WORLD Channel, A-Doc & CAAM Team for Docuseries


WORLD Channel, the Asian American Documentary Network (A-Doc) and the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM) are co-producing Asian American Stories of Resilience & Beyond.

The docuseries is comprised of seven short films that feature stories of resilience from the Asian American community in the face of the pandemic and anti-Asian racism. The series will begin streaming on WORLD Channel’s YouTube on May 3 in honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month.

The seven films were selected after A-Doc launched a call for submissions from Asian American documentary filmmakers in April 2021. They were chosen from more than 100 proposals. Each of the seven selected filmmakers was assigned to an experienced filmmaker, who served as a mentor to ensure the professional execution and thematic coherence of each film in the series.

Malditas, directed by Bree Nieves under the mentorship of Ramona S. Diaz, tells the story of two AAPI/FilAm cousins who meet in a rural Florida cemetery and grapple with what remains of their hometown dreams after the loss of one of their fathers to the pandemic.

Directed by Frances Rubio, Recording Goodbyes shares the story of a Filipino daughter struggling with depression who is finally reunited with her Covid-survivor father at his nursing home after 14 months apart. Sarah S. Kim served as Rubio’s mentor.

Under Tadashi Nakamura’s mentorship, J.P. Dobrin directed The Lookout, following a Cambodian American refugee who experiences freedom again after spending 20 years behind bars but must deal with the potential of deportation, which threatens to take everything away.

On All Fronts, directed by Joua Lee Grande, centers on a Minneapolis family as they navigate difficult conversations about how the violence and racial reckoning of 2020-21 impacted them as a biracial family. Lee Grande was mentored by Bao Nguyen.

From director Kimberlee Bassford and mentor Freida Lee Mock, My Chinatown, with Aloha follows as Bassford, a fourth-generation Chinese American, explores her family’s relationship to Honolulu Chinatown. It also examines the parallels between the Covid-19 pandemic and the 1899-1900 bubonic plague that hit Hawai’i.

Quyên Nguyen-Lee directed In Living Memory, a documentary that focuses on the closure of their mother’s nail salon at the onset of the pandemic and how a queer filmmaker works with their mother to articulate the legacy of the salon for their refugee family. Su Kim served as mentor to Nyugen-Lee.

The seventh documentary, Crossroads, takes a close look at the Sikh community’s response to the FedEx shooting in Indianapolis. Sarita Khurana directed the film under the mentorship of Jean Tsien.

Asian American Stories of Resilience & Beyond will debut on WORLD Channel’s YouTube but will also be broadcast as interstitials in select episodes of WORLD’s America ReFramed and will be featured in special episodes of WORLD’s Local, USA series to be released later this year. The docuseries will also be available to stream on the WORLD Channel website, PBS Passport and the PBS app.

“Asian Americans are now emerging from the pandemic, finding ways to support our families, rebuild our lives, get vaccinated and deal with the grief, pain and anger this has brought, as well as moments of joy, resilience and hope,” said S. Leo Chiang, co-founder of A-Doc. “Now, Asian American storytellers demand the opportunity to shape the public discourse about our own community, to tell our stories with complexity and nuance, and to share them far and wide.”

“Our partnership with A-Doc allows WORLD Channel the opportunity to elevate the voices of Asian American filmmakers,” said Chris Hastings, executive producer of WORLD Channel at GBH in Boston. “Each of these films tells a personal story, reflecting the experience of the Asian American community. We are honored to be able to present them on WORLD Channel.”

Don Young, CAAM’s director of programs, added, “These seven short films reflect the broad range of experiences within the Asian American community during the past two years. These stories reflect the ways, big and small, that the pandemic has directly affected Asian Americans and how we are examining our place in society as a result.”