First Vote


After 20 years in Beijing, a former Chinese American rock star returns to his home country and decides to settle in North Carolina, a battleground state in the South.  He soon learns about a first-time Chinese American female candidate in his congressional district, only to be surprised by her Tea Party endorsement.  Through personal stories, the film takes on an unexpected journey to uncover the rising conservative Chinese American voting bloc and the grassroots activism that is shaping national policies. 

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Yi Chen, Director/Producer 

Yi Chen is an Asian American filmmaker based in Washington, DC.  She is a member of the Asian American Documentary Network and Brown Girls Doc Mafia.  Yi was named “Filmmaker of the Month” by the DC Film Office in 2013.  Her work has been supported by ITVS, Center for Asian American Media, Southern Documentary Fund, DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, and the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center.  Yi has produced multimedia content for the Smithsonian Institution, United Nations, Financial Times, WAMU 88.5, National Geographic, and Asian Fortune Magazine.  Her film “Chinatown” aired on PBS station WHUT and won an IndieCapitol Award for Best Documentary Short.  Yi was born and grew up in Shanghai, China.  She immigrated to the United States after graduating from Fudan University.  A first-generation college student, she has a B.A. in East Asian Studies from Fudan University and M.F.A. in Film and Electronic Media from American University.  Yi is a 2018 Associate of the Investigative Reporting Program at UC Berkeley and a 2017 Docs In Progress Fellow. 

image1.jpegDiane 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 2018 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

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 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. Screen Shot 2017-12-09 at 11.17.06 AM


  • CAAM Documentary Fund 2018 
  • ITVS Diversity Development Fund 2018 
  • Southern Documentary Fund Filmmaking Grant 2017 
  • Carolyn’s First Decade Fund, Women in Film and Video DC 2017
  • UC Berkeley Investigative Reporting Program Professional Workshops for Independent Documentary Filmmakers Spring 2018 
  • Double Exposure Investigative Film Festival Docs In Progress Industry Pitch 2018 
  • Docs In Progress Documentary Roundtable 2018 
  • Docs In Progress Fellowship Program 2017 
  • Docs In Progress Peer Pitch 2017 
  • Tribeca IF/Then Midwest Pitch, St. Louis International Film Festival 2017 

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