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CAAMFest’s Spotlight Alum Valerie Soe is back with a powerful documentary that shines a light on the Auntie Sewing Squad, a group of mostly women of color volunteers who came together following the U.S. government’s botched response to the COVID-19 crisis. The Aunties sew masks for farmworkers, day laborers, unhoused people, refugee and immigrant groups, First Nations tribes, recently incarcerated people, Black Lives Matter demonstrators, and others in need in the U.S. Using images, voices and sounds primarily generated by the Aunties themselves, in tandem with Kronos Quartet’s performance of Susie Ibarra’s “Pulsation,” this clip seeks to inspire others to work toward radical care in the time of coronavirus.


About the Filmmaker: Valerie Soe is an award-winning filmmaker, artist, and writer. Since 1986 she has produced more than 22 short films and documentaries that have exhibited at venues such as the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, and the New Museum, on cable and broadcast television, and at film festivals worldwide. Soe is an Professor of Asian American Studies at San Francisco State University.

Soe’s short experimental video, “ALL ORIENTALS LOOK THE SAME” (1986), which she created while an undergraduate at UCLA, won Best Foreign Video at the 1987 Festival Internazionale Cinema Giovani, Torino, Italy, First Place, Experimental Category, at the 1987 Sony Corporation Visions of U.S. Festival, and Honorable Mention, Experimental Video, at the 12th Atlanta Film and Video Festival. Other awards include Director’s Choice Award, Image Film and Video Festival, Atlanta; Best Bay Area Short, San Francisco International Film Festival; Making A Difference Award, Commffest Global Community Film Festival, Toronto; Mediamaker Award, Bay Area Video Coalition; and a Blue Ribbon Award Semi-Finalist, CSU Center for Community Engagement, among others. Her experimental documentary, THE CHINESE GARDENS (2012) was awarded Best Film With An Immigration Theme at the 2013 Humboldt Film Festival. Her most recent feature documentary, LOVE BOAT: TAIWAN, premiered in 2019 and has played at sold-out festival screenings around the world. LOVE BOAT: TAIWAN won the Audience Award at the 2019 Urban Nomad Film Festival in Taipei.

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The pandemic has interrupted the world including the protagonists in this shorts program.