Sundance Institute | The Asian American Foundation Fellowship and Collab Scholarship

Together, Sundance Institute and TAAF are launching Sundance Institute | The Asian American Foundation Fellowship and Collab Scholarship to provide Asian American and Pacific Islander storytellers with creative and tactical support to develop their skills and bring their projects to life. The Fellowship and the Scholarship aim to improve AAPI representation in the film, theater, and television industries over the long-term by cultivating AAPI artists and elevating their stories.

Our first cohort of six AAPI Fellowship members will have a year-round learning experience to advance their development in the arts. Each artist will receive a $20,000 unrestricted grant to support their individual projects, as well as customized support from the Institute.

In addition, six emerging AAPI creatives will receive a Sundance Collab scholarship to enroll in a live online course focused on their discipline of choice, receive a Creator+ Sundance Collab membership to access the Master Classes in the video library, participate in exclusive networking and community-building events, and receive feedback from Sundance Collab Advisors on their projects.

The Fellowship and Scholarship are made possible by support from TAAF, through a grant provided by its AAPI Giving Challenge partner Panda Express and The MacArthur Foundation.

“As an American-born company founded by Chinese immigrants, we recognize the value of corporate engagement in philanthropic activities to make strategic investments in our communities. We are particularly passionate about fostering greater cultural understanding and appreciation through the power of storytelling of AAPI communities through education and the arts. We are proud to support TAAF’s program with the Sundance Institute, as it drives necessary resources toward strengthening and empowering AAPI artists to share their distinct voices and further diversify the American entertainment industry.”
—Andrea Cherng, Panda Express Chief Brand Officer

“MacArthur’s aims are centered around leveraging philanthropy as a means to empower underserved communities, and we are proud to be a part of such an effort alongside the Sundance Institute, TAAF, and Panda Express. We look forward to seeing the impact that the Fellowship and Scholarship have on shaping the next generation of AAPI artists in film and media.”
—Kathy Im, MacArthur Foundation, Director of Journalism and Media

Sundance Institute | The Asian American Foundation Fellowship

Tadashi Nakamura

Third Act: On its surface, Third Act is a biopic that explores Robert Nakamura’s life and role as the “Godfather of Asian American film," made by his son, Tadashi Nakamura. But with Robert’s diagnosis of Parkinson's disease, the film poses a complex question: how can a father and son say goodbye?

Vera Brunner-Sung

Bitterroot: A Hmong man in Montana hides the truth about his lost job and failed marriage from his mother. But when she suddenly falls ill, he must finally reckon with his painful past to save them both.

Desdemonda Chiang

Made in USA : After getting passed up for a promotion and unexpectedly fired, a Chinese-American casino host takes in the pregnant teen daughter of her wealthiest client and turns her home into a birth hotel to regain control of her life.

Sean Wang

Dìdi (弟弟): Fremont, CA. 2008. In the last month of summer before high school begins, an impressionable thirteen-year-old Taiwanese American boy learns what his family can’t teach him: how to skate, how to flirt and how to love your mom.

Neo Sora

Earthquake: A rabble-rousing teenager living in near-future Tokyo, where inhabitants await the next big earthquake, must decide between continuing a life of youthful abandon, or losing one of his best friends whose blossoming political consciousness has made him more distant.

Shayok Misha Chowdhury

Rheology: Rheology is a live concert-memoir-physics-symposium. An artist son studies his physicist mother. She studies the strange behavior of sand. Together, they unravel the science—the story—of how things flow.

Sundance Institute | The Asian American Foundation Collab Scholarship

Jenna Lam

Ambitious: An impatient, bold Vietnamese-Cambodian-American girl who navigates her new life as a college-dropout despite her immigrant mother's wishes and plans for her.

Leomax (Ziyuan) He

Gungnir: 2020 Los Angeles, the outbreak of the COVID-19 accidentally coincides with the birthday wish of a 9 years old boy, Leo, who wants to stop a Chinese-American girl Charly he crushes from going back to China. He who thinks the pandemic is due to him panics everyday as he fears others will learn this secret.

Nicole Solis-Sison

Papeles: A coming of age film about two young asylum refugees searching for the ICE agent that saved them.

Georgia Fu

Approximate Joy: A young Taiwanese American teenager decides to run away with her high school history teacher to escape her grief from the sudden death of her father. On the road, she discovers that no matter how far you run, you cannot run away from yourself.

Norbert Shieh

Preserves: Preserves follows the lives of those who keep a disappearing agricultural tradition alive through intimate moments between work and their quiet domestic lives. Taking place in Taiwan, the film is a lyrical portrait that explores “table to farm” for the culinary ingredient, suan cai - a pickled mustard green.

Simi Prasad

Changing of the Guard: In a mythical world inspired by medieval India, after her aunt is executed for failing to prevent the mysterious murder of the king she was sworn to defend, a dutiful commoner will take her place as an elite guard to the new authoritarian queen to protect her family from retribution.

Thank you to our partners for their support.