AAPI / Anti-Racism

Author: School of Cinema
April 20, 2021

Dear Cinema Community,

Last summer, the murder of George Floyd by the Minneapolis police re-ignited a national movement for Black Lives. Black activists and their allies took collective action for justice in the face of reprisals from law enforcement, federal agents, and armed vigilantes.

Simultaneous to this anti-racist reckoning, Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans were widely targeted by hate attacks, with over 44% of the anti-AAPI hate attacks in the nation taking place in California. After the racist, misogynist murders of six Asian spa workers of March 2021, AAPI communities declared “no more.”

We know that many of you have struggled, feeling marginalized, afraid, unsafe - or perhaps angry and unheard due to the visibility of racist violence.

We want you to know that you are not alone.

Inspired by your student organizing against AAPI hate and for Black lives, we faculty commit ourselves to build an anti-racist learning environment, where all scholars and storytellers feel supported and empowered to tell their stories.

American cinema has long been a vector of racist violence toward communities of color.

Despite this, Black, indigenous, and people of color filmmakers have resisted racism with all their being through the stories they tell, the films they make, and the spaces they have fought to create within the film industry since the silent era.

We hope that our students can draw strength from the lineage of distinguished AAPI alumni, including Arthur DongDebbie LumSteven Okazaki, and Emiko Omori.

We encourage our students to seek faculty support in their struggle against intersecting oppressions.

We ask you to hold us accountable to our stated values of engagement, equity, diversity, inclusion, and access.

We pledge to do more alongside our students to fight for a better world.

In solidarity,

The School of Cinema Faculty
San Francisco State University

Statements from School of Cinema Students 

"On March 26, I helped organize the “Rise with Asians” rally, where students and young people were protesting anti-Asian violence, including the murder of Angelo Quinto by Antioch police officers.

As we rise up against violence targeting the AAPI community, we must stand in solidarity with all Black and Brown, trans and queer communities fighting against state repression.

Here are ways that fellow students can rise up:

  • Recognize that the issues you face are interlinked with others.
  • See what the political climate is in your area.
  • Get involved in grassroots organizations near you.

We must look beyond confronting individual hatred to resist the oppressive system of capitalism that breeds racism, classism, transphobia, and xenophobia."

     - Nickel Rivera, Cinema major and Chair of the League of Filipino Students.


"Dear AAPI Cinema Community,

As we overcome feelings of overwhelming fear, isolation, and abandonment, may we find strength and courage as a community of inclusion, acceptance, and celebration. May we stand in solidarity against racism, division, and Anti-AAPI Hate. May we continue to celebrate our cultures, our histories, and our identities through creative expressions in cinema, especially as mainstream media continuously perpetuates the misrepresentation and exclusion of the AAPI community.

For my upcoming undergraduate thesis project, I intend on cinematically confronting generational trauma associated with America’s historical Anti-AAPI sentiments, namely the Japanese American Incarceration experience during WWII, through a narrative fiction short film. As a fifth-generation Japanese American, I aim to explore my paternal family’s experiences in America to see how this relates to the plethora of Japanese American stories told in the literature and various documentaries while attempting to address problematic representations of the Japanese American Incarceration experience in feature films specifically, and of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in general.”

     - Kevin Kodama, Cinema Major and Events Chair, Feminist Filmmakers' Fellowship


"I write in solidarity with the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities under attack, and I will forever hold space in my heart for grief and hope for all of the families that have been directly affected by these horrendous crimes. As the events officer for Cinema Collective at SFSU, I consider this club to be an extremely important and necessary outlet for creativity and awareness. I am also proud to be a cinema student at SFSU where inclusion and diversity are promoted and prioritized. As filmmakers, we must aim to dismantle the dehumanizing of AAPI in Hollywood, and uplift each other during these times."

     - Claire Stone, Cinema Major and Events Chair, Cinema Collective

Statement From the Campus Community 

Please see these words from across our campus community for context on the ‘history anti-Asian racism in the US as well as ways to get engaged.

