Founded in 1970 by UCLA film school students Duane Kubo, Robert Nakamura, Alan Ohashi, and Eddie Wong, Visual Communications was created with the understanding that media and the arts are important vehicles to organize and empower communities, and build connections between peoples and generations through the development of AAPI film, video, and media. Along with a core group of artists, filmmakers, photographers, and educators, VC’s founders amassed visual resources toward building a greater consciousness of Asian Pacific history in America. Fueled by the burgeoning Civil Rights and Anti-Vietnam War movements, VC staffers created learning kits, photographing community events, audiotaping stories, and collecting historical images of Asian American lives. The organization has created award-winning productions, nurtured and given voice to our youth and seniors, promoted new artistic talent, presented new cinema, and preserved our visual history, and is recognized as a pioneer in the development of Asian Pacific American film, video, and media.
Beginning in the 1980s, Visual Communications transitioned from a film production collective to a full-service media arts center, developing a full slate of support services for Asian Pacific American artists and filmmakers, workshops and trainings for the community, and presentation opportunities for independent media in Los Angeles. Then as now, VC's programs have evolved to meet the changing needs of a diverse Asian Pacific American community of over 25 different languages, cultures, and nationalities. Today, VC continues to be a conduit for the Asian Pacific global communities to the American public through its numerous programs.
Films by Visual Communications
YUKI SHIMODA: ASIAN AMERICAN ACTOR celebrates the thirty-year acting career of the late Yuki Shimoda, reflecting his achievements and career disappointments typical of the minority actor.
This important tribute to the issei (first generation Japanese Americans) integrates the stories of three people who describe a collective history through their personal memories.
In KITES AND OTHER TALES, kite maker Tom Joe seeks to preserve the craft of kite making as well as the traditional Asian folklore behind it.
Tony, an active ten-year-old Chinese immigrant, describes adjusting to an American school. Tony describes his first impressions of "strange new classrooms", as the film journeys with him through Los Angeles.
…I TOLD YOU SO weaves scenes of Japanese American poet and professor Lawson Inada’s life with his writings.
CRUISIN’ J-TOWN celebrates the music and influences of contemporary Asian American culture on Dan Kuramoto, June Okida Kuramoto, and Johnny Mori — three musicians who make up the core of the jazz fusion band Hiroshima.
This experimental narrative piece offers an abstract view of a contemporary city and the people who inhabit it
A lyrical, expressive film history of Asian Pacific Americans on the Sacramento River delta.
WONG SINSAANG is a lyrical portrait of the filmmaker’s father, a proprietor of a dry-cleaning business in Los Angeles’ Silver Lake neighborhood.
Capturing the all-American fervor of parade competition, CHINATOWN 2-STEP profiles the Los Angeles Chinese Drum and Bugle Corps, an important fixture of the Chinese American community.