DisOrient 2021 Asian American Oregon

Panel Discussion: The role of AAPI filmmakers in supporting Black Lives Matter

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Karen Ishizuka is a third generation Japanese American, a writer, and currently Chief Curator of the Japanese American National Museum. She produced and wrote Toyo Miyatake: Infinite Shades of Gray, (2002), an official selection at the Sundance Film Festival. She pioneered the establishment of the historical and cultural significance of home movies in the United States, and served on the National Film Preservation Board. She received a Master’s Degree in Social Work from San Diego State University, and a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of California, Los Angeles. She is also currently president of the board of the Okura Mental Health Leadership Foundation.

Tadashi Nakamura was named one of CNN’s “Young People Who Rock” for being the youngest filmmaker at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival and listed as one of the “Top Rising Asian American Directors” on IMDb. The fourth-generation Japanese American directed the 2016 film Mele Murals, a documentary on the transformative power of modern graffiti art and ancient Hawaiian culture for a new generation of Native Hawaiians. His earlier film Jake Shimabukuro: Life on Four Strings was broadcasted nationally on PBS and went on to win the 2013 Gotham Independent Film Audience Award. Nakamura’s documentary trilogy, Yellow Brotherhood (2003), Pilgrimage (2007) and A Song for Ourselves (2009) have garnered over 20 awards.

Hisonni Mustafa is a Writer, Director, Actor, Cinematographer and Creator. He has worked professionally in nearly every crew position there is in both television and film. His skills as a writer, director and cinematographer have quickly earned him numerous awards and accolades. Hisonni has received nearly 100 accolades for his two original television pilots, Fight Night Legacy and Olympia, including a 2013 Streamy Award Nomination and the Grand Prize at the LAWEBFEST. His most recent pilot, Grayson: Earth One has received great reviews from the likes of Marvels' Stan Lee, The Hollywood Reporter, Deadline Hollywood, The Collider, IGN and countless others.

Ursula Liang is a journalist-turned-filmmaker. She currently freelances as a film and television producer (One October, Third Act, Gloves Off, UFC Countdown, UFC Primetime) and story consultant. She is a member of Film Fatales, A-DOC, and sits on the executive board of Brown Girls Doc Mafia. Liang grew up in Newton, Mass. and lives in the Bronx, New York. Her debut feature, 9-Man, was broadcast on public television and called “an absorbing documentary” by the New York Times. Her latest film, Down a Dark Stairwell, had its premiere at True/False and was called “a vital picture of a tumultuous time” by Vox.

Daisy Truong is a fifth year student at Oregon State University (OSU) double majoring in Digital Communication Arts and Photography. She is a digital artist, photographer, and first time filmmaker, born and raised in SE Portland. She currently works at OSU Asian & Pacific Cultural Center (APCC) and is a Co-President of the Asian Pacific American Student Union (APASU). I Am, But I Am Not is a docu-series that focuses on the dialogue surrounding racism against Asians during COVID-19 as well as Anti-Blackness within the Asian community. Please email truondai@oregonstate.edu if you're interested in being interviewed for this series!


Jason Mak (they/them) is one of the founders of the DisOrient Asian American Film Festival of Oregon and a past Executive Director. They are a diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility practitioner and community organizer with over twenty years of experience within large government and educational organizations.