Grace Lee: Documentary Filmmaker on A-Doc Ep 76

25 May 2020



A note from Talking Taiwan host Felicia Lin:


A-Doc, the Asian American Documentary Network was established in 2016 and is a resource and network for nonfiction filmmakers at all different stages of their career. I spoke with one of A-Doc’s Co-founders, Grace Lee, about the organization, and its “Asian American Stories of the Coronavirus” microdoc series, with microdocs being released throughout the month of May and beyond.


Grace also told me about two of her most recent documentary film projects, the PBS five-part documentary “Asian Americans,” which will air May 11 and May 12, and the “And She Could Be Next” docuseries for POV on PBS that will be released in June. And she shared an interesting piece of advice for aspiring documentary filmmakers, to learn the difference between asking questions that reveal a story or insight vs. information.


Here’s a little preview of what we talked about in this podcast episode:


  • How Grace got involved with the Auntie Sewing Squad
  • A-Doc (Asian American Documentary Network) and its mission
  • The A-Doc “Asian American Stories of the Coronavirus” microdoc series
  • How Valerie’s microdoc “Sewing in the Time of Coronavirus” became A-Doc’s proof of concept for the “Asian American Stories of the Coronavirus” microdoc series
  • The events, work and initiatives of A-Doc
  • Resources that Grace recommends for documentary filmmakers to deal with the COVI-19 pandemic
  • A-Doc’s partnership with the Center for Asian American Media (in San Francisco) on a mentorship/fellowship program
  • A-Doc’s work on creating a database of documentary films made by Asian American filmmakers
  • The networking opportunities for filmmakers facilitated by A-Doc
  • What’s in the future for A-Doc
  • How has the landscape of Asian American documentary films and filmmakers changed since Grace started her career
  • The PBS five-part documentary “Asian Americans,” that Grace worked on
  • “And She Could Be Next” series for POV (television’s longest-running showcase for independent non-fiction films on PBS) that Grace has worked on
  • Grace’s advice for aspiring documentary filmmakers


Related Links:


A-Doc (Asian American Documentary Network):


A-Doc’s “Stories of the Coronavirus” series on their YouTube channel:


A-Doc’s “Stories of the Coronavirus” series Facebook (Find it on the A-Doc Facebook page’s video playlist #AsianAmCovidStories):



A-Doc’s social media channels:


A-Doc Facebook page:


A-Doc on Instagram:


A-Doc on Twitter:


A-Doc YouTube channel:


The PBS five-hour series “Asian Americans”:



“And She Could Be Next” A new docuseries from POV:


A-Doc Co-Founder Grace Lee’s website:



A-Doc Co-Founder Leo Chiang’s website:



Loni Ding (The “godmother of Asian American documentaries”):



Resources for documentary filmmakers:


Filmmaker’s Guide To Applying For US Coronavirus Federal Relief:


The International Documentary Association:


Creative Capital:


California Humanities:


Our Talking Taiwan listeners may be interested in these related posts: 


Auntie Sewing Squad Combats Covid-19 One Mask at a Time Ep 75


Love Boat Taiwan: Interview with Asian American Studies Professor and Film Maker Valerie Soe Ep 66


Austin Asian American Film Festival: Prismatic Taiwan, A Series Celebrating Queer Taiwanese Cinema Ep 91



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