Saturday, October 25, 2014 7:00PM
Bright Family Screening Room, The Paramount Center
559 Washington Street, Boston MA
(T: Park Street, Downtown Crossing, or Boylston)
2014 | USA | 89 mins | Documentary
Directed by Ursula Liang
Followed by Q&A with:
Ursula Liang, Director, 9-Man
Melanie Riley-Green, Executive Producer, 9-Man
Theresa Navarro, Co-producer, 9-Man
Since the 1930’s, young Chinese men have played nine-man, a gritty, competitive streetball game, in the alleys and parking lots of Chinatown. When the community was a Bachelor Society (men outnumbered women 4-to-1) at a time when anti-Chinese sentiment and laws like the Chinese Exclusion Act forced Chinese restaurant workers and laundrymen to socialize exclusively amongst themselves, nine-man offered both escape and fraternity for men who were separated from their families in China and facing extreme discrimination and distrust. Today, some 80 years later, nine-man is a lasting connection to Chinatown for a community of men who know a different, more integrated America and it’s a game that has grown exponentially in athleticism. But it’s still played in isolation. Nine-man punctuates each summer with a vibrant, aggressive, exhausting bragging-rights tournament that unites thousands of Chinese-Americans and maintains traditional rules and customs.
9-Man introduces the history of the game and a diverse cast of modern-day characters—from 6'7" Olympian Kevin Wong to a 91-year-old pioneer—combining direct cinema and interviews with never before seen archival footage and photos sourced directly from the community. Pivoting between oil-spotted Chinatown parking lots and jellyfish-filled banquet scenes, the film captures the spirit of nine-man as players not only battle for a championship but fight to preserve a sport that holds so much history.
URSULA LIANG (Director, Producer, Cinematographer) is a journalist who has told stories in a wide range of media. A former staff editor at T: The New York Times Style Magazine and writer/reporter at ESPN The Magazine, Liang was a host of the radio program Asia Pacific Forum on WBAI, associate producer for the Emmy-nominated documentary, "Wo Ai Ni Mommy", producer for the Emmy-nominated Asian American TV show "Stir", and sports editor for the Asian-American magazine, Hyphen. She recently produced for Fuel’s “UFC Countdown”, FX’s “UFC Primetime” and the independent documentary “Fighting Foster”. Liang grew up in Newton, MA and lives in The Bronx, NY. She played club volleyball at the University of Michigan.
MICHELLE CHANG (Editor) is a versatile storyteller who specializes in long-form documentary. She is currently editing the feature “Black and Cuba” and outreach content for “American Promise”, a film about the education of African-American boys. She is also the editor of “(A)sexual”, co-editor of “Camp Victory, Afghanistan” (PBS and PBSWorld), and associate editor of “Pushing the Elephant” (PBS’ “Independent Lens”). Chang edited two seasons of “Black Folk Don’t”, a web series discussing stereotypes in the black community. Formerly an associate producer for ABC’s “20/20” and “Primetime”, in 2008 and 2009 Chang attended the Sundance Documentary Edit and Story Lab as an assistant and a fellow. Chang grew up in Troy, Michigan and lives in Brooklyn, New York. She enjoys hiking, biking and bowling.
THERESA NAVARRO (Co-Producer) is an organizer, educator, producer, actress and the development & communications director at Educational Video Center. Formerly the director of community outreach at the independent media non-profit Arts Engine, curator of the Media That Matters annual showcase and corporate relations manager for the Center for Asian American Media, Navarro was a producer of the indie comedy “Yes, We’re Open” (world premiere: San Francisco Asian American Film Festival) and associate producer of “Daylight Savings” (world premiere: South By Southwest). In 2011, she was selected as one of 15 Asian American Women Leaders for her work in promoting the media arts. Navarro grew up in San Francisco, CA and currently lives in New York City. She is a champion competitive flag football player.
Co-presented by the Chinese Historical Society of New England (CHSNE) (http://chsne.org)