A Conversation with Filmmaker Renee Tajima-Peña


The IDA (International Documentary Association) Conversation Series will feature Renee Tajima-Peña on Monday, Nov. 16, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Linwood Dunn Theater, Pickford Center for Motion Picture Study, 1313 Vine St. in Los Angeles.

Co-presented by Visual Communications. Admission is $15 general, $10 for IDA members, free for students with valid ID. To make reservations online, click here.

Renee Tajima-Peña

Renee Tajima-Peña

The final IDA Conversation Series event of the summer/fall season will be an exploration of the extraordinary work and career of the Academy Award-nominated director. Culminating in a discussion of her new film “No Más Bebés” (No More Babies), the evening will feature a conversation between Tajima-Peña and series host/interviewer Ben Mankiewicz of Turner Classic Movies.

They will delve into a treasure trove of diverse and penetrating films and show clips from “Calavera Highway” (2008), “The New Americans” (2003), “My America… or Honk if You Love Buddha” (1997), and the Oscar-nominated “Who Killed Vincent Chin?” (1987).

Tajima-Peña’s unblinking eye focuses on critically important social issues, primarily in the area of immigration and race. “No Más Bebés” is no exception. It is the powerful story of immigrant mothers who were prodded into sterilizations while giving birth at the L.A. County-USC Medical Center in the ’60s and ’70s and fought a heroic court battle over the injustice.

Tajima-Peña’s other credits include “Labor Women” (PBS), “The Last Beat Movie” (Sundance Channel) and “The Best Hotel on Skid Row” (HBO). “No Más Bebés,” produced in association with ITVS, Latino Public Broadcasting and Chicken & Egg Pictures, premiered this year at the Los Angeles Film Festival.

She is also creating “Building History 3.0,” with support of he National Parks Service. The youth-based web project uses the Minecraft online construction game to create virtual World War II internment camps for Japanese Americans as a tool for learning about civil liberties and Asian American history.

Tajima-Peña’s films have screened at the Cannes Film Festival, New Directors/New Films, Sundance Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, the Whitney Biennial and many other venues. In 2008, the Flaherty International Film Seminar and the Virginia Film Festival presented retrospectives of her work.

She has been awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship, USA Broad Fellowship, Alpert Award in the Arts for Film/Video, a Peabody Award, a Dupont-Columbia Award, and an International Documentary Association Distinguished Documentary Achievement Award. She has twice earned Fellowships in Documentary Film from both the Rockefeller Foundation and the New York Foundation on the Arts.

Tajima-Peña teaches social documentary at UCLA, where she is a professor of Asian American studies, the director of the Center for EthnoCommunications and holder of an endowed chair in Japanese American studies. Prior to UCLA, she was a professor of film and digital media at UC Santa Cruz, where she was co-founder and graduate director of the Graduate Program in Social Documentation.

She has written widely on Asian American and independent cinema, and was a film critic for The Village Voice, a cultural commentator for National Public Radio, and associate editor of The Independent Film & Video Monthly.

Free parking for the event is available; enter on Homewood Avenue. The parking lot opens at 6 p.m. The parking lot will be closed and locked 30 minutes after conclusion of the event. Note the strictly enforced parking permit requirements on the side streets.

No food or drink will be allowed in the theater. This includes water bottles and gum.



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