Preview video of V3 Asian American Digital Media Conference, Aug 25, LA

I helped organize the panels and awards for the V3 Asian American Digital Media Conference, and it’s going to be a hella great confab if I say so myself. Check out the speakers, performers and panelists we have lined up!

Here’s a V3con preview with scenes from last year’s Banana2 Asian American bloggers conference, which evolved this year into V3:

It’s an honor to meet artist Jimmy Mirikitani & filmmaker Linda Hattendorf

jimmy mirikitani-linda hattendorf cats of mirikitani

IN 2001, New York filmmaker Linda Hattendorf began documenting the life of a homeless artist whose work caught her attention. The elderly man, who set up his “shop” outside a corner grocery in SoHo, not far from the Wall Street district, wouldn’t take money from passersby, unless it was in payment for one of his drawings or paintings, many of cats and tigers. Hattendorf shot closeups of the arist working with dirt-covered hands on his often playful images. For months, Hattendorf walked by the old man’s spot — she lived nearby — and engaged the artist.

She found if she had her camera, he would open up and tell stories.

Then 9/11 happened.

Amidst the suddenly gray, ashen desolation of lower Manhattan, Hattendorf found the old man in his usual spot, and made a decision that would change both their lives. She decided to give him shelter, and took him home to live in her cramped apartment. Over the months when she helped him reconnect with society, she discovered the old man’s incredible story.

The documentary she produced, “The Cats of Miriktani,” is an amazing chronicle of a life journey for both Tsutomu “Jimmy” Mirikitani and Hattendorf.
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V there or be square: V3con update — panelists, schedules, Early Bird price ends tomorrow!

Jane Lui -- performing at V3con

Jane Lui will be performing at the Opening Reception and Awards Ceremony for V3con.

We’re deep in the planning process for V3, the Asian American Digital Media Conference, scheduled for Aug. 25 at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles with an Opening Night Reception and Awards ceremony on Friday, Aug. 24 at the Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena. Most of the panelists are set and confirmed. We’re lining up performers like Jane Lui (shown here) to take the stage at the Opening Night soiree.

If you’re Asian American, a blogger, a social media maven, a journalist or just a fan of artists like Lui or David Choi or Clara C, or a reader of bloggers like Phil Yu of Angry Asian Man, Jen Wang of Disgrasian or Jeff Yang of the Wall Street Journal, you won’t want to miss this ultra-cool event.

They’ll all be there. Or V there. So don’t be square.

And, the low Early Bird price is only available through tomorrow, so register today and you can feel good about being oh-so-Asian frugal. If you’re a slacker Asian (like me), the pre-registration price ain’t so bad, only $10 more. If you’re traveling from outside SoCal, we’ve arranged for pretty good rates at the Miyako Hotel in Little Tokyo, just half a block from JANM and across the street from a row of ramen shops. Yowsa!
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9th grade filmmaker wins national award for “The Constitution and the Camps,” documentary about Japanese American internment

Pretty powerful stuff. Matthew Shimura, a 9th grader from Honolulu, Hawaii won the Grand Prize for his documentary, “The Constitution and the Camps,” in C-SPAN’s annual StudentCam competition. The Grand Prize winner (announced March 7) received a $5,000 award and $1,000 for his teacher to buy video equipment for his school. (Coincidentally, he attends the Punahou in Oahu, where Barack Obama went to school.)

The contest chooses themes each year to get students to think about issues affecting the country. This year the topic was “The Constitution and You: Select any provision of the U.S. Constitution and create a video illustrating why it’s important to you.”

Shimura chose to focus his documentary on Japanese American internment camps because his uncle was imprisoned during World War II. The StudentCam website has more information and a list of all the winners (and links to every video in each category).

Here’s also a link to a cool interview with Shimura and Sen. Daniel Inouye on C-SPAN.

Congrats to Shimura for winning the competition, and for the great hard work he did to produce the video. Nice job!