2015 AWC FELLOWS
Ali Nakamura is a recent graduate of Roski School of Fine Art and Design at USC. She enjoys documenting Stories through photography and film. She is also a proud new owner of a stray black kitten named Olive.
Angela Chen is a writer/director who enjoys telling poetic and visually rich stories of complex flawed relationships. She often crosses her love of the surreal and the eclectic along with tales of adventure and mystery. As a storyteller, her interests lie in challenging thoughts and emotions involved with the human condition.
Angela was raised in the heart of Texas with family roots in Taiwan and China, studied film at the University of Texas at Austin and began her freelance career in San Francisco and Los Angeles. She frequently works as a First Assistant Director, Editor, and Producer on features, commercials, and docs. Her films have won awards and premiered at festivals across the nation such as Tribeca Film Festival, SXSW, Austin Film Festival, and more.
She currently resides in Los Angeles, CA.
Norbert Shieh is a Taiwanese-American filmmaker and cinematographer based in Los Angeles. Through delicate and formal observations, his films explore new perspectives on the quotidian: his hybrid documentary-feature project PRESERVES — recipient of the 2012 Creative Capital film/video grant — investigates Taiwanese culture and agrarian traditions through the scope of food. Shieh’s internationally screened work also includes the experimental short film WASHES (2011), which premiered at the New York Film Festival. He received his B.A. in visual arts from UCSD, and he holds a film/video MFA from the California Institute of the Arts.
Born and raised in Japan, Susumu discovered his love of film editing while studying film at Emerson College in Boston. Since then, he has been a working editor in Japan and the United States.
He has edited several short films that played at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival: "To The Bone", "My Dear Americans" and "Kepler X-47". He also edited "Pray For Japan," a documentary about the tsunami disaster in Tohoku, Japan.
Last year, he ventured into writing and directing with "Dear Susan", which was selected for the Vancouver International Film Festival.
Through the experience of living and working in both countries, and now raising family in the United States, he hopes to realize stories that reflect and appreciate the multicultural aspects of being Asian American.
Việt Lê is an artist, writer and curator focused on issues of trauma, popular culture, sexuality and memory.
Lê 's work has been featured internationally including the Banffe Center (Alberta), Frameline Film Festival (San Fransisco); Dobaebasca Gallery (Seoul), Java Arts (Phnom Penh) and H Gallery (Bangkok). He curated Miss Saigon with the Wind (Highways Performance Space, Santa Monica); Charlie Don't Surf(Centre A, Vancouver); and co-curated humor us (with Leta Ming and Yong Soon Min) and transPOP: Korea Viet Nam Remix (with Yong Soon Min). Lê received fellowships from Fulbright Hays (Việt Nam), Civitella Ranieri Foundation (Italy), the Center for Khmer Studies (Cambodia), Fine Arts Work Center (USA), and Academia Sinica (Taipei). Lê received his M.F.A. from the University of California, Irvine, where he has also taught Studio Art and Visual Culture courses. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Southern California. vietle.net
Weldon Powers is a writer-director from the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia. His work in short form comedy has garnered much attention and acclaim, working with the likes of the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater and Def Jam. In 2009, Weldon co-founded the comedy website NorthsideComedy.com, which produces alternative urban comedy and whose online videos have reached over 2 million views so far. Also a feature-length screenwriter, Weldon’s screenplay UNCLE TOMMY GOES TO THE SUBURBS was selected for Project Catalyst at the 2011 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival. His last short film THE TOKENS (2013), which explores the roles of racial minorities in social groups, has played at film festivals all over the U.S.
Yoko is an award winning writer, director, producer and performer. Born in a Buddhist temple in Japan and raised in the frost bite of Minneapolis, Yoko now lives and works under the blazing sun of Los Angeles.
She is the 1st place winner of the 2014 DGA Student Film Awards in the west region Asian American category for her AFI thesis film Kimi Kabuki.
Yoko's narrative feature script The Religion of Girlfriends is about an unruly teenage daughter of a buddhist monk who moves to a new town and in her quest for friendship becomes trapped in a violent war between vindictive local girls. It is a coming of age Americana drama with a twist of Japanese horror.
She has a unique educational background having been taught by top experimental filmmakers at Calarts, as well as the top film/television directors/writers of Hollywood through AFI’s prestigious directing program.