TAAF Heritage Heroes 2024

TAAF’s Heritage Heroes is a creative, inspiring program that centers heroes from AANHPI communities to share the stories of their work, their world and their wish for the future for a better America. Directed by AANHPI auteurs, the TAAF Heritage Heroes special tells authentic tales of diverse leaders in our community. 

The third annual TAAF Heritage Heroes is comprised of five short films profiling everyday people making a difference in the AANHPI community. This year’s heroes include trailblazers in entrepreneurship and leaders in the fight against anti-Asian hate in the cities of New York, Los Angeles, Oakland, Houston, and Seattle.

In a world rid of hate, there is only vision, joy, empathy, solidarity, and love. In Heritage Heroes 2024, TAAF imagines and explores this world rid of anti-Asian hate in a series of films that center its opposing forces to highlight the resilience of our AANHPI community today. Each story is a celebration of the AANHPI community not only in front of the camera, but behind it. In a series of five short films which will debut as standalone installments, five AANHPI filmmakers are each paired with a community leader or entrepreneur:

  • Film 1: “Vision” - New York (Premieres May 31): Sahra Nguyen, founder of Nguyen Coffee Supply, explores her path as an artist, activist, and storyteller to amplify her community and inspire systemic change. Directed by June Kim.
  • Film 2: “Joy (To Dance Again)” - Los Angeles (Premieres June 7): After an unprecedented tragedy for the Asian American community of Monterey Park, ballroom dancing offers an unexpected path to healing and joy. Featuring TAAF grantee-partner Chinatown Service Center. Directed by M.G. Evangelista. 
  • Film 3: “Empathy” - Oakland (Premieres June 14): After one young man’s choices lead him to years of incarceration, Tien Nguyen discovers meditation to confront his troubled past. Featuring TAAF grantee-partner Asian Health Services and their community partner Family Bridges. Directed by Ty Sanga.
  • Film 4: “Solidarity” - Houston (Premieres June 21): In Houston, Texas — America's fourth largest city — a community mobilizes to resist a powerful, hate-mongering pastor. This short documentary explores contemporary and historical solidarity among Asian-Americans and other immigrants in the deep South, illustrating how, from the streets of Asiatown to restaurant kitchens to City Hall, the AAPI community of Houston responds to fear, violence, and hate. Featuring TAAF grantee partners Boat People SOS (BPSOS), Daya Houston and Tahirih Justice Center. Directed by Nik Dodani.
  • Film 5: “Love” - Seattle  (Premieres June 28): When hate and discrimination is directed at one family, it impacts an entire community. This is a story of how love, empathy, and understanding overcomes hate in Seattle, Washington. Featuring TAAF grantee-partner Chinese Information and Service Center. Directed by Georgia Fu. 

This year, viewers will find the award-winning special on Prime Video. Stream it here now and tune in every Friday for a new film. Also, catch up on Seasons 1 and 2 of Heritage Heroes on the series page.

Meet the Heroes and the Directors