With the rise in society’s interest in social change, film presents a unique opportunity to educate and engage. This panel will provide a space to learn about the process of creating socially impactful films from pre-production, to production, to distribution. Each of the panelists will discuss their perspectives within the film industry, provide a roadmap of ways that other filmmakers can join the social impact movement, and point to resources that filmmakers can utilize in their own filmmaking process. The panel will be moderated by filmmaker Oanh-Nhi Nguyen.
Oanh-Nhi Nguyen, moderator (she/her): is a writer, director, producer ,and activist with a particular interest in gender and racial justice. Oanh-Nhi is currently directing and executive producing a community storytelling documentary in partnership with VietLead, a youth led social justice organization. The documentary amplifies Southeast Asian resettlement stories and the impact of anti-Black policies and gentrification on communities of color in Philadelphia. Oanh-Nhi writes stories honoring Vietnamese women and immigrants. Her stories focus on the impact of intergenerational trauma and how these women actualize their dreams and to build anew.
Jaimie Woo is a Senior Development Producer at Culture House Media, a Black, Brown, and Women-owned production company for film and television and a cultural consultancy. Culture House makes entertainment-forward work and creates opportunities for women and BIPOC creators. Jaimie is also a Senior DEI Facilitator at ReadySet. Jaimie began her career as a community organizer on economic justice campaigns, and worked on gender violence policy at the Obama White House. She served as a communications director in the U.S. House of Representatives, where she was the only female AAPI to hold the title in all congressional offices throughout her tenure.
Gerry Leonard (he/him) is an Impact Coordinator for Working Films, an organization that leverages documentary film and storytelling as a resource for social justice movements. He is from Jakarta, Indonesia and is based in Brooklyn, NY. Gerry brings a background in community organizing, blending his experience in grassroots movement building and policy advocacy. Previously, Gerry worked on issues of food justice, voting rights, and police accountability. His leadership on a number of coalitions and boards led to policies to reduce racial profiling within the carceral system and collaborative funding opportunities for equitable and just community leadership.
Betty Yu was born and raised in NYC to Chinese immigrant parents. She is a multimedia artist, photographer, filmmaker, and activist. She holds a BFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, an MFA from Hunter College, and a One-Year Certificate from the International Center of Photography. She is a co-founder of Chinatown Art Brigade, a cultural collective using art to advance anti-gentrification organizing. She teaches video, social practice, art and activism at Pratt Institute, Hunter College, and The New School. She has over 20 years of community, media justice, and labor organizing work and sits on the boards of Third World Newsreel and Working Films and on the advisory board of More Art.