Narrative Change
Sundance Institute | The Asian American Foundation Fellowship and Collab Scholarship

TAAF and Sundance Institute Announce Second Cohort of AAPI Artists for Fellowship and Collab Scholarship

With this program, TAAF and Sundance are taking action to improve AAPI representation in the entertainment industry by cultivating talent and giving them the spotlight to elevate their narratives.

The “Sundance Institute | The Asian American Foundation Fellowship and Collab Scholarship” provides AAPI artists working in film and television with professional development opportunities and community building with like-minded creatives and mentors. This program supports artists across the spectrum of their career from emerging artists to more established ones with the goal of meaningfully increasing AAPI representation in independent media.

The fellowship offers six AAPI artists per year a year-round learning experience to advance their professional development in the arts. Through the fellowship, each artist receives creative and tactical support along with a $20,000 unrestricted grant. Six emerging AAPI creatives receive Collab Scholarships, which include a self-paced course on Sundance Collab, bespoke feedback on their current project, and engagement opportunities with Sundance staff and the creative community. Artists can be working in film or television across fiction or nonfiction. 

The fellowship and Collab scholarship started in 2022 and are made possible by support from TAAF through a $400,000 grant provided by its AAPI Giving Challenge partners Panda Express and The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, who have committed $140,000 to support the program. The funding will provide artists with grants and year-round resources to support the artists and program activities.

Read the press release here.

Updates from  the inaugural cohort of the 2022 Sundance Institute | The Asian American Foundation Fellowship and Collab Scholarship

Vera Brunner-Sung Brunner-Sung and her team are getting closer to picture lock. They held a feedback screening on their work-in-progress cut for BITTERROOT—a film revolving around the life of a Hmong man who clings to his routine in the wake of a painful divorce—with their collaborators from the Hmong community in Missoula, Montana.

Desdemona Chiang Chiang's episodic project MADE IN USA was adapted into a short film and went into production in July 2023. The short, now in post-production, is about a dutiful casino host who, after getting laid off from her job, decides to get into the underground world of birth tourism.

Shayok Misha Chowdhury Chowdhury directed the world premiere of his bilingual play PUBLIC OBSCENITIES, which explores the pleasures and pitfalls of living in translation as it follows a queer studies PhD student returning to his family home in Kolkata with his Black American boyfriend. The sold-out, New York Times Critic's Pick production was the first time Bangla had been spoken on or Off Broadway.

Georgia Fu Fu was able to have a table read to further develop her script for APPROXIMATE JOY, a film about a Taiwanese American teenager who runs away with her high school history teacher to escape her grief from the death of her father. She also filmed a profile on fashion designers Phillip Lim and Prabal Gurung for TAAF's "Heritage Heroes" program on Hulu.

Leomax (Ziyuan) He He completed a feature-length script titled Re: Hu-Hu, which explores father-son relationships against the backdrop of the pandemic. He also completed a 16 minute short film titled GUNGNIR based on the plots from Re:Hu-Hu that he will submit to film festivals.

Jenna Lam Lam's AMBITIOUS—a series about a bold Vietnamese-Cambodian-American girl who navigates her new life as a college-dropout-enabled her to get closer to the Southeast Asian Community, especially in Philadelphia. The series's teaser premiered at the Cambodian Association of Greater Philadelphia's Khmer New Year Gala.

Simi Prasad Prasad developed a re-break of her Indian fantasy epic pilot sample, CHANGING OF THE GUARD, which is about a mythical world inspired by medieval India. She is excited to get back to work as a writer’s assistant on a top secret upcoming feature.

Nicole Solis-Sison Solis-Sison’s short film Undocuhoneys: Homecoming is currently exhibited at the Dalton Gallery, Agnes Scott College in Atlanta, Georgia until December 1, 2023. She also completed a second draft of her feature length script PAPELES. She served as a producer on the documentary FROM HERE, FROM THERE, premiering on PBS VOCES in 2024.

Norbert Shieh Shieh’s film PRESERVES—a lyrical meditation on food, labor, and loss—is in its assembly editing stage. The team hopes to get a rough cut ready to send it out next year for further funding, labs, and workshops.

Sundance Institute | The Asian American Foundation Fellowship and Collab Scholarship are made possible by

Thank you!
Your submission has been received!
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With this program, TAAF and Sundance are taking action to improve AAPI representation in the entertainment industry by cultivating talent and giving them the spotlight to elevate their narratives.

The “Sundance Institute | The Asian American Foundation Fellowship and Collab Scholarship” provides AAPI artists working in film and television with professional development opportunities and community building with like-minded creatives and mentors. This program supports artists across the spectrum of their career from emerging artists to more established ones with the goal of meaningfully increasing AAPI representation in independent media.

The fellowship offers six AAPI artists per year a year-round learning experience to advance their professional development in the arts. Through the fellowship, each artist receives creative and tactical support along with a $20,000 unrestricted grant. Six emerging AAPI creatives receive Collab Scholarships, which include a self-paced course on Sundance Collab, bespoke feedback on their current project, and engagement opportunities with Sundance staff and the creative community. Artists can be working in film or television across fiction or nonfiction. 

