I first heard about Leo's work when I met Brittany Shepard a few years ago. We were working with Samantha Grant on A Fragile Trust, her documentary about Jayson Blair and the New York Times. Leo is known for several films that has done very well with audiences in the festival circuit. Mr. Cao Goes to Washington won the Inspiration Award at the 2012 Full Frame Film Festival. A Village Called Versailles won 8 festival awards, aired on Independent Lens (a PBS series), and has screened at hundreds of academic institutions and national libraries. We're happy to have Leo bring his storytelling techniques to this project on Saturday, and without further delay, let's get to know Leo a bit here.
OUT RUN - David Kuria sketch (7:45) from Walking Iris Media on Vimeo.
Who are you and what is your profession?
I am a documentary filmmaker and teacher.
Can you tell us a little about your background and upbringing?
I was born and raised in Taiwan and moved to San Jose as a teenager. I had a previous life as an electrical engineer in the Bay Area before studying film at University of Southern California.
What inspired you to become a filmmaker?
I enjoy meeting unusual people and visiting new places, and I love storytelling. Documentary seems to be the perfect medium.
Who or what do you most admire?
I admire passionate people who are committed to doing what they love and persist and persevere to achieve their goals.
What do you love about SF?
I love its beauty, its diversity, and its history. I love its outside-the-box-ness.
What do you fear most for SF?
I am afraid that the city is becoming less weird & wonderful and more homogeneous. I am afraid the rising cost of living here is taking away its diversity.
What do you hope for SF in the next 20 years?
I hope San Francisco can find a solution to its housing problem. I hope that the city invests more in the arts and spend more resources to nurturing emerging artists from all disciplines. I hope that San Francisco continues to be open-minded and welcoming.