Finding KUKAN: A Chinese American Filmmaker's Perspective

At the end of 2009 Hawaii-based documentary filmmaker Robin Lung, a fourth generation Chinese American raised in Hawaii, discovered a 1941 Oscar-winning color film on China that had fallen into almost total obscurity after being lost for decades.  Her documentary in progress, FINDING KUKAN, chronicles Robin Lung’s quest to restore KUKAN to its rightful place in history and uncover the story of KUKAN’s makers – the unconventional Chinese American author and playwright Li Ling-Ai, and the adventurous photojournalist Rey Scott. Lung presented video clips from FINDING KUKAN and the un-restored 1941 film KUKAN as she spoke about her filmmaker’s journey thus far, including recent Atlanta production shoots for her documentary.

About the speaker: Robin Lung is a graduate of Stanford University and Hunter College in NYC. She completed a successful career in publishing and university administration before becoming a self-taught documentary filmmaker ten years ago.  As a filmmaker she is driven by a desire to preserve the stories of extraordinary people from minority backgrounds who are often overlooked by mainstream media.  Lung made her directorial debut with WASHINGTON PLACE: HAWAII’S FIRST HOME, a 30-minute documentary for PBS Hawaii about Hawaii’s historic governor’s mansion and home of Queen Liliuokalani (aired December 2008).  She was the Associate Producer for the national PBS documentary PATSY MINK: AHEAD OF THE MAJORITY (aired October 2008).  She was the Hawaii Unit Producer for the acclaimed documentary VIVAN LAS ANTIPODAS! by Russian filmmaker Victor Kossakovsky, and has produced numerous short documentaries for the Historic Hawaii Foundation.  FINDING KUKAN is Lung’s first documentary feature.