tv Beyond the Headlines KOFY June 11, 2013 9:30pm-10:01pm PDT
>> kristen: each worked hard for a variety of causes and there is a real commitment to improving our communities in the bay area. we have billy wong, president and ceo bay tag a nonprofit media producer. welcome. and welcome as well is festival director for asian and american media that funds and distributes films and digital media. and also the director first of kind citywide campaign to fight chronic hepatitis, a disease that affects so many asian-americans. thank you all for coming. look forward to a fantastic conversation. let's start with you. a very successful festival, tell us about that. i know thousands of people
attended. >> absolutely. thank you. it starts in march and 11 day festival here in san francisco, oakland and berkeley. we had about 3,000 people that attended. we played over hundred films, many of which were premieres. >> kristen: congratulations. biggest hit, a documentary highlighting a role model. we don't see many asian-americans. let's take a look at bay area native that became lin-sanity. >> i tried to get in the gym and they stopped me. i'm sorry, i said i know. he looked at me confused. i was looking at him confused. then he was like, oh, i'm sorry, you are a trainer? i was like standing there.
then another security guard and whispered, i think he plays on the team. >> kristen: interesting. so they didn't think he was a player, perhaps a trainer or team doctor. jeremy lin selected an asian mesh filmmaker. that is significant? >> i think it's really important when linn sanity broke, they wanted to tell the story. with all the people who picked, he is actually a local filmmaker. i think it was important. what he wanted was to tell the authentic story of his journey. picking an asian-american was an amazing choice. people that saw the film agree. >> kristen: it was very authentic. what about the images in the mainstream media that added to
his concern. that someone that was asian-american would not get it right. >> it was the imagery. you have people in the mainstream media a lot of various things about him and asian-american descent and you had people that were pro jeremy. i think was the big reason why he picked an asian-american to tell his story. you never know how you are going to be represented. >> kristen: what can you learn from the way jury any? >> you have to know who you are and keep a strong face out there. his foundation, knowing his film. knowing what he is passionate about and not really caring what the representation is because you know who you are. surrounding with people with your best interests. >> and they are telling stories not just about the asian-american community but connecting with other
communities. can you give an example. >> asian-american media has been around for decades. this year, we had half of them characters or actors who are none asian-americans. one the films i played, called lake summer. it's all african-american cast. the film maker is asian american. he decided to really to enhance the story to have african-americans in the film. >> kristen: let's listen to the film. >> are they singling you out. it's some kind of problem. ♪ >> you thinking about you. >> kristen: now, whether it's this particular story made by asian-american film makers, there are additional outlets to distribute this. tell me about those?
>> a lot of asian-american media makers are looking to hollywood. they are looking at film test tifls and in a way it's a distribution. you can play your film because there is an asian-american festival there. 10 or 15 years ago gate keep where hers hollywood. you had to wait for hollywood. now you can do it online and social networks. >> kristen: so it's a lot better. thanks so much. we'll hear more from you. we need to take a short break. stay with us.
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so you can express your gratitude... in the moment. chase quickpay. so you can. >> kristen: i'm kristen sze, sitting in for cheryl jennings to a special episode of "beyond the headlines," let's turn the conversation to a community activist for almost 20 years. welcome. you are executive director tell us a little bit about the alarming statistics with island >> asians are affected by hepatitis "b" and not aware of it. the data in san francisco from the department of public health there is almost 90% of hep "b" positive people are asian
descent. >> and hep "b" leads to? >> liver cancer. >> kristen: you produced public service announcements as part of your campaign. let's take a look at one of them. >> all these young women, which one deserves to die? >> kristen: talk about this. >> we use pop culture to gain public interest and especially the hard to reach immigrant population. we recently is basically our 2nd wave. we developed that in three languages affected by prop 3. it's all, and you realize that population, they may not have access to technology so it's all about the media. >> kristen: got to find a way. get the languages and different
mediums. why is it so hard? >> a lot of what we found is the immigrant population comes from countries where they don't have access to healthcare. they don't talk about how the issue with help entitles "b" is asymptomatic and you don't know the symptoms. >> kristen: you can pass it on to your child? >> and in terms of passing on,. if you don't get tested, preventative disease a so we wanted to make sure we get the word out and get people vaccinated. >> and i should also mention vice chair of democratic caucus. daly city has a huge influx of immigrants especially from the philippines. tell me about the community? are there certain challenges?
>> it's the most population in the country and i'm proud to be part of that community. we deal with political issues that affect the asian-american community. you see more influx of support and engagement from the asian community, especially the filipino community. we recently elected a filipino to legislature which a huge moment in the community to gain interest but also get more supporters and be a role model to those that want to get more involved in issues. >> kristen: and the engagement is one of big issues to really get the word out and raise awareness on domestic violence. really helping remove the sigma that sometimes -- stigma. talk about that. >> in the asian culture, especially in the filipino
culture we don't talk about family issues, it's considered a family issue some of the stigmas and challenges we want to overcome, it's not your fault. some families will disown their child because they feel like they did something to 200that or embarrassing to family. the victims realize it's not their fault. >> kristen: let's take a video that shows that message. >> domestic violence happens in all communities. >> rich, poor, working class. >> educated and less educated. >> near and far. >> domestic violence. >> is into the private matter. it affects our families. >> my children, our future! >> kristen: this is not just for asian-americans and how do you want victims to transform wait they look at themselves.
>> we definitely a wanted them to realize they are survivors and not victims. it's not their fault. to tell their story. because we realize when people started telling their story then they will start to develop a safe place for them to for resources. that is what we do in the vagina monologues. we also understand some of the cultural differences in the communities and to see how those issues are affected in that particular community and not just the community at large. >> you directed the filipino monologues. how did that interact with the issues at hand? >> we had a lot of resistance to talk about, they off the title
but not realizing what we do is power women and supporting women to become survivors. know that there is a way to get out of a relationship and get into healthy relationships and lead a produif >> kristen: thank you. we'll take another short break. we'll be right back to continue our asian-american roundtable.
