and dance as they reflect on the challenges and highlights from nearly twenty years growing up at the Thai Cultural Center of the San Francisco Bay Area.In the process the film reveals their changing perceptions of belonging, identity and expectation.


The Oak Park Story, by Valerie Soe & Russell

Valerie Soe is a visual artist, filmmaker, and writer from San Francisco whose award-winning productions have exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, the AFI National Video Festival, the World Wide Video Festival in The Hague, and on KQED-TV, KCET-TV and Channel L Cable Manhattan, among many others. Russell Jeung is a sociologist and ethnographer who has written a book and several articles on Asian American religions and social justice.  He lived at Oak Park Apartments for over a decade, and helped to organize 200 Cambodian and Latino tenants in their landmark lawsuit. Soe and Jeung are the co-directors and co-producers of the short documentary, The Oak Park Story, which recounts the journeys of three families--from Cambodia, Mexico, and California--who band together at a run-down slum in Oakland CA and win a landmark settlement against their landlord. Facing unsanitary housing conditions that led to the hospitalization of several children, 44 households of the Oak Park apartment complex banded together to sue and eventually won a landmark settlement against their landlord. Despite the victory, this too brought about some surprising, unintended consequences.The Oak Park Story concludes nearly ten years after winning the lawsuit. What have the children at Oak Park learned from their parents’ organizing? How did the lawsuit impact the lives of the undocumented workers, the refugee families, and the other working poor living there? What ongoing social conditions do they continue to face?

A Village Called Versailles, by S. Leo Chiang

Born and raised in Taiwan, S. Leo Chiang immigrated to the US as a teenager and received a MFA in film production from University of Southern California before beginning his filmmaking career. His most recent film, A Village Called Versailles, is a feature documentary about Versailles, an isolated community in eastern New Orleans that has been settled by Vietnamese refugees since the late 1970s. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Versailles residents impressively rise to the challenges by returning and rebuilding before any other flooded neighborhood in New Orleans, only to have their homes threatened by a new government-imposed toxic landfill just two miles away. A Village Called Versaillesrecounts the empowering story of how this group of people, who has already suffered so much in their lifetime, turns a devastating disaster into a catalyst for change and a chance for a better future.

Sounds of A New Hope, by Eric Tandoc

Eric Tandoc is a Filipino American filmmaker, activist, and DJ from southern Californiawho recently received his Masters Degree from the Social Documentation program at UC Santa Cruz. His short documentary, Sounds of a New Hope, looks at the life of Filipino-American MC Kiwi and the growing use of hip-hop as an organizing tool in the people's movement for national liberation and democracy in the Philippines.