S. Leo Chiang is a filmmaker based in San Francisco and Taipei. His most recent film, Our Time Machine, is nominated for an Emmy and the Gotham Awards, and played at over 75 film festivals worldwide. In 2020, he directed two episodes of the Peabody-winning 5-part PBS series, Asian Americans. His previous films include the Emmy Award-nominated A Village Called Versailles, Out Run, Mr. Cao Goes to Washington,  and To You Sweetheart, Aloha. Leo’s work has received support from the Sundance Documentary Fund, the Tribeca Film Institute, and ITVS. He has been a Sundance-Time Warner Fellow, a Rockwood JustFilms Fellow, and a Co-Chair of New Day Films. He has served as a mentor/trainer for the Hot Docs CrossCurrent Fellowship, the CNEX Chinese Documentary Forum, and the CAAM Fellowship. He is the co-founder of A-Doc, the Asian American Documentary Network, and a documentary branch member of the Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences.

Leo also collaborates with other filmmakers both as an editor (True-Hearted Vixen, POV 2001; Recalling Orange County, PBS/VOCES 2006) and as a cameraman (United in Anger, MoMA’s Documentary Fortnight 2012; Ask Not, Independent Lens 2009; The Tailenders, POV 2006).

Films by S. Leo Chiang

Out Run

Mobilizing working-class transgender hairdressers and beauty queens, the dynamic leaders of the world’s only LGBT political party wage a historic quest to elect a trans woman to the Philippine Congress.

A Village Called Versailles

A Village Called Versailles is an Emmy-nominated documentary about Versailles, an isolated community in eastern New Orleans that has been settled by Vietnamese boat people since the late 1970s. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the Vietnamese American residents in Versailles impressively rise to the challenges by returning and rebuilding before any other flooded neighborhood in New Orleans, only to have their homes threatened by a new government-imposed toxic landfill just two miles away. A Village Called Versailles recounts the empowering story of how this group of people, who has already suffered so much in their lifetime, turns a devastating disaster into a catalyst for change and a chance for a better future.

To You Sweetheart, Aloha

Bill Tapia, a 94-year-old Hawaiian jazz pioneer, gave up on music—thinking that life wasn’t really worth much after his wife of 63 years and his only daughter passed away within two years of each other. But when he befriends 26-year-old Alyssa, a Hapa-Hawaiian woman with a special connection to Bill’s past, he rediscovers his musical passion and youthful spirit. He begins a gripping journey back to his full potential, as a musician and as a man living an active life despite his advanced age and failing body.

Mr. Cao Goes to Washington

What happens when the naiveté of a political rookie clashes with the realities of racial politics of the American South and ultra-partisan struggles in Washington DC? 

One + One

One + One is a powerful film about serodiscordant couples (of mixed HIV status) living with HIV and AIDS.