Biographies of Filmmaker, Executive Producer and Composer

Yunah Hong (Filmmaker)

Yunah Hong is an award winning filmmaker who lives in New York City.  She grew up in Seoul, Korea. She studied art history, photography and design at Seoul National University, graduating in 1985. Two years later she earned an M. A. in computer graphics at the New York Institute of Technology.  While working as a designer in New York, she began to experiment with video.  She has made eight films, ranging in scale from a one-hour documentary to short experimental productions.

Her latest documentary, “Anna May Wong: in her own words”(2010) was broadcasted on PBS Plus in May 2013.  It reached over 200 stations in the States. It had a world premiere at the Busan Int’l Film Festival in 2010 and had festival screenings in US and Canada in 2011. She published an article about Anna May Wong, “A Twentieth Century Actress” with Peter X Feng in Quarterly Review of Film and Video, Routledge in 2006..

Her first work, “Memory/all echo” (1990), is an experimental video based on the Dictée by multimedia artist Theresa Hak Kyung Cha.  It was broadcast on CUNY-TV in 1991 and has been distributed to libraries and universities throughout the country.  Her second film, “Through the Milky Way” (1992), is an experimental video evoking the experience of Korean women immigrants in Hawaii at the turn of the century.  It earned the First Prize in Video Art at the 1992 Tam Tam International Video Festival in Italy and was broadcast on WNYC-TV.  The short film, “Here Now” (1995), frames a day in the life of a woman who, at age 30, finds her mind bouncing between fantasy and reality.  It was awarded the Special Jury Award at the 2nd Seoul Short Film Festival in Korea 1995.  Yunah Hong’s feature screenplay, “Monday”, was an official selection of PPP 1998: Busan International Film Festival Film Market in Korea.

Her documentary, “Becoming an Actress in New York” (2000) is about three Korean American actresses who pursue their big dreams in New York.  It was broadcast in Korea in 2001 and 2004, where it was named a final nominee for aMedia’s 2001 Ammy Awards for Best Documentary.  Her documentary, “Between the Lines: Asian American Women’s Poetry” (2001) shows how the work of Asian American woman poets reflects their lives. It received a CINE Golden Eagle Award in 2002.  It has received critical acclaim and has been widely shown.

Over the past twenty three years since she became a video/filmmaker, Yunah Hong’s works have focused on women and the arts.  She has worked on various genres of film and video — experimental, drama, computer animation and documentary — to explore the possibilities of video/film form and new ways to visualize personal stories and history.

She is a recipient of the New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship in video (2000, 1992), the Media Alliance Media Arts fellowship (1993), and the Art Matters fellowship (1995).  She was awarded a media fund grant from the Center for Asian American Media (2008).  She has also received the Urban Artist Initiatives grant (2008), the New York State Council on the Arts Production Grants (2004, 2002, 1999 & 1995), the Jerome Foundation Production Grant (2006, 1994), Asian Women Giving Circle grant (2009 & 2011), and the Pyramid Arts Center’s Diverse Forms Artist Project Grant (1992)

 From 2002 to 2009, she has presented and discussed her film work at colleges under the auspices of the Korea Society, (WWW.Koreasociety.org).  She has spoken at more than twenty campuses from Duke to U.C. Santa Barbara. She served as an artist advisor to the New York Foundation for the Arts (2004-9). Her works are distributed by Women Make Movies (www.wmm.com).

William Smock (Executive Producer)

William Smock has produced four programs for public television and edited several more.  He was Executive Producer for Ruby Yang’s A Moment in Time, Citizen Hong Kong and China 21.  Smock produced and edited the American Masters special Isamu Noguchi: Stones and Paper, which has been shown on Japan’s NHK, Italian, Norwegian and Israeli television, Discovery Channel International, and included in Noguchi exhibitions in the U.S., Mexico, Japan and Spain. It was chosen Best Portrait at the 1997 Montreal Festival of Films on Art.  More recently, he wrote and edited Jed Riffe’s Who Owns the Past? funded by Native American Public TV and broadcast on Independent Lens.  He first got involved in this project when he was paired with Yunah Hong in Center for Asian American Media’s James T. Yee mentorship program in 2005.

Kevin Norton (Composer)

Composer/Percussionist Kevin Norton is mainly known for his work in the modern avant-garde jazz scene. Norton has released over 15 CDs as a leader or co-leader with his compositions including, For Guy Debord (in nine events) a composition for quintet and woodwind soloist (originally Anthony Braxton) based on the texts of the radical French philosopher whose thought proved central to the riots of Paris, 1968 and Change Dance (Troubled) Energy which draws it’s inspiration from another radical political activist, Kathy Change (born Kathleen Chang). Norton has won numerous grants, awards and residencies including Meet The Composer, the National Endowment for the Arts and the MacDowell Colony. The music for Anna May Wong: In Her Own Words marks the third collaboration between Norton and director Yunah Hong and includes some of his most sensitive and touching writing to date.

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