Corey Ohama is an award-winning director and editor whose films take an artistic approach to social issues. Her most recent documentary, I Was Born in Mexico, But… is a found footage portrait of a young woman growing up undocumented in America. It premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival. Her documentary Double Solitaire (1997) looks at the legacy of the WWII Japanese internment on her father and uncle who were interned as children. Corey received the SECA Award in the Media Arts: Film from SFMOMA in 1998.

Corey also works as a documentary film editor. She has worked on the features Going on 13 (Tribeca 2008, ITVS), Wonder Women! (SXSW 2012, Independent Lens), New Generation Queens (ZIFF 2015) and Love Boat: Taiwan (CAAMFest 2019). She holds an MFA in Film from San Francisco State University, and a B.A. in Semiotics from Brown University. 

Films by Corey Ohama

Double Solitaire

In Double Solitaire, the filmmaker uses the motif of games to tell the story of her Japanese-American father and uncle’s incarceration as children in an internment camp during WWII, and the legacy of that experience up to the present day, including the effect of Redress and Reparations.

I Was Born in Mexico, But...

I Was Born in Mexico, But… is a creative portrait of a young woman who thought she was American but finds out as a teen that she is undocumented. Because she doesn’t want to appear on camera, found footage from American culture illuminates her voice as she struggles with her new identity and the reality of not being able to legally drive, work or reside in the U.S. 

This poetic film will introduce students of immigration, latinx studies, ethnic studies, sociology, psychology, education, and social work to a personal voice in the immigration debate, speaking about what it’s like to grow up and face an uncertain future as an undocumented young person in America.

In interviews done before DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), the film gives insight into what life was like before DACA was implemented. The subject of the film is a current DACA recipient.

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