Works from Cinema Students and Alumni

If you are a current AAPI student or recent alum and would like to share a film that you have made, you may submit it for inclusion by sending it to Jiri with the subject line “AAPI/BIPOC Student Film”

Birdy Wei-ting Hung's Film:

Dear Commuter

Raphael Allen V. Mallari's Film:

Love For Food

Ying Wencie Hoang's Films:


Missed Days

Works from the school of Cinema Archive

Below, we share works that represent over 60 years of SF State filmmakers with by AAPI, Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and BIPOC perspectives, courtesy of the Archive Project and recent students and alumni:

Archive Project Event - "Archive of Hidden Voices"

Exploring cinematic expressions of Black and Native Americans in the mid-20th Century and the historical contexts that produced them, this presentation will also explore the importance of preserving obscure and non-traditional works of art in their original format.

Organized by SFSU alum Stephen Kane.


  • Black and Tan - dir. Dudley Murphy
  • Bundle of Blues - dir. Fred Waller
  • Symphony in Black - dir. Fred Waller
  • Cab Calloway's Jitterbug Party - dir. Fred Waller
  • Paradise in Harlem - dir. Joseph Seiden
  • Boogie Woogie Dream - dir. Hanus Berger
  • Open the Door Richard - dir. William Forest Crouch
  • I Ain't Gonna Open That Door - dir. William Forest Crouch
  • Dirty Gertie from Harlem U.S.A. - dir. Spencer Williams
  • All My Babies: A Midwife's Story - dir. George C. Stoney
  • Streets of Greenwood - dir. Jack Willis
  • Troublemakers - dir. Norman Fruchter, Robert Machover
  • Malcolm X: Struggle for Freedom - dir. Lebert Bethune
  • Goodbye & Good Luck - dir. Kirk Browning
  • The People Left Behind - dir. Kirk Browning
  • Listen Whitey (World in Action) - dir. Leslie Woodhead
  • The Jungle - dir. Charlie Davis, Jimmy Robinson, David Williams, Reginald Ackridge
  • Still a Brother: Inside the Negro Middle Class - dir. William Greaves
  • The Black Woman (Black Journal) - dir. Stan Lathan
  • Ujima - dir. Carol Munday Lawrence
  • Imani - dir. Carol Munday Lawrence
  • Bones - dir. Carol Munday Lawrence
  • Serving Two Masters - dir. Edward Tim Lewis
  • Acorns: Staple Food of California Indians – prod. UC Dept. Anthropology
  • Hopis: Guardians of the Land - dir. Dennis Burns
  • Dineh: The People (A Portrait of the Navajo) - dir. Jonathan Reinis, Stephen Hornick
  • Mass for the Dakota Sioux - dir. Bruce Baillie
  • The Owl Who Married a Goose - dir. Caroline Leaf
  • Home - dir. John C. Stevens
  • Colliding Worlds - dir. Orie Sherman
  • The Ballad of Crowfoot - dir. Willie Dunn

Archive Project Event - “Stories from Elsewhere”

Defying geographical spaces, borders, and languages, "Stories from Elsewhere" is a curated program from the archive of the Experimental Documentary Workshop course that confirms that our stories come from afar. Covering different documentary styles, these films explore the complex nature of migration, diaspora, and transformation. 

Organized by Diana Sánchez Maciel and Professor Greta Snider


  • Golden Ghost Gone - dir. Zane
  • Refrain - dir. David Washburn
  • Los Recuerdos - dir. Nelson Gonzales
  • Judy - dir. Timothy Gee
  • Goat's Milk - dir. Jamie Oliveira
  • Krylon Superstar - dir. Trace Cox
  • Dandelion Spores - dir. Rachel Kim
  • Ghost Syndrome - dir. Rita Piffer
  • Exposure - dir. Brian Ho 

Archive Project Event – “Queer Cinema Of SF State"

One of the goals of the recently founded Archive Project in SF State’s School of Cinema is to explore the school’s rich legacy of films that have been created by students and faculty of the past and present. That is why on Tuesday, May 4 at 6 p.m., The Archive Project will be putting on a special one-time-only screening of queer cinema made by students throughout SF State’s long history. The presented short films showcase a variety of experiences and genres that speak to the complex history of LGBTQIA+ culture that can be found in San Francisco just by looking at artists who have gone through the university’s doors.

Organized by Ryan Mccandless 


  • Dyketactics - dir. Barbara Hammer
  • Dear Rock - dir. Jack Walsh
  • Sambal Belacan in San Francisco - dir. Madeleine Lim
  • Muni to the Marriage - dir. Stuart Gaffney
  • Uranus in the Seventh House - dir. Jorge Oliver

See the School of Cinema's Equity Page.