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CAAMFest 2013

Memories to Light: Asian American Home Movies

Gala Presentations / USA

Memories To Light

New People
March 24, 2013 5:00 pm Rush Only


This special presentation marks the official public launch of CAAM’s new home movies initiative, Memories to Light: Asian American Home Movies. For this program, we will gather under one roof, as families do, to watch a special selection, presented by acclaimed filmmaker Mark Decena, from home movies that CAAM has collected thus far. Entitled “The War Inside,” Decena will explore the historically hostile Japanese-Filipino relations, born from parents of both cultures. Marched early on into the mixed race blender of Asian America, armed with 8mm cameras, his stories amidst the growing collection of the archive, manifest the collective memories of our Asian American experience.

Home movies occupy a unique place in American culture. Though generally dismissed for their amateur qualities, home movies provide us with authentic and honest moving images. Premised on the historic, cultural, and artistic value of the home movie, Memories to Light is a national participatory arts project that constructs shared social, cultural, and political representations of Asian America directly from the community itself. Since the mainstream media has given us so few images of the Asian American experience, home movies show us the way to see how our grandparents, mothers, fathers, aunts and uncles lived their lives.

The purpose of this project is to recover and make accessible a moving image record of the Asian American experience through home movies. This project has three components spanning six decades: the digitization of film (8mm, Super-8, and 16mm), an online streaming collection through the Internet Archives and at, and a series of public screenings. The online archive will be accessible to the public and easy to browse for use by everyone around the world.

Memories to Light is supported by grants from The National Endowment for the Arts and Cal Humanities.

With special thanks to Rick Prelinger of Prelinger Archive and Antonella Bonfanti of San Francisco Participatory Archives Group

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Memories To Light

New People
March 24, 2013 5:00 pm Rush Only