The Armed With a Camera Fellowship for Emerging Media Artists has opened its call for Fellows for its 2016-2017 cycle. Applications are due October 7, 2016. For submission guidelines and more info, click here.
What’s been keeping you busy? How has life been after AWC? What projects are you currently working on right now?
A whole lot of things...the main one being a comedic feature film I'm shooting in 2017. Also directing a new short and some online content. Trying to take my cat on more walks in the park too.
How did you first hear about AWC? What made you decide to apply?
I had a few filmmaker friends who did the program in previous years, and they had nothing but positive things to say about their experience. I saw some of the films at screenings and really loved everything I was seeing.
Tell us, how has the program experience challenged your filmmaking process?
The short I made had me focus up more on a cinematic storytelling mode. I come from a sketch comedy background, which is sort of an always-go-for-laughs and heighten sort of structure. The character development and plot rhythm are some things I was guided through with the mentors and other fellows.
How did it feel to be a part of the AWC Fellowship - working amongst AAPI filmmakers?
We never stopped talking about racism, the whole time was just "race this, race that, do you want to race?" Just kidding. In a lot of ways, the fellowship created a comfortable space for filmmakers to actually NOT be racial. Many times I find in my work outside of AWC, I have to explain why I’m making a racial choice, whether it be certain content or a cultural reference or a casting choice. AWC is an environment where your work can be defined creatively instead of racially.
Who do you think would benefit most of the AWC Fellowship?
Anyone interested in pursuing a creative role in the film industry -- a writer-director or a creative producer or an animator, this program is good for you. The mentors and fellows in the program create a support system that allows an artist to refine his or her individual voice in an industry that suffers from a lack of understanding of diverse creative voices.
What did it mean to you to have your film premiered at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival?
It's a very humbling experience to see your work on the big screen. VC makes a big deal out of it too -- a great theater, great sound system, big crowd. To have my work be whole-heartedly accepted by the festival gave me a sense of community that I hadn’t been able to find anywhere else.