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The New American Perspectives program at HIFF shines a spotlight on the contributions of foreign-born filmmakers to contemporary cinema in the United States. As part of the New American Perspectives program at #HIFF40, the Vilcek Foundation and HIFF present a panel discussion with featured filmmakers: Valerie Castillo-Martinez, Yi Chen, Roseanne Liang, Bassam Tariq, and Hao Wu.
The panel will explore issues of identity, experience, and representation in filmmaking, and the value of authenticity and creative risk-taking. The creative spirit and innovation of foreign-born artists have made an indelible impact on filmmaking in the United States—expanding the boundaries of filmmaking as an art form and inspiring the next generation of artists and leaders.
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2020 New American Perspectives Panelists
Roseanne enjoys the cut and thrust of genre, social resonance and culture. Her feature film MY WEDDING AND OTHER SECRETS is the most successful NZ-Asian feature film to date, based on her festival hit documentary BANANA IN A NUTSHELL. Roseanne has also made award-winning work across TV comedy and short film including Berlin-winning TAKE 3, cult-favourite webseries FLAT3/FRIDAY NIGHT BITES, and Sundance-SXSW breakout action short DO NO HARM. Roseanne’s latest US action-thriller feature film, SHADOW IN THE CLOUD, stars Chloe Grace Moretz and Nick Robinson. It premiered last month at Toronto International Film Festival, where it won the People’s Choice Midnight Madness Award.
Yi Chen is a documentary filmmaker based in Washington, DC. She is a Soros Equality Fellow and DC Arts and Humanities Fellow. Her debut feature FIRST VOTE is currently in distribution at festivals including AFI DOCS, CAAMFest, LA Asian Pacific Film Festival, Houston AAPI Film Festival, Nevertheless Film Festival and Hawaii International Film Festival. Yi holds an MFA in Film and Media Arts from American University and taught at George Mason University’s Film and Video Studies program.
Valerie Castillo Martinez
Valerie Castillo Martinez was born in the Philippines and moved to the US in 2001.She has written, directed and produced several projects set in the US and international locations. She started her company IndieFlip, to make films that deal with underrepresented subjects and cross-cultural themes.Her emphasis in innovative storytelling, collaboration and international co-productions highlighting diversity and inclusion with underlying social themes has led to some of her films' successes. DEATH OF NINTENDO is her first feature film as writer and producer. It held its world premiere at Berlinale 2020, and is continuing its festival rounds.
Bassam Tariq is a writer and director. His debut narrative feature MOGUL MOWGLI, starring Riz Ahmed, premiered at Berlinale 2020 and won the International Critics Prize. He is a TED Fellow and was named Filmmaker Magazine's "25 New Faces of Independent Film." His previous film GHOSTS OF SUGAR LAND (2019) won the Short Film Jury Prize at Sundance, shortlisted for the Oscars, and released as a Netflix Original. His first feature documentary, THESE BIRDS WALK, premiered at SXSW and is distributed by Oscilloscope Laboratories.
Technology executive-turned-filmmaker Hao Wu takes a raw and human approach to story-telling in an era when culture evolves online and across borders. Wu’s award-winning documentary films have received support from Ford Foundation JustFilms, ITVS, Sundance, Tribeca and international broadcasters. 76 DAYS, Wu’s latest work and the first feature documentary on the COVID-19 pandemic to play at a film festival, held its world premiere at Toronto International Film Festival in September 2020.
About the Vilcek Foundation
The Vilcek Foundation raises awareness of immigrant contributions in the United States and fosters appreciation of the arts and sciences. We accomplish our mission through our prizes program and through partnerships like the New American Perspectives program at HIFF. Since 2000, the foundation has awarded over $5.8 million in prizes to foreign-born individuals and supported organizations with over $5.2 million in grants.
The Vilcek Foundation is a private operating foundation, a federally tax-exempt nonprofit organization under IRS Section 501(c)(3). To learn more, please visit vilcek.org.