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Off-site: Punching at the Sun

Punching at the Sun
March 7, 2020 - 2:00 pm
filmmaker Tanuj Chopra.

Please note
: this event takes place at the James Bridges Theater, 235 Charles E. Young Dr. East, Los Angeles, CA 90095.

The Seattle Underground Railroad  (2006)

A group of UCLA immigrant students take an unconventional road trip during winter break to Washington state to get their driver's licenses.

Digital, color, 8 min. Director: Tam Tran.

Lost and Found  (2007)

An undocumented student shares her struggles being part of the DREAM Act. A beloved UCLA student specializing in Asian American Studies, an emerging filmmaker developing her storytelling at the Center for Ethnocommunications, and a good friend of Visual Communications, Tam Tran was part of the first group of undocumented students to attend college and enter graduate school. As a role model for a new generation of community leaders and activists, she testified in Congress for the passage of the DREAM Act. Growing up in Southern California as a Vietnamese-American in a working class immigrant family, she was “undocumented and unafraid” and risked disclosing her status to inspire others to come forth and fight for their rights. Tran was tragically killed in a car accident caused by a drunk driver in 2010. We celebrate her courage here.

Digital, color, 5 min. Director: Tam Tran.

Missing Piece Project  (2018)

A short film that focuses on the unrepresented voices of the Southeast Asians that were affected by the Vietnam War. The Missing Piece project centers Southeast Asian experiences through a collective dedication at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall.

Digital, color, 10 min. Director: Daniel Luu.

Punching at the Sun  (2006)

Post-9/11 xenophobia, immigration quandaries, and deep into the Trump regime, which has single-handedly declared a de facto war on Muslims, on black and brown people on the homefront and abroad, this underrated American indie drama follows Queens teen Mameet as he navigates high school, making it on the basketball court, and life after losing his beloved older brother, Sanjay, to an unexpected act of violence. Reminiscent of an early Spike Lee joint, this South Asian slice of life story subtlety registers the ongoing negotiations of identity, microaggressions, and enemy alien status faced by many Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) who look a certain way or worship a different higher power. An accomplished feature debut by Visual Communications development fund awardee and longtime friend Tanuj Chopra. 

DCP, color, 77 min. Director/screenwriter: Tanuj Chopra. Cast: Misu Khan, Nina Edmonds, Hassan El-Gendi.