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Five Asian American Films Set to Air on National TV

The Birth of Sake
The Birth of Sake by Erik Shirai. Photo by Yoshida Yasuyuki

By Louis Chan
AsAmNews National Correspondent

The Center for Asian American Media is announcing the TV debuts of five documentaries by Asian Americans airing on national television in the coming months.

The documentaries will air on PBS’ POV or the World Channel’s new showcase, Doc World.

The Birth of Sake by Japanese American Erik Shirai kicks it all off this coming Monday on POV. The Birth of Sake takes viewers behind the scenes in a rare look at sake making. The documentary features stunning videography and gives us a glimpse at the toll sake making can have on those workers who take part in the age-old process. The Birth of Sake won the Special Jury Mention for Best Documentary Director at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival.

The World Channel presents Arthur Dong’s The Killing Fields of Dr. Haing S Ngor on September 18.

Ngor’s won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Dith Pran in The Killing Fields. He would later be gunned down outside his Los Angeles Chinatown home by members of the Oriental Lazy Boyz street gang. Some have speculated his murder was politically motivated due to Ngor’s public opposition to the Khmer Rouge.


On October 16, the World Channel will air Among the Believers, the story of the radical Islamic school Red Mosque in Pakistan. The school has trained children to devote their lives to jihad, or holy war. The film is both shocking and timely.

Nanfu Wang’s Hooligan Sparrow is set to air on POV on October 17.

Hooligan Sparrow is the story of Ye Haiyan, an activist who ventures into southern China to seek the truth of six elementary school girls allegedly abused by their principal. The search for justice puts everyone in danger, including the filmmaker.

Finally, Tashi’s Turbine by Amitabh Joshi can be seen on the World Channel.

Namdok is a remote village in the Himalayas of Nepal. The small town has been without power for years. Tashim Bista’s dream is to bring light to a community that has seen so much darkness.


Check local listings for exact times and air dates for all films.


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