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Documentary Filmmaking

BEHIND THE FLAVORS OF NEW YORK – Producer and Content Director through City Lore org. for this short documentary. Over centuries of modernization and development, the idea of food has become closely intertwined with the cultural identity of individuals and communities. How do three New York City restaurants embody the preservation of culture through food and highlight the immigrant experience in the US? This film explores the intersection of personal immigrant narratives and food culture, as well as the response of small businesses during the covid pandemic. Featuring insights from Veselka’s Tom Birchard and Olesia Lew, Bessou’s Maiko Kyogoku, Tyler Thrift, and Emily Yuen, and Bagel House’s Sunyoung La. (18 minutes, 2020-2021)

Directed by: Alice La, Sumya Abida and Esther Bistricer

Produced by Raquel Almazan, City Lore Urban Explorers Program.

Teaching Artist Mentor: Suzette Burton, Raquel Almazan

City Lore, Education, Urban Explorers Films

 

SWEET HOME CHINATOWN? – Producer and Content Director through City Lore org. for this short documentary depicting modern day Chinatown in New York City. Through interviews with art activists such as co-founder of Chinatown Art Brigade- Tomie Arai, fourth-generation owner of Wing on Wo—Chinatown’s oldest store—Gary Lum, and students and residents from the Chinatown community. The film uses personal and collective narratives to highlight the neighborhood’s struggles with gentrification. Oral history from Chinese immigrant residents such as Gary Lum, fourth-generation owner of family antiques shop, offer insight to the ways in which historical cultural values of immigrant business families are reinvented to flourish in contemporary times. This film investigates how immigrant culture is preserved, not negotiated in relation to the American landscape. (11 minutes, 2019)

Directed by: Sumya Abida, Zawadi Boyce, Tina Gao, Ningxi Pan and Michelle Villalba.

Produced by Raquel Almazan, City Lore Urban Explorers Program.

Teaching Artist Mentor: Mei Kazama, Raquel Almazan

City Lore, Education, Urban Explorers Films

 

 

SMITHSONIAN SHORTS – Producer and Content Director through City Lore org. for a series of short 2 min documentaries directed by youth addressing the United Nations sustainability goals. Commissioned by The Smithsonian Museum. Four films awarded top 10 awards in Teens Dream international competition 2020.

 

 

PRIDE STORIES: Life Jacket Theatre partnered with the Queer Detainee Empowerment Project to support LGBTQIA+ immigrants share their urgent stories with a series of short docs. Storytelling Coaches: Raquel Almazan & Drew Drake. Video: Jeremy Kotin. Support: Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York – Funds for Anti-Oppression Work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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