Variety: Variety Gotham Week Expo Kicks Off With Panels on Diversity, Inclusion in Filmmaking
By Joe Otterson
The 2023 Variety Gotham Week Expo kicked off in New York City on Thursday with a series of panels focused on diversity and inclusion.
After that, there was the “Affirmative Action and the State of DEI in the Documentary Field” panel with the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM) and the Asian American Documentary Network. Donald Young, director of programs for CAAM, served as the moderator. The panelists were: Mridu Chandra, a director and producer of documentary and fiction films; Bethany Li, legal director at the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund; and Chi-hui Yang, senior program officer at the Ford Foundation.
On the subject of affirmative action, Yang said that it is important for all filmmakers to understand that “what’s happening here is that there is a battle over narratives. “The social narrative over a zero sum game, over ‘There’s not enough pieces in the pie for everybody’ is winning. This idea that “If I advance, it’s at your cost.’ I think that’s deep at the heart of America.”
Chandra added that she does not want Asian-American filmmakers to get “niched” into telling stories of being underrepresented. “We should tell the story of America and mainstream America,” she said. “It sounds like it’s stage two, but it has to happen all at the same time.”