Do you identify as Asian or Pacific Islander?

Feb 18, 2022 | News, Racial

Tell your story in a documentary film

The Film

Vivien Hao, a filmmaker from Pacific Unitarian Church in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA has partnered with Shulee Ong (director, videographer and editor) and Lori Lai (associate producer) to create a 60-90 minute documentary film that lifts up Asian and Pacific Islanders (API) who identify as Unitarian Universalist. Vivien identifies as API herself. Years ago she was inspired by traveling photo exhibitions she had seen that spotlighted people of color, and by seeing only pictures of white men at UUA headquarters, to make something that focused on API in Unitarian Universalism. The re-emphasis on the 8th Principle and Widening the Circle Report and multiculturalism within the Unitarian Universalist Association inspired her to make this film now.

Once made, a social media campaign will advertise it as being available for viewing through her church’s website. Churches who partnered with her on this project can do an advance screening, and it will be submitted to various opportunities to reach non-Unitarian Universalists. The film will be made with a viewing audience of unchurched API in mind.

Funding for this project has been received from the Fund for Unitarian Universalism and the Pacific Western Region of the UUA.

Invisible No More – Soundbites from Shulee Ong on Vimeo.

Call for Interviewees

East Shore Unitarian Church in Bellevue, WA is a partner of Vivien Hao’s film. The film is tentatively called Invisible No More. We are inviting all people who identify as Asian, Pacific Islander (API) and Unitarian Universalist (UU) in Washington State to consider submitting their story of their experiences being an API UU.

The criteria for being considered for the film are: 1) you self- identify as API and UU. You do not need to be a member of a UU congregation; 2) and have a compelling story of contribution to communities or the UU world. Contributions can be of leadership, activism, or representation.

How To Submit Your Story

If you are interested in being considered for Vivien’s film, please send a one – two paragraph summary of your story to [email protected] along with your phone number by March 31st. You will be contacted by Vivien for an interview if you are a candidate for her film.

If you have further questions before submitting your story, please contact Grace at [email protected].

General Information

Interviewees from all areas of WA State are welcome to submit their stories for consideration. Vivien will make the final selections. Recruitment of interviewees is happening in other large metropolitan areas besides Seattle. Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Orange County, and New York City are examples.

Film format is expected to be that of a story with video and possibly, narration by the interviewee. Interviews will be recorded. An overall story arc will be created after interviews are done. Interviewees can preview the finished product and comment on it. Time required from the interviewees is estimated to be a half day (3-4hrs) plus a pre-interview (.5 hour). Location filming will happen separately. Weekends or weekdays can be arranged for interviewing. Generally late March – early April would be ideal for interviewing but later months can be arranged.

Biographies of the Film’s Creators

Vivien Hao, is a co-founder of the Asian Pacific Islander Caucus of DRUMM, a former Journey Toward Wholeness trainer for the UUA and a past congregational president of Pacific Unitarian Church in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA, where she has been active for more than 25 years. She currently chairs the Multicultural Transformation Team at PUC. Vivien is a semi-retired school public relations director with experience in community organizing, project management, public relations, marketing and digital storytelling. She was associate producer of the award-winning documentary “Vincent Who?” about the socio/political impact of the hate crime murder of a Chinese American Detroit native. Vivien has a BA in journalism from the University of Southern California. As a former TV news reporter and producer, Vivien will serve as project manager and producer/writer of the Invisible No More project.

Shulee Ong is a key member of the production team for Sunday livestream services at the First Unitarian Universalist Society of San Francisco. She is a former member of the UUSF Board of Trustees. Currently, she produces interactive on-line videos and other training materials for the San Francisco School Unified District. In 1990, Shulee produced a documentary, Because This About Love, on gay and lesbian marriage which was aired on select PBS stations throughout U.S. including KQED, the San Francisco PBS affiliate. Shulee spearheaded the UUSF team that produced, directed and edited a video series, Beloved Stories to highlight BIPOC members of the congregation; one of these videos was featured in the 2019 GA program. Shulee also directed a documentary, Beloved Universalists, Living the UU Faith in the Philippines; an early version of this film was featured in the 2021 GA program, “Filipinos as UUs”.  Shulee earned a B.F.A in Media from Mass. College of Art and M.S. in Educational Technology from San Francisco State University. She will serve as director/videographer and editor of the Invisible No More project.

Lori Lai is a long-time collaborator with Shulee Ong on various video projects including Because This is about Love, Beloved Stories and Beloved Universalists, Living the UU Faith in the Philippines.  Currently she is the Treasurer, UUSF Board of Trustees and chair of the Finance Committee as well as former chair of the Human Rights Working Group.  She is working in the COVID-19 testing industry specializing in human factors and medical device usability. Lori will serve as associate producer of the project.