The fellowship and Collab scholarship started in 2022 and are made possible by support from TAAF through a $400,000 grant provided by its AAPI Giving Challenge partners Panda Express and The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, who have committed $140,000 to support the program. The funding will provide artists with grants and year-round resources to support the artists and program activities.

Read the press release here.

Updates from  the inaugural cohort of the 2022 Sundance Institute | The Asian American Foundation Fellowship and Collab Scholarship

Vera Brunner-Sung Brunner-Sung and her team are getting closer to picture lock. They held a feedback screening on their work-in-progress cut for BITTERROOT—a film revolving around the life of a Hmong man who clings to his routine in the wake of a painful divorce—with their collaborators from the Hmong community in Missoula, Montana.

Desdemona Chiang Chiang's episodic project MADE IN USA was adapted into a short film and went into production in July 2023. The short, now in post-production, is about a dutiful casino host who, after getting laid off from her job, decides to get into the underground world of birth tourism.

Shayok Misha Chowdhury Chowdhury directed the world premiere of his bilingual play PUBLIC OBSCENITIES, which explores the pleasures and pitfalls of living in translation as it follows a queer studies PhD student returning to his family home in Kolkata with his Black American boyfriend. The sold-out, New York Times Critic's Pick production was the first time Bangla had been spoken on or Off Broadway.

Georgia Fu Fu was able to have a table read to further develop her script for APPROXIMATE JOY, a film about a Taiwanese American teenager who runs away with her high school history teacher to escape her grief from the death of her father. She also filmed a profile on fashion designers Phillip Lim and Prabal Gurung for TAAF's "Heritage Heroes" program on Hulu.

Leomax (Ziyuan) He He completed a feature-length script titled Re: Hu-Hu, which explores father-son relationships against the backdrop of the pandemic. He also completed a 16 minute short film titled GUNGNIR based on the plots from Re:Hu-Hu that he will submit to film festivals.

Jenna Lam Lam's AMBITIOUS—a series about a bold Vietnamese-Cambodian-American girl who navigates her new life as a college-dropout-enabled her to get closer to the Southeast Asian Community, especially in Philadelphia. The series's teaser premiered at the Cambodian Association of Greater Philadelphia's Khmer New Year Gala.

Simi Prasad Prasad developed a re-break of her Indian fantasy epic pilot sample, CHANGING OF THE GUARD, which is about a mythical world inspired by medieval India. She is excited to get back to work as a writer’s assistant on a top secret upcoming feature.

Nicole Solis-Sison Solis-Sison’s short film Undocuhoneys: Homecoming is currently exhibited at the Dalton Gallery, Agnes Scott College in Atlanta, Georgia until December 1, 2023. She also completed a second draft of her feature length script PAPELES. She served as a producer on the documentary FROM HERE, FROM THERE, premiering on PBS VOCES in 2024.

Norbert Shieh Shieh’s film PRESERVES—a lyrical meditation on food, labor, and loss—is in its assembly editing stage. The team hopes to get a rough cut ready to send it out next year for further funding, labs, and workshops.

Sundance Institute | The Asian American Foundation Fellowship and Collab Scholarship are made possible by

Thank you!
Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Andrea
Cherng
,
Chief Brand Officer, Panda Express

The beauty of storytelling, it's the power to really change the heart and mind of an audience.

2023 Sundance Institute | The Asian American Foundation Fellowship
Daniel Chein
Daniel Chein
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Justin Kim
Justin Kim
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Naomi Ko
Naomi Ko
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Tee Jaehyung Park
Tee Jaehyung Park
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Urvashi Pathania
Urvashi Pathania
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Jiayan “Jenny” Shi
Jiayan “Jenny” Shi
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2023 Sundance Institute | The Asian American Foundation Collab Scholarship
Kristine Gerolaga
Kristine Gerolaga
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Rahi Hasan
Rahi Hasan
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Quang Nong
Quang Nong
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Miles Orduña
Miles Orduña
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Betsy Tsai
Betsy Tsai
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Jackie! Zhou
Jackie! Zhou
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Kathy
Im
,
Director of Journalism and Media, MacArthur Foundation

“MacArthur’s aims are centered around leveraging philanthropy as a means to empower underserved communities, and we are proud to be a part of such an effort alongside the Sundance Institute, TAAF, and Panda Express. We look forward to seeing the impact that the Fellowship and Scholarship have on shaping the next generation of AAPI artists in film and media.”

2022 Sundance Institute | The Asian American Foundation Fellowship
Vera Brunner-Sung
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Desdemona Chiang
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Shayok Misha Chowdhury
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Tadashi Nakamura
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Neo Sora
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Sean Wang
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2022 Sundance Institute | The Asian American Foundation Collab Scholarship
Georgia Fu
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Leomax (Ziyuan) He
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Jenna Lam
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Simi Prasad
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Norbert Shieh
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Nicole Solis-Sison
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Hajnal
Molnar-Szakacs
,
Director, Artist Accelerator at Sundance Institute

We’re so excited to continue uplifting Asian American and Pacific Islander voices through this collaboration with TAAF. Last year’s fellowship and Sundance Collab scholarship bolstered our support of fresh diverse AAPI voices, and we look forward to discovering where these opportunities will lead another group of talented storytellers from the community.