HBO Asia Originals taps Lee to lead unscripted development
WarnerMedia has hired industry veteran May-Yi Lee to be its lead of development and production for unscripted at HBO Asia Originals.
Lee (pictured) is based in Taiwan and joins WarnerMedia from National Geographic. She’s an award-winning executive producer with more than 20 years of experience working with Asian storytellers on hundreds of projects.
“As we continue to grow our team, May-Yi will be integral to our search and development of quality unscripted programming. With her rich experience and industry connections, she will be able to deliver against our considerable ambitions, especially in the documentary and reality TV genres,” said Magdalene Ew, WarnerMedia’s head of content – entertainment in India, Southeast Asia and Korea, in a news release.
‘Hindsight’ short doc series slated at PBS
PBS will launch its ‘Hindsight’ series of short documentaries later this summer with Firelight Media, Reel South, the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM) and WORLD Channel, about the experiences of Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) communities in the American South and Puerto Rico during the unprecedented year that was 2020.
The series, which was announced earlier this year, is made up of six non-fiction short films examining the cultural shifts and conversations that came to define the moment. The series will be made available to stream on July 29 via Reel South and the PBS Video App, while episodes will debut Thursdays on the WORLD Channel YouTube channel and Reel South’s Facebook page the same day. The films will be broadcast as three half-hour specials via PBS Plus later this year.
The films included in the series are Now Let Us Sing, from filmmaker Dilsey Davis, about an interfaith, interracial choir in Durham, North Carolina forced to take a new direction during the pandemic; Missing Magic from Anissa Simone Latham-Brown, about a young poet in Birmingham, Alabama who becomes involved in local protests against police brutality; We Stay In the House from Kiyoko McCrae, telling the story of four mothers in New Orleans as caring for their families and themselves during the pandemic; This Body, by Zac Manuel, about the relationship between African Americans and the medical industry; and Udaan (Soar), from director Amman Abbasi, following a young Pakistani woman as she immigrates from Karachi, Pakistan to a small town in Arkansas to begin her first year of college amid the pandemic.
‘Hindsight’ is a co-production of Firelight Media, Reel South, and the Center for Asian American Media. Executive producers for Firelight Media are Stanley Nelson, Marcia Smith, and Loira Limbal. Executive producers for Reel South are Rachel Raney, Don Godish, Linda Midgett, and Donald Washington. Executive producer for the Center for Asian American Media is Stephen Gong.
Castlemaine Doc Fest forges ahead with in-person and virtual screenings
Australia’s Castlemaine Documentary Festival is moving forward in 2021 with a program that features both online and in-person screenings on July 24 and 25.
The event is now in its seventh year. The festival previously went online amid COVID-19 lockdowns and also offered pop-up screenings and events at Castlemaine’s iconic Theatre Royal when restrictions allowed for it.
The 2021 edition features eight documentaries, including three Australian premieres: Raise the Bar, about a controversial Australian basketball team made up of eight-year-old girls; Bitter Love, following passengers seeking love on a Russian cruise ship; and Faith & Branko, which chronicles the star-crossed affair between two performers in Serbia.
“No matter what gets thrown our way, you will be able to see the films — come what may. We’ve made sure of that. We love every one of these films and we think you will, too. You deserve to have the opportunity to see them,” said festival director Claire Jager in a release.