HBO Asian Am Heritage Project

Following a tip from Asian Nation, HBO is looking for Asian Americans to share their story!

Asian American Heritage Project Seeking Stories

Hello everyone,

I was hired to direct a documentary PSA series for HBO which shoots at the end of this month in NYC. It is my first directorial project for HBO and luckily the subject matter has the potential to be fantastic but needs to be handled with care. You might laugh out loud when you hear what it is, but it’s an HBO Asian American Heritage Doc PSA. I know I am Asian and am not the most seemingly culturally Asian guy out there, but I am told they hired me because I am both inside and outside those circles. Works for me!

Now here is where you come in. I want you and/or your friends to be in it! And you are on this email because I think you might be able to send some good candidates. And if you or they get chosen, they’ll be on HBO in May and get paid, etc.

So do you have a story to tell about your experience as an Asian American? Can you tell the story on camera? Your story could be funny or inspirational or touching. It could be about your grandmother or your education or your favorite food. It could be your immigration story, your family’s unique approach to holidays, your job. As long as it’s real and as long as it’s uniquely you.

As an example, we currently have a story of a Korean kid who was adopted into an Italian family in Pennsylvania. He grew up 100% culturally Italian while looking very Korean to his peers. He won the outstanding Italian American scholarship for college and accepted the award in front of a room full of confused old Italians. Hilarity ensues and lessons are learned.

We also have a story of a grandfather who came to America from China. He couldn’t read the menu at McDonalds but was hungry as hell. All he could read were the words “Happy” and “Meal” so that’s what he ordered. He still cherishes the toy he received on that day.

We want a wide range of stories about how being Asian in America has shaped you in some way. We can also explore issues such as Asian fetishes and why Asians seemingly love break dancing and rap (I’m learning a lot about that one). And it would be great to hear from some folks who left a lot behind to come here and do not regret their decisions one bit. But most of all we want to show strength and color from all ages, demographics and backgrounds.

Email with your story and a little about your background and we will be in touch. And if you’re camera shy (or if this isn’t relevant to you) but know someone who is amazing, who is a great storyteller (maybe it’s your uncle, maybe it’s your best friend growing up), let them know. Spread the word.

I am looking for all Asian nationalities (East Asia, South Asia and Southeast Asia). Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Indian, Pakistani, Filipino, Vietnamese, Laotian, Hmong, Sri Lankan, Thai, Malaysian, Cambodian, etc. etc. (the list is endless). I am also looking for Bi-Racial folks, Adoptees, Transplants (Asian Americans from non-Asian countries – Brazil, Argentina, UK etc), Gay and Lesbian, 1st Generation, 2nd Generation, 3rd Generation, etc.

Religious or non-religious (Buddhist, Christian, Catholic, Shinto, Muslim, Hindu, Jain, Judaism, and others). Individuals who embrace or question their “Asian Heritage/Identity.” All ages, all incomes and all genders. You can get a PDF flyer of the project too.

Wow, this email is long. Thanks for reading this far and I hope you or someone you know sends their stories along!

Jon Yi // Director + Cinematographer

Did you not see that explicit invitation for Buddhists? I hope you can represent!