This film is being built by a community.

Although the film’s director has been working on “Mai American” for ten years, it really began to take form in December 2020.

This is when Kevin held a private virtual screening with nearly 100 friends, premiering a 20-minute short cut of the film made as a graduate student while studying at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism.

Since then, he has held nearly 30 community screenings of the short with schools, nonprofits, companies and organizations. This includes a virtual screening with a group of high school art students in El Paso, Texas, and an in-person screening (though he attended virtually) with employees of On Running in Zurich, Switzerland.

Other organizations he has been honored to partner up with include Nike, Google, Shutterstock, Kickstarter, Culture Amp, Persado, Unite Oregon, Raised by Us and The San Francisco Foundation. 

These community screenings helped the film crowdfund $45,419 from 622 backers in May 2021. Beyond that, it has built a community of supporters who are uplifting this story and carrying this film through its final stage of completion.

“Mai American” is about one refugee family who came to the United States nearly 40 years ago, but the themes of family, motherhood, resilience and the immigrant experience have resonated with a large audience around the world. Although the story is deeply rooted in Oregon and Vietnam, audiences have connected with this project from cities as diverse as New York City, London, Sydney, and Toronto. 

In this time of increasing discrimination and violence against Asians and Asian Americans in the United States and elsewhere, it is important that we come together as a community and demand that stories like this be told. 

Please help spread the word about this film!

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If you’re interested in hosting a community screening of a 30-minute short, email Kevin at This project has also received generous support from the Sundance Institute, MacArthur Foundation, the Center for Asian American Media, BAVC Media, Asian American Documentary Network, Haverford College, the California Film Institute, DocPitch, SFFilm, Regional Arts & Culture Council, the Portland Events and Film Office and the Rough Cut Retreat, a project of Catapult Film Fund and True/False Film Fest. 


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