An Evening with Renee Tajima-Peña

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The Chinese Historical Society of Southern California will present an evening with filmmaker Renee Tajima-Peña and Visual Communications on Wednesday, March 7, at 6:30 p.m. at Castelar Elementary School, 840 Yale St. in Los Angeles.

Renee Tajima-Peña

CHSSC’s Golden Spike Awards Gala is fast approaching, and two of the honorees will provide a showcase of Tajima-Peña’s works. She specializes in social documentary films focusing on Asian American and immigrant communities, race, gender, and social change.

She will be joined by Janna Wang, community engagement coordinator for Visual Communications, who will serve as moderator.

Tajima-Peña is an Oscar- and Emmy-nominated filmmaker whose credits include “Who Killed Vincent Chin?,” “My America … or Honk If You Love Buddha,” “Labor Women,” “The new Americans,” and her latest, “No Más Bébes.”

Her films have screened at the Cannes, Hong Kong, New Directors/New Films, SXSW, Sundance and Toronto film festivals and the Whitney Biennial, and she has been awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship, USA Broad Fellowship, Alpert Award in the Arts for Film/Video, a Peabody, and a Dupont-Columbia Award.

Tajima-Peña teaches social documentary at UCLA, where she is a professor of Asian American studies, director of the Center for EthnoCommunications, and holder of an endowed chair in Japanese American studies. She is an executive producer of the Asian American Studies Center’s Lau Chinese American History Mini Docs Project, which profiles Chinese American stories in the Greater Los Angeles area through short documentaries.

Janna Wang

She was the inaugural filmmaker-in-residence of the International Documentary Association and is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Wang studied world arts and cultures at UCLA and graduated in 2017. During school, she was an active member of the Association of Chinese Americans, for which she directed Chinese American Culture Night at Royce Hall. She started as an intern with VC about a year ago and currently is part of this year’s Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival staff.

VC’s mission is to develop and support the voices of Asian American and Pacific Islander filmmakers and media artists who empower communities and challenge perspectives. It is the first nonprofit organization in the nation dedicated to honest and accurate portrayals of Asian Pacific American peoples, communities, and heritage through the media arts.

VC was created with the understanding that media and the arts are important vehicles to organize and empower communities, and build connections between peoples and generations through the development of AAPI film, video and media. The organization has created award-winning productions, nurtured and given voice to youth and seniors, promoted new artistic talent, presented new cinema, and preserved AAPI visual history.

Besides the annual film festival, its program also includes: year-round screenings and exhibitions; the Armed With a Camera Fellowship for emerging media artists; the Digital Histories media production and digital storytelling program for senior citizens; a Film Development Fund for independent filmmakers; and C3: The Conference for Creative Content. VC is also home to the VC Archives, one of the largest photographic and moving-image archives on the AAPI experience in America.

VC sees media as a powerful tool to create and share meaningful perspectives, and its programs ensure that the AAPI community as access to the resources to tell its unique stories.

The event is open to the public. Free parking. Enter via College Street.

For more information, call (323) 222-0856 or visit www.chssc.org.

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