>> kristen: welcome back. we continue to look at asian-american issues, billy wong. next year you are going to celebrate of an organization to empower kids. the tools to pursue successful career in the new digital world we live in. >> thank you. our guests have talked about how important it is, we believe every person's story matters. now that technology has improved and less expensive. we want to make sure these tools are in the power of our youth. especially youth coming from communities that have a digital divide, they are not growing up with tablets or smart phones or computer. so we educate young people as young as 11 up to 25. we employ them in this visual media field. >> kristen: what kind of videos are they producing? >> it's about their story.
teaching them media literacy, what are you watching on youtube. what is your story? so everything from animation to narrative to documentary shorts, we really have them tell their own story in their own way. 11-year-old loves to tell stories about zombies. >> kristen: as yuck as 11, how old is the oldest? >> we have 11 to 17. we have kids coming but we serve youth because we see that as under serviced population but we are in the community centers as well. we have both programming off-site, reaching about 250, 300 kids a year. >> kristen: do these kids actually make money? dough have clients? >> that is interesting. we did build a pathway so the kids who -- we don't expect
every kid to be a film maker, but to the extent they do, we to make sure there is a path to employment. >> kristen: which is this one. >> our internship is youth 18-25-year-olds. these are young people that wanted to be in the film business. we started them off with real job experience. at this point they are earning a stipend. here, this kind of commercial is first product. can you make one that benefits the mayor's office of economic development. >> kristen: and successfully completed and they have more confidence? >> not only that, they are build their resume so clients, whether nonprofits or corporations that we work with and they are building their portfolio and resume. >> so you have kids that have come to you not knowing in the beginning and going on to successful careers?
>> absolutely. it's an education for the parents, as well. 11-year-olds we have our first group that have now graduated from middle school to high school and are in film school on the college level. so we also have a graduates who ever joined our tech program coming from the youth program. it's important for the parents and all the supporters around the young people, especially in the asian community. there is a bit, you are an artist, go get a real job. exactly, my child can be an animater or a real video grapher. but it's not in vocabulary of some of the parents. >> kristen: we have to talk about your journey from daughter of a single mother that moved here from asia, with no money, living in the projects to putting through school and being a successful bank earned a
lawyer -- tell us about that. >> my mom has really been my inspiration. she is an amazing woman who has gone through two wars basically escaping to america.ik many imme worked any job she can have. my first experience seeing her in a sweatshop working side by side. she put herself through night school. to this day she sill sews and really an inspiration because she started her own business in the garment district in new york and made enough money to move us out of the projects. >> kristen: she makes your outfit? >> she made my outfit and the big thing, she is in her 80s and to this day she doesn't believer in story matters. this journey needs to be told. hardships that our families face
many are so afraid to talk about it. i really got inspired by her personal story. gandhi is quoted to say, be the change you wish to see in the wrld. groig growing up if mom that didn't see herself and value of herself, how can you create change? so we really wanted to empower young people. she empowered with her presence and story and we want to do that for all the generations and to validate the immigrants and families who have made a difficult journey. >> kristen: well put. they are such ins operations, thank you for sharing. that we're going to take another short break. stay with us.
world has changed so much, just as we talked about, each one talked about how important stories are. having asians be focused on media, where there is a giant gap over the decades. the work that everybody here that incore prialts those stories is really important. innings those stories is important. >> so it's our stories that influence all the diverse communities as well. >> for me. i think it's inspiring and so many people are taking action, feeling like no longer are we victims of the society but we find a passion and something we are so inspired by and move forward with it. >> kristen: that is so through of health issues, as well. >> i think being vocal and not being silent as we were brought
up in our culture. because we were raised up, if you raise your hand that may cause trouble but realizing in order to represent you on ourselves and to protect ourselves, we have to say something. that it's okay to do that. it's the only way to anything done in terms of our community to have our voices heard. >> kristen: is there a sense we are part of the mainstream now? >> i definitely think in the political world, 78% of asians voted for obama in 2012. in 2008, 48% asians voted and showing you the engagement in the community. politically that is biggest move we've seen and to know that asians are taking part of that. >> i would agree, a lot of the systems in the context of the
asian-american community. unsung heroes but more of a global context, you on we are part of a larger sphere. >> in the mainstream media where do you do see characters they are better represented. >> think think is more representation wheas growing up but there is not a lot of department to the characters. there are particular examples that i am happy to see you on in the media but i think there is a lot we can do. >> i still think there is a big journey in the media world. the typical also behind the scene shots, how many of them are really occupied by asian-americans and also just people of color. so i think multiculturism of what they represent and very
important. >> and asian issues in front of the camera. real quickly, do you see difference growing up from like 20 years ago? >> yes. >> i think every person's experience usque and we see struggles in so many different ways. >> i think we come from the same fabric. does it matter where we come from? but we come from the immigrant experience. >> kristen: you talked about fabrics. let's show that. hey, this is beautiful coat. >> sha inside with the lining and it has the hoodie. see how soft it is. [ laughter ] >> and love of family that does so much for the community. thank you all so much. that is all the time we have. thank you for sharing your
thoughts. we wish you the best and continue the efforts to improve the asian-american and broader bay area communities. >> cheryl: thank you, kristen. that is all the time we have today. special thanks to all of our guests. for more information, go to our website at abc7news.com we're also on facebook. follow me on twitter at sheryl abc7. have a great week and we'll see you next time. look at them kids. [ sigh ]
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