LOS ANGELES, CA (September 1, 2021) — In a nation that is in need of stories of hope, Far East Deep South is a deeply moving documentary that offers a poignant perspective on race reconciliation and the deep roots of Chinese American Christians in our national identity. The award-winning documentary follows Charles Chiu and his family (including his son, producer
Baldwin Chiu, and daughter-in-law, director Larissa Lam) as they travel from California to Mississippi to find answers about Charles’ father, K.C. Lou. A retired Air Force reservist, Charles was left behind in China as a baby and is reluctant to discuss his family’s complicated past with his sons, Baldwin and Edwin. The family’s emotional journey to a place they’ve never seen leads to stunning revelations and a crash course on the surprising history of Chinese immigrants in the segregated South. Through encounters with local residents who remember K.C., as well as interviews with historians, the family’s trip becomes a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for discovery and healing. Directed by Larissa Lam and produced by Baldwin Chiu, Far East Deep South broadcasts on the WORLD Channel (PBS) documentary series America ReFramed on Tuesday, September 14th, 2021, 8:00 p.m. EDT (check local listings). It will also be available to stream on WORLDchannel.org, PBS.org and the PBS Video app beginning at time of broadcast on September 14 through October 14.
Through the Chiu’s family story, Far East Deep South provides a window into a community few even know exists — Chinese immigrants in the Deep South. The family also learns about the symbiotic relationship between the Southern Black and Chinese communities during the Jim Crow era.
“We rarely get to see Asian American Christians portrayed on film. This was an opportunity to show the diversity in the body of Christ and share a story that has God’s fingerprints all over it,” said filmmaker Lam.”
Producer Baldwin Chiu adds, “Through our film’s journey we learn that my family’s presence in America stretches six generations. Hearing more about the deeps roots of many Asians in America can help dispel the perception that we are ‘perpetual foreigners’ in the U.S.”
Far East Deep South has screened at film festivals across the country and won multiple awards, including at Cinequest, CAAMFest, the Oxford (Mississippi) Film Festival, and the Seattle Asian American Film Festival. For more information about the film, visit FarEastDeepSouth.com.
About the Filmmakers
LARISSA LAM (Director, Writer, Producer) produced the film alongside her husband, Baldwin Chiu, and makes her feature documentary directorial debut with this film. She is a native of Diamond Bar, California, and a proud UCLA Bruin. She previously directed the acclaimed short documentary Finding Cleveland, which is the basis for Far East Deep South.
Before entering the film world, Lam carved out a distinguished career in music and TV. An award-winning solo music artist and former singer with the EDM worship group, Nitro Praise, Lam has toured the U.S. and Asia ministering through music. As a composer, she has written music for film and TV projects such as The Oprah Winfrey Show. For nine years, Lam co-hosted the weekly talk show, “Top 3,” with Rich Wilkerson, Jr., Reba Toney and Brandon Crouch on TBN’s youth network. Most recently, Lam was a host alongside author, Steve Russo, on UTalk Radio and currently, she hosts the Love, Discovery and Dim Sum podcast with Only Won aka Baldwin Chiu.
BALDWIN CHIU (Producer) teamed up with his wife, Larissa Lam, to produce Far East Deep South, and is also one of the film’s subjects along with his family. Chiu is a graduate of the Act One film producing program. He was born in San Francisco and raised in Sacramento, where he later graduated from California State University, Sacramento.
Chiu is also a rapper known by his MC name, Only Won, who gained recognition for his viral videos, “Cantonese Boy,” “12 Days of Dim Sum” and “I Wanna Be an Engineer.” He previously collaborated with Noel Arthurton (Dynamic Twins), Maximillian Reynolds (T-Bone, JC Crew) among other Christian Hip Hop veterans. Baldwin’s songs were featured in the video game “Sleeping Dogs” and the film, Dead Man Down. Additionally, Chiu has been a speaker on numerous panels addressing race, diversity and inclusion. He and Larissa are currently based in Los Angeles.
About America ReFramed
America ReFramed is a co-production of the WORLD Channel and American Documentary, Inc. The series curates a diverse selection of independent documentaries that brings to national audiences compelling stories which illuminate the changing contours of our ever-evolving country. Viewers will be immersed in stories that span the spectrum of American life, from the streets of towns big and small to its exurbs and country roads. The documentary series presents an array of personal voices and experiences through which we learn from our past, understand our present and are challenged to seek new frameworks for America’s future. America ReFramed is the recipient of a Peabody Award and an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award for broadcast journalism. The series has earned several Christopher, GRACIE, Telly and Cine Golden Eagle Awards, as well as multiple nominations for Emmy, Independent Documentary Association and Imagen Awards.
About WORLD Channel
WORLD shares the best of public media in news, documentaries and programming. WORLD’s original series examine the issues and amplify the voices of those often ignored by mainstream media. The multicast 24/7 channel helps audiences understand conflicts, movements and cultures from around the globe. Its original work has won a Peabody Award, an Alfred I. duPont Columbia Award, a National News and Documentary Emmy Award and many others honoring diversity of content and makers. WORLD is carried by 176 member stations in markets representing over 70% of US TV households. Funding for WORLD Channel is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Wyncote Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts and Artworks. WORLD is produced by GBH in partnership with WNET and is distributed by American Public Television (APT). Find out more at WORLDChannel.org.
About American Documentary, Inc.
American Documentary, Inc. (AmDoc) is a multimedia company dedicated to creating, identifying and presenting contemporary stories that express opinions and perspectives rarely featured in mainstream media outlets. AmDoc is a catalyst for public culture, developing collaborative strategic engagement activities around socially relevant content on television, online and in community settings. These activities are designed to trigger action, from dialogue and feedback to educational opportunities and community participation.