HBO Asian Heritage Project Seeking Stories

Got this in my inbox  –  I can’t say I know much about this project or the folks behind it, but wanted to repost here in case any of our readers are interested in adding their voices to the mix:

Hello everyone,

I hope this finds you well. I haven’t seen or spoken to a lot of you
in years, and some of you I just saw as recently as a few hours ago. I
apologize for the mass email but I wanted to get in touch with all of
you because I need your help and I think you may be able to help or
know some friends who may be interested in taking part in this
project. I was hired to direct a documentary PSA series for HBO which
shoots at the end of this month in NYC.

It is my first directorial project for HBO and luckily the subject
matter has the potential to be fantastic but needs to be handled with
care. You might laugh out loud when you hear what it is, but it’s an
HBO Asian American Heritage Doc PSA. I know I am Asian and am not the
most seemingly culturally Asian guy out there, but I am told they
hired me because I am both inside and outside those circles. Works for
me! Now here is where you come in. I want you and/or your friends to
be in it! And you are on this email because I think you might be able
to send some good candidates. And if you or they get chosen, they’ll
be on HBO in May and get paid, etc.

So do you have a story to tell about your experience as an Asian
American? Can you tell the story on camera? Your story could be funny
or inspirational or touching. It could be about your grandmother or
your education or your favorite food. It could be your immigration
story, your family’s unique approach to holidays, your job. As long as
it’s real and as long as it’s uniquely you.

As an example, we currently have a story of a Korean kid who was
adopted into an Italian family in Pennsylvania. He grew up 100%
culturally Italian while looking very Korean to his peers. He won the
outstanding Italian American scholarship for college and accepted the
award in front of a room full of confused old Italians. Hilarity
ensues and lessons are learned.

We also have a story of a grandfather who came to America from China.
He couldn’t read the menu at McDonalds but was hungry as hell. All he
could read were the words “Happy” and “Meal” so that’s what he
ordered. He still cherishes the toy he received on that day.

We want a wide range of stories about how being Asian in America has
shaped you in some way. We can also explore issues such as Asian
fetishes and why Asians seemingly love break dancing and rap (I’m
learning a lot about that one). And it would be great to hear from
some folks who left a lot behind to come here and do not regret their
decisions one bit. But most of all we want to show strength and color
from all ages, demographics and backgrounds.

about your background and we will be in touch.

And if you’re camera shy (or if this isn’t relevant to you) but know
someone who is amazing, who is a great storyteller (maybe it’s your
uncle, maybe it’s your best friend growing up), let them know. Spread
the word.

I am looking for all Asian nationalities (East Asia, South Asia and
Southeast Asia). Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Indian, Pakistani,
Filipino, Vietnamese, Laotian, Hmong, Sri Lankan, Thai, Malaysian,
Cambodian, etc. etc. (the list is endless).

I am also looking for Bi-Racial folks, Adoptees, Transplants (Asian
Americans from non-Asian countries – Brazil, Argentina, UK etc), Gay
and Lesbian, 1st Generation, 2nd Generation, 3rd Generation, etc.

Religious or non-religious (Buddhist, Christian, Catholic, Shinto,
Muslim, Hindu, Jain, Judaism, and others)

Individuals who embrace or question their “Asian Heritage/Identity”

All ages, all incomes and all genders

you can get a PDF flyer here:

Wow, this email is long. Thanks for reading this far and I hope you or
someone you know sends their stories along!

Jon Yi // director + cinematographer //


One thought on “HBO Asian Heritage Project Seeking Stories

  1. They halted entries for round 1 of this project. They’ll film in march and then open it up again for round 2. can’t believe HBO is taking this on. they know (hopefully) there’s mad ROI in this project considering how “we’re” coming up.



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