May News

Asian American and Asian Pacific Islanders Finding New Opportunities in Film 

AAPI representation in film, television and streaming is growing, but still has a way to go. 

The entertainment industry is making progress towards greater diversity at many levels. Hiring diverse writers, directors, lead actors and actresses is not only good for a company’s image, but also for their bottom line.

What's Happening in the Bay Area

Center for Asian American Media (CAAM) presents the 40th Annual CAAMFest - May 12, 2022

In honor of May being Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, take some time to attend CAAMFest’s 40thAnniversary celebration.  An exciting and informative mix of in-person and virtual events, it’s the nation’s largest showcase for new Asian American and Asian films.  Click on the links below to find ticket info (many events are free) for panels, screenings, and special presentations: 

CAAMFest Film Program

CAAMFest Special Events

Grants Corner

Upcoming Grant Application Deadlines: 

SFFILM DOCUMENTARY FILM FUND (DFF) supports engaging documentaries in post-production which exhibit compelling stories, intriguing characters, and an original, innovative visual approach: apply here

-- Deadline May 20, 2022

REDFORD CENTER GRANTS OPEN CALL Filmmakers with new and ongoing nonfiction feature films or docu-series at any stage of development, production or postproduction are eligible to apply: apply here

 -- Deadline May 30, 2022

THE SANDBOX FUND offers grants, engagement events, and other opportunities for independent artists seeking to explore the intrinsic link between science and culture through innovative storytelling: apply here

-- Deadline June 1, 2022 

Asian-American Grant Opportunities

CENTER FOR ASIAN AMERICAN MEDIA (CAAM) DOCUMENTARIES FOR SOCIAL CHANGE FUND invites Asian American doc filmmakers, especially those from underrepresented Asian American communities, interested in making ambitious social issue projects that push the boundaries for Asian American storytelling to apply: link to participate

CENTER FOR ASIAN AMERICAN MEDIA (CAAM) DOCUMENTARY FUND - With support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, CAAM provides project funding to independent documentary films by and about the Asian American experience for public TV: apply here

Events and News

Celebrating our accomplishments at the Appreciation Brunch (Left to Right): board members Christina McKinley, Julie Rubio, honoree Katherine Kerr, board pres. Tasha Nesbitt, board members Robyn Bykofsky, Carol Hall, honorees Megan Larsen and Anna Sophie Loewenberg.

We will also be asking for folks to be part of our pitch feedback panel. This is a great mentorship opportunity. Please contact us if you're interested!


As a part of our ongoing mission to empower, promote and celebrate women’s creative works, we are hosting a special event to raise awareness about local talent in the bay area and to help bring our projects to the forefront. 

You are invited to submit your short narrative
or documentary projects
(5 min - 20 min) by June 30, 2022. 

Films must have a crew and/or cast that includes or features women or those identifying as women.  All topics of subject matter are welcome.

You will be notified by July 31st or sooner if your film has been chosen to be part of the Showcase.


The Short Film Showcase will launch virtually on September 15th, 2022 featuring write-ups with links to your film and 7 days of promotion for each of the films. 


Then, on September 22, 2022 @ 6pm WIFSFBA will host a virtual Q&A featuring a panel with the film’s creator(s). The event will be open to the public.

*** Please help us spread the word about the Short Film Showcase by sharing with your network! ***

INSTRUCTIONS    ( Submit your film by June 30, 2022 )

For questions, please contact the WIFSFBA at    Attn: Question - Short Film Showcase

Members in the News

MasterClassTM winner - Nicole Conley 🎉

Thanks to the national organization of Women in Film (WIFT-US), we are thrilled to award a free scholarship to MasterClassTM to one of our members for one year! Nicole Conley’s application rose to the top - she’s passionate about film, and she recently re-engaged with the screenplay she began in 2018. 

Nicole wrote in her application that she’s most excited to learn from Shonda Rhimes, Issa Rae, and Spike Lee. “I would consider it a blessing to be able to not only take classes from my top three instructors, but also have a whole year to learn and expand my knowledge with all the classes MasterClass has to offer.”

Congratulations, Nicole! 🎉

Kathryn Machi

Big news from member Kathryn Machi! Her TV script June Rose: An American Chronicle, set mostly in 1960s San Francisco, was recently selected for the 2022 Indigenous List, a partnership between IllumiNative, The Black List, and Sundance Institute. The Indigenous List will feature film and television scripts authored by Native American, Native Hawaiian, and Alaskan Native Film artists working in the U.S. 

Congratulations, Kathryn! 🎉

Kathryn’s feature script, Firebird, was optioned by Endeavor Content in late 2021, and she was a Finalist in IllumiNative's Pop Culture 2022 Producers Program!

Read more about her work at and on her Facebook page.

C.M. Conway

Bay Area filmmaker C.M. Conway (she/her) recently had a private Bay Area premiere of her indie, female-led film, "How to Successfully Fail in Hollywood," and received an outpouring of positive responses. This is her first feature in all roles of executive producer, director, writer, editor and protagonist. The witty and poignant film is an ode to struggling artists, especially women, trying to make it in the industry on their terms, against all odds. Her film champions gender equity, diversity, and supports the LGBTQIA+ communities. The film was covered in the Press Democrat, KRCB (NPR), U.S. News and World Report, OwlGuru and CircleAround. Visit to learn about upcoming screenings in the area.

Julie Mell

Julie Mell found a way to boost spirits and business during the pandemic. She is the founder of Beach Break Entertainment, based in Half Moon Bay, CA, a company that spreads her love of film to the wider community.

“One of my main goals is to bring the joy that I have experienced attending Sundance Film Festivals over the years to our Bay Area communities during this especially challenging time. This enables us to also help small businesses and nonprofits in town while offering our visitors and neighbors an opportunity to enjoy a day at the beach and end it with dinner and a movie in a beautiful, peaceful setting.  It’s the perfect family - or romantic - getaway, as we like to say, ‘Under the Stars, In Your Cars.’”

This May, Beach Break kicked off Under the Stars, In your Cars, on May 7th in the beautiful town of Pacifica, CA. As she likes to say, “Come for the beach, stay for dinner and a movie. The pop up drive-ins and sit-ins are the only form of movie entertainment on the spectacular San Mateo County coast!” 

Did you finish a project in the past year?  Beach Break is currently scouting for films to screen during their Beach Break Film Festival taking place between Christmas and New Years. The theme? Mostly made in CA by CA filmmakers. Please reach out to Julie Mell, for more information.

Nan Su

Nan Su's short documentary "Carved in Time" has been selected for the Poppy Jasper International Film Festival China Day. The screening and Q&A session was held at Ding Ding TV in Santa Clara, California on May 7th, 2022. 

Nan Su's virtual reality project "Circle of Seasons" was selected for and screened at the Ivy Film Festival in Providence, Rhode Island on April 23rd and 24th, 2022.

Nan Su's short documentaries "The Little Masters" and "Carved in Time" were selected for the Poppy Jasper International Film Festival and screened in Gilroy, California on April 6th, 2022. 

Nan Su is an independent filmmaker, who writes, directs, produces, and does post-production on her own and other’s film and TV projects. She is also a continuing education instructor at the Rhode Island School of Design. She received her MFA in film from the California College of the Arts. 

Nan is called to reveal the commonalities of all human beings through examining unique cultures. With five years of professional experience and several volunteer experiences, Nan is proficient in multiple aspects of the filmmaking process. Her multiple film projects have been selected for, nominated for, and won awards at various film festivals. 

Newsletter editor Amy Harrison is a director, creative producer and WIFSFBA board member. Send us your news!