A Beautiful Presidential Conversation w/ Whitney Skauge and Terence Smith

In The Beauty President, Terence Smith retells his ’92 presidential campaign as his drag queen persona Ms. Joan Black in a conversational documentary short film by Whitney Skauge. Smith didn’t realize at the time it would be such a historic moment in political art, and this film captures his surprise and delight at being a part of history. 

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HBO’s Fifth Annual Asian Pacific American Visionaries Short Film Competition Selects its Winners

It’s that time of year again!

HBO has announced the three finalists of the fifth annual Asian Pacific American Visionaries, a short film competition showcasing stories told by directors of Asian and Pacific Islander (APA) descent. Out of hundreds of submissions, the judges, made up of HBO executives, industry leaders, and fellow APA filmmakers.

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‘Dinner is Served’ Director on Trying to Fit in and Finding Himself in the Process

Hao Zheng is no stranger to creating stories that touches on the human spirit. The award-winning director, who was recently named a 2021 Forbes 30 Under 30 honoree and recognized at countless film festivals, has been recognized for his work with the 2019 First International Film Festival Directing Lab and now as a 2020 Disney Launchpad Director and 2020 HBO Access Directing Program Fellow, where he continues to explore themes of identity and belonging.

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‘Let’s Be Tigers’ Director on Being Vulnerable and Processing Grief

One of the directors, Stefanie Abel Horowitz previously directed theater for nearly a decade before pivoting to film. She was determined to tell important stories through her work like her previous short film, sometimes, i think about dying, a story about a woman’s existential crisis with death, which premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.

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‘The Little Prince(ss)’ Director on Femininity, Toxic Masculinity, and Finding Acceptance

Growing up in a conservative town like Hunan, China, Peng was met with discouragement from the neighborhood over their femininity. As a queer and non-binary filmmaker who grew up in China, their focus has always been to address the working class and the intersectionality of the queer community. Peng was fortunate to have supportive parents who love them and always encouraged Peng to be who they were. The same could not be said of the parents of their friends. This is how The Little Prince(ss) was developed.

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‘Growing Fangs’ Director Anne Marie Pace on Finding Your Place in the World

Growing up Mexican American and bisexual in a family of anthropologists, Pace wanted to showcase what it meant to be an outsider and finding your place. She also is a huge fan of the supernatural. So, why not put the two and two together? That’s exactly what she did.

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‘Star Wars: Visions’ Headed to Anime Expo Lite

I know we all miss the con experience. But I will say I’m grateful some of the larger ones have found a way to deliver in-home experiences to comply with safety standards (we do have to still acknowledge that we’re coming off a pandemic, after all). And thankfully, Anime Expo is bringing fans Anime Expo Lite from July 3-4 this year. And one of the most intriguing panels featured will be a sneak preview of the mysterious Star Wars: Visions!

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NOC Interview: Faith Omole of ‘We Are Lady Parts’

Nida Manzoor’s We Are Lady Parts, a British series featuring a punk rock band of all Muslim women of color, premiered here in the US on NBC’s Peacock streaming service! It’s a landmark in Muslim representation for so many viewers worldwide, who haven’t been able to see themselves represented on screen like this in such a subversive, yet bold, way like this before.

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‘American Eid’ Director Aqsa Altaf on the Importance of Muslim Stories and Finding Her Voice

Disney’s Launchpad: Shorts Incubator — a filmmaking program dedicated to amplifying underrepresented voices — celebrates six directors in its inaugural year to create a story centered on the theme of ‘Discover.’

One of the voices came from Los Angeles-based filmmaker Aqsa Altaf who wanted to capture what it meant to be a Muslin American. Growing up in Kuwait by Pakistani and Sri Lankan parents in a Muslim home, Altaf realized there were not many stories surrounding Muslim stories, especially positive ones that celebrates the culture. Instead, Altaf only saw negative stereotypes of Muslims in the media. She wanted to change all of that and became fascinated with telling diverse stories that reflected on subject matters that are universal.

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The Middle Geeks Episode 27: ‘We Are Lady Parts’ Review

We are SO excited to discuss Nida Manzoor’s We Are Lady Parts, a British series featuring a punk rock band of all Muslim women of color, including MENA women, premiering today on Peacock TV! What did we love particularly about this series, and how well does it handle representation? We also discuss the news of the additional Sandman for Netflix, including the Lebanese Razane Jammal, American Eid debuting on Disney+, and much more!

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Disney’s ‘Launchpad’ Inspires Filmmakers to Tell Their Stories to Disney+

When you first hear the words Disney’s Launchpad, fans immediately think of the famous pilot from Disney’s DuckTales, Launchpad McDuck. It pops up in the Google search when you look up Disney’s Launchpad, but now, Disney is using the word for something greater (sorry, DuckTales fans) and something that will have a lasting impact on diversity and inclusion in filmmaking and storytelling in Hollywood. 

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Kickstart This: Marc Bernardin’s Directorial Debut, ‘Splinter’

Writer, and Friend of the NOC, Marc Bernardin had always hoped to direct a movie by the time he turned 50. Well, now he’s gone and done it!

Though he has already exceeded his original Kickstarter goal in less than 12 hours, Bernardin’s directorial debut, the short film Splinter, still has a month to go to raise even more money!

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The Middle Geeks Episode 26: ‘The Present’ in Palestine

We discuss the most recent IDF and Israeli government brutalization and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in Gaza and East Jerusalem and discuss what the world and the US need to do to help those affected and end the occupation. We discuss what the daily reality is like for Palestinians in the West Bank through Farah Nabulsi’s brilliant short film, The Present, which you can watch on Netflix. Please do what you can to help Palestinians in need.

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A “Short” Conversation with ’22 Vs. Earth’ Director Kevin Nolting and a Mini-Review

They may have won the Oscar this year, but Pixar has not lost its “Soul.” That’s right! As we reported recently, this Friday, Pixar is debuting its latest short, 22 Vs. Earth on Disney+. The film is a prequel to last year’s Oscar winner for Best Animated Film, and recipient of the highly coveted “Mike Manalo’s Favorite Movie of the Year Award,” Soul. It reunites us with the hilarious Tina Fey as 22, as well as the unborn souls and the Jerrys, prior to 22 meeting Joe Gardner. And to commemorate the return to The Great Before, The Nerds of Color was given the opportunity to participate in a short press event with other members of the press, to speak to the short film’s director, Kevin Nolting.

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The World of Pixar’s ‘Soul’ Continues with New Short Film: ’22 Vs. Earth’

Pixar’s Soul was probably my favorite film of 2020. Gorgeous as it was deep, it really served as a reminder of why Pixar is still the best in the Animation game at this point in time. And while I think it is the embodiment of the perfect one-and-done film (please don’t ever make a feature-length sequel to this perfect movie!) it’s nice to dip our toe into this world and revisit the characters from time to time in a limited capacity. And thankfully, Pixar is planning to do just that, with the upcoming release of their new short film, 22 Vs. Earth!

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Sweet 16: Top Films of 2016

For the better part of a decade, this has become an annual tradition for yours truly.

From January to December I compile a list of the best, artistic and most progressive films, television shows, and music albums. One of the reasons I do this is to provide resources to readers who are looking for cerebral, fun, and progressive media. It does exist as my lists have continued to prove. Don’t say I never gave you anything. You’re welcome.

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