Award-winning screenwriter and director Tony Shyu developed a documentary that dives deep into the history of America’s AAPI community through storytelling and interviews with prominent Asian American politicians.
About the documentary: “The Race Epidemic” is a film that seeks to unite people as a nation and provide an understanding of the deep-rooted racism in America.
- The documentary will premiere from May 13-May 23 at the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM) Film Festival, the nation’s largest Asian film festival.
- The title for the movie was named for the fact that racism is “America’s epidemic” and that it has “plagued our nation since its inception,” according to the film’s website.
- “This film can help people understand we are all in this together, and when one of us is attacked we all suffer,” said the film’s writer and producer Ronald W. Wong.
- The CAAMFest selection committee stated that the film was “incredibly relevant” and that it was nice to see the connection between the “historical legacy of hate with what’s happening now.”
Who’s involved: Shyu, who is known for screen-writing “Macau Omen” and producing the Lionsgate feature film “Tequila Body Shots,” directed and produced the documentary.
- It features interviews with notable figures such as CA Attorney General Rob Bonta, Congresswoman Judy Chu, Speaker of the CA Legislature Anthony Rendon, Assemblymember David Chiu as well as other scholars and elected leaders.
- The documentary is produced by the nonprofit organization Asian Pacific American Leadership Foundation (APALF).
- Wong, the founder of APALF, produced and wrote the film with Johnnie Giles, John and Sarah Kobara as executive producers.
Interview Highlights: In a recent interview, Ronald Wong and Tony Shyu opened up about the movie and their experiences as Asian Americans.
- Wong described his experience in politics and how he felt an “obligation” to change things due to the lack of Asian American representation in politics.
- Shyu claimed that he wanted to portray the history of racism in the AAPI community since there are no films diving into the topic. He stated that everyone should be aiming towards the concept of “Americanism” meaning that you can come from somewhere else and be American without creating a divide.