Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Welcome Grace Lee!

Hi, my name is Grace Lee and I am the new Special Events intern at SDAFF. I am currently attending UCSD and am a double major in Communication Studies and Visual Arts, Media Studies. I am from a small suburban town outside of Sacramento called Rocklin where I am one of the very few Asian-Americans at my high school.

Growing up in a predominantly white upper-class community made a large impact on the way I viewed Asians and myself, especially. I was, in a way, embarrassed to be called a Korean in an all-white high school and I quickly transformed myself into this white-washed “twinkie”. I forgot how to speak Korean, was requesting my mom to cook non-smelling, non-Korean food, and was trying to reject the stereotypical K-pop culture. I was constantly stereotyped as the Asian nerd and molded into this “model minority”, but I never had the guts to stand up for myself and I really internalized these feelings all throughout high school. I think that’s why I felt so compelled to intern at SDAFF.

This was an opportunity for me connect with others who understood my struggles as an Asian-American minority and it was an opportunity for me to do something about it.
Before starting this internship, my experience with SDAFF didn’t extend past the fact that I attended their film festival in 2009 to watch Scandal Makers. Once I applied for this internship and went into the interview with Phil, I realized how much of SDAFF I was really missing out on. The kind of passion that SDAFF has towards the Asian-American movement was so apparent to me and I knew that I wanted to be part of a team that really sought to create this positive social change within San Diego and the greater Asian-American community.

After only being here for a week, I’ve already seen 4 films and have really learned how to appreciate and critically assess Asian-American cinema. I hope that through this internship, I can become more culturally aware and contribute to the outreach of the issues that all Asian-Americans face today through the power of cinema.