UNC MASH hosted an event celebrating Asian-American culture.
Friday, November 17th, UNC Mixed AAPI Student’s Heritage, abbreviated as MASH, held an Asian-American film festival in order to celebrate and appreciate Asian-American culture. Attendees were given the opportunity to enjoy thought-provoking films and homemade dumplings.
MASH described the event as “[an] inaugural celebration of the Asian American experience through two essential aspects of our cultures: food and film!”
The festival was part of APIAutumn, a series of different cultural and educational engaging and community building workshops and events designed to highlight and celebrate the culture of Asian and Pacific Islander Americans.
CineMASH was formulated last Summer by Josh Jiang, a UNC student and the current political chair of MASH. He states that he was inspired after working as an intern at Visual Communications, an Asian-American media company, to bring its method of celebrating Asian-American culture back to UNC.
Films screened at this event included titles such as “Santa Claus,” “Tough,” “Pria,” “Prom,” and “and so we put goldfish in the pond.” These titles were selected because of their accurate portrayal of the reality of Asian American experiences.
“These are films that represent a challenging but more accurate portrayal of what it means to be Asian in today’s world,” stated MASH in their announcement of the festival.
Everything about the festival was intentional, from the films chosen to the food provided. Organizers chose to provide dumplings as a refreshment that Asian-American participants would be familiar with.
“It’s something that, this demographic that we’re shooting for, that they can all enjoy, and they can all connect to,” said Harrison Lee, events coordinator for MASH.
The very existence of the festival proved meaningful and surprising to many members of the Asian-American community.
“Knowing that there is the capacity to have an Asian-American film festival is beyond shocking. I’ve been in the South as an Asian-American for my entire life, and I don’t see a lot of representation of the Asian-American population in the media,” said Duke student and festival panelist Helen Yang.