This month, we catch up with Pearl Ji-Hyon Park, director of CAN, civil rights activist and health advocate/educator.
For the second consecutive year, producer/director Park will be headed to a community event about Asian American mental health at the White House. In conjunction with Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month this May, the Asian American Behavioral Health Forum — which convenes leaders in mental health from around the country — is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
How did you first hear about NYWIFT and what made you decide to join?
I heard about NYWIFT through other filmmaker friends. I was a member of Cinewomen when its membership merged with NYWIFT's in 2008. The key reason I joined was the instant empathy I had with other women filmmakers.
What is your experience with membership?
I've found a lot of camaraderie among women filmmakers. I get together with NYWIFT members on a regular basis and whether it's misery or joy, I do have a circle of NYWIFT members to share it with.
Do you have any advice for other NYWIFT members?
To documentary producer/directors, I would say to do your research in-depth before even picking up the camera and develop strong relationships with the affinity groups. Be realistic in developing fundraising strategies and in assessing the long-term net profits. Be strategic in raising and spending money.
What do you hope to get from NYWIFT as a member and what are some of your future goals for your career?
I hope have a network of people to turn to for support, advice, and socializing. NYWIFT has also been a great source of professional development with their myriad of programs. I'm working on an experimental short and after that is completed, I'm going to foray into the narrative realm with a script and who knows what'll happen.
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NYWIFT programs, screenings and events are supported, in part, by grants from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.
Last updated: May. 14, 2014