WORLD Channel celebrates AAPI Heritage Month with a full slate of documentaries celebrating AAPI cultures and experiences. (Photo credit: WORLD Channel)

WORLD Channel is celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month with a slate of films that honor the beauty and diversity of the AAPI demographic. WORLD Channel’s film screenings began May 4 with documentary Jaddoland, which tells the life and career of visual artist Lahib Jaddo, who draws her from her familial cultural connections as well as her cultural connections from living in Texas. The film will be available to view on until May 11.

Some of the highlights among the programming slate include short doc anthology Asian American Stories of Resilience & Beyond (Volume 1 & Volume 2), Ganden: A Joyful Land, a documentary focusing on the remaining generation of monks to have studied at the most influential monastery within Tibetan Buddhism, doc The Accused, focusing on an influential cleric’s intention of preserving the blasphemy laws in Pakistan, and Blurring the Color Line, a documentary about the relationships between Black Americans and Chinese Americans in the Jim Crow south.

Apart from airing on the WORLD Channel, the documentaries will be able to be streamed on WORLDChannel.orgWORLD Channel’s YouTube page and on the PBS app. New films and encores of past favorites that highlight AAPI history will also be showcased on the channel.

Chris Hastings, executive producer of WORLD Channel at GBH in Boston, said in a statement how WORLD Channel is excited to celebrate AAPI Heritage Month with is programming.

“At WORLD Channel, we recognize the incredible diversity among Asian American and Pacific Islander histories, traditions and communities, and we strive year round to bring a spectrum of AAPI stories to our audience,” Hastings said. “This month, we have tapped some exceptionally talented AAPI filmmakers like Crystal Kwok for Blurring the Color Line and Mohammed Ali Naqvi for The Accused whose work helps to expand our understanding of AAPI lived experiences.” 

The full slate of films is listed below, per WORLD Channel.

Jaddoland | America ReFramed
May 4 on TV | Available now on PBS Passport through May 11

An intimate portrait of the work and process of visual artist Lahib Jaddo offers a fresh look at the immigrant story in America. Through an exploration of Jaddo’s art and connections to her life in Texas, the film also drafts a unique picture of how art can help both the creator and the audience make sense of familial and cultural connections, loss, perseverance and life.

NEW South by South Korea ft. Ten By Ten and The Space Between You and Me | Reel South
May 7 on TV, online & on the PBS app

Two films bridge the American South and the Korean Peninsula, showcasing the historical and contemporary currents connecting these regions. From stories about one restaurant’s overnight fame and the perils of celebrity culture, and another chronicling the overlooked crises of motherhood and adoption, comes a clearer complexion of Korean-American life at home and abroad. 

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First Vote | America ReFramed
May 11 on TV, online & on the PBS app | Available now on PBS Passport

With unparalleled access to a diverse cross section of politically engaged Chinese Americans, the film offers a character-driven verité look at Chinese American electoral organizing in North Carolina and Ohio. The film weaves their stories from the presidential election of 2016 to the 2018 midterms, and explores the intersections between immigration, voting rights and racial justice.

NEW Ganden: A Joyful Land | Doc World
May 14 on TV, online, YouTube & on the PBS app

Likened by Buddhists to the Vatican City, Ganden is considered the most influential monastery of Tibetan Buddhism. Monks lived in the monastery for more than 500 years before a brutal invasion drove them to India. The film is a look at the lives and remembrances of the remaining generation of monks to have studied at the monastery in Tibet.

A Tale of Three Chinatowns | Local, USA
May 15 on TV, online & on the PBS app | Available now on PBS Passport

Explore the survival of urban ethnic neighborhoods in three American cities: Washington, D.C., Chicago, and Boston through the voices of residents, community activists, developers and government officials. The film looks at the forces altering each community and the challenges that go with them, including the pressing issue of urban development and gentrification. 

Far East Deep South | America ReFramed
May 18 on TV, online & on the PBS app | Available now on PBS Passport 

Charles Chiu and his family’s search for their roots takes them on an eye-opening journey through the Mississippi Delta, uncovering otherwise unknown stories and the racially complex history of Chinese immigrants in the segregated South. This Chinese American family’s unforgettable story offers a poignant and important perspective on race relations, immigration and American identity.

NEW Finding the Virgo
May 18 on TV & the PBS app

Recounting the lesser-told chapter of what occurred after the United States’ withdrawal from the war in Vietnam. The documentary follows the Vuong family through the post-war years in Vietnam including the patriarch’s imprisonment, the family’s harrowing escape and rescue at sea, and their daughter’s decades-long search for their saviors.

NEW Nam June Paik: Moon Is the Oldest TV | American Masters
May 19 on TV, online & on the PBS app

See the world through the eyes of Nam June Paik, the father of video art and coiner of the term “electronic superhighway.” Born in Japan-occupied Korea, Paik went on to become a pillar of the American avant-garde and transformed modern image-making with his sculptures, films and performances. Experience his creative evolution, as Academy Award nominee Steven Yeun reads from Paik’s own writings.

NEW The Accused: Damned or Devoted? | Doc World
May 21 on TV, online, YouTube & on the PBS app

Powerful cleric Khadim Rizvi has one mission: to preserve blasphemy laws in Pakistan – they prescribe a death sentence for disrespecting the Prophet Muhammad. He is running for the country’s highest office to carry out his goal, silencing anyone who tries to change the law with death. The film follows the rise of Rizvi’s push for power as people who have been accused are just pawns in his game.

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NEW Asian American Stories of Resilience and Beyond Volume 1 | Local, USA
May 22 on TV, online & on the PBS app

Asian American Stories of Resilience and Beyond reflects the complexities of Asian American experiences in this critical moment. In Quyên Nguyen-Le’s IN LIVING MEMORY, the queer filmmaker recovers and articulates the legacy of their mother’s nail salon for their refugee family after its closure at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Filipino-American filmmaker Frances Rubio digitally records and visually captures the experience of being physically distanced from her sick father, who has been isolated in his nursing facility during the height of the pandemic in RECORDING FOR DODIE. Watch all seven digital shorts now online and on YouTube.

NEW Fanny: The Right to Rock
May 24 on TV, online & on the PBS app

Co-founded by Filipina American and queer teenagers, Fanny is the first all women band to release an album with a major record label (Warner/Reprise, 1970). Revered by David Bowie, meet the most groundbreaking rock group you’ve never heard of… yet.

NEW Blurring the Color Line | America ReFramed
May 25 on TV, online, YouTube & on the PBS app

Director Crystal Kwok unpacks the history behind her grandmother’s family, who were neighborhood grocery store owners in the Black community of Augusta, Georgia during the Jim Crow era. By centering women’s experiences, Kwok poses critical questions around the intersections of anti-Black racism, white power, and Chinese patriarchy in the American South.

NEW Asian American Stories of Resilience and Beyond Volume 2 | Local, USA
May 29 on TV | May 22 online & on the PBS app

Asian American Stories of Resilience and Beyond reflects the complexities of Asian American experiences in this critical moment. Two Filipinx cousins, one of which is filmmaker Bree Nieves, grapple with what remains of their hometown dreams, after the loss of one of their fathers during the pandemic. MALDITAS explores the possibilities of growing deeper in faith through grief while in the most conservative county in North Florida. In J.P. Dobrin’s THE LOOKOUT, Chanthon Bun, who was convicted of second-degree robbery at 19 years old and lost his legal protection to live in the U.S., must tread carefully as he attempts to legally reintegrate into society after being released from prison. If ICE were to locate him, he would be detained and slated for deportation.

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