FIRST VOTE is a character-driven verité style story told through the lens of the filmmaker’s two-year journey into the Rust Belt and South to explore democracy in America as a soon-to-be first-time voter. Capturing diverse perspectives of voters in her community, FIRST VOTE explores the intersection of immigration, voting rights and racial justice against the backdrop of demographic changes and intensifying polarization in America.
Yi Chen, Director/Producer
Yi is a documentary filmmaker based in Washington, DC. She is a 2019 Soros Equality Fellow and DC Arts and Humanities Fellow. In 2013, DC Film Office named her “Filmmaker of the Month.” Her work has been supported by the Ford Foundation, Open Society Foundations, Center for Asian American Media, ITVS, DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, Smithsonian Asia Pacific American Center, and Southern Documentary Fund. Her most recent film Chinatown, about three long-time residents’ activism for historic preservation and affordable housing in the Chinatown neighborhood of Washington, D.C., aired on PBS station WHUT and won the IndieCapitol Awards Best Documentary Short. Yi holds an MFA in Film and Media Arts from American University and has taught at George Mason University as an adjunct faculty.
Diane Quon, Consulting Producer
Diane lived in Los Angeles for over 17 years before moving back to her hometown of Chicago. While in LA, Diane worked at NBC and at Paramount Pictures where she was last the Vice President of Marketing. Diane is producing multiple documentaries with Kartemquin Films including the Oscar-nominated and Sundance award-winning film, Minding the Gap directed by Bing Liu; Left-Handed Pianist along with Chicago Tribune arts critic Howard Reich, and co-directed by Leslie Simmer and Kartemquin founder Gordon Quinn; and The Dilemma of Desire with Peabody Award-winning director Maria Finitzo. Diane is a Film Independent Doc Lab (2017) and Fast Track Fellow (2017, 2018). She is also developing a fiction film based on the New York Times best-selling book Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.
Su Kim, Consulting Producer
Su Kim is a documentary producer in New York City. Her work has received numerous grants including from ITVS, Sundance Documentary Fund, NYSCA, California Humanities Council and Tribeca Film Institute. She was a 2015 Women at Sundance Fellow. Currently, she is producing One Bullet Afghanistan with director Carol Dysinger, Sanson and Me with director Rodrigo Reyes, Free Chol Soo Lee with directors Eugene Yi and Julia Ha and Midnight Traveler with director Hassan Fazili and producer Emelie Mahdavian. Her most recent Oscar-nominated film Hale County This Morning, This Evening with director RaMell Ross and producer Joslyn Barnes premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival and won U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Creative Vision.
Help us offset production costs. Every donation makes a difference. Donations are tax-exempt through our fiscal sponsor Southern Documentary Fund, a nonprofit arts organization that cultivates documentary projects made in or about the American South.
- Ford Foundation JustFilms
- Open Society Foundations Soros Equality Fellowship
- CAAM Documentary Fund
- ITVS Diversity Development Fund
- DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities
- Kartemquin Films Emerging Storyteller Fund
- Southern Documentary Fund
- Carolyn’s First Decade Fund, Women in Film and Video DC
- Hot Docs Deal Maker Program
- KTQ Labs: Feedback Screenings Program
- UC Berkeley Investigative Reporting Program Professional Workshops for Independent Documentary Filmmakers
- Double Exposure Investigative Film Festival Docs In Progress Industry Pitch
- Docs In Progress Documentary Roundtable
- Docs In Progress Fellowship Program
- Docs In Progress Peer Pitch
- Tribeca IF/Then Midwest Pitch, St. Louis International Film Festival
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