FINDING KUKAN
FINDING KUKAN

Here is the trailer and poster for the feature documentary FINDING KUKAN, directed by Robin Lung, chronicling the untold story of the female filmmaking pioneer, set to make its North American premiere at 2016 DOC NYC.

Filmmaker Robin Lung investigates the case of Li Ling-Ai, the un-credited female producer of KUKAN, a landmark color film that revealed the atrocities of World War II China to American audiences. KUKAN has the rare honor of being the first ever American feature documentary to receive an Academy Award® in 1942.

Lost for decades, Lung discovers a badly damaged film print of KUKAN, and pieces together the never before told inspirational tale of the two renegades behind the making of it — Li Ling-Ai and cameraman Rey Scott.

FINDING KUKAN uses rare and unseen archival footage to create an unforgettable portrait of a female filmmaking pioneer, and sheds light on the long history of racial and gender discrimination behind the camera, which continues to reverberate in Hollywood today.

Finding Kukan Poster

A search for a Chinese American heroine leads filmmaker Robin Lung to Li Ling-Ai, an audacious Chinese woman from Hawaii who co-produced a 1941 Oscar-winning documentary called KUKAN – a 90-minute color feature that depicts the Chinese resistance to the Japanese invasion of the country. KUKAN means “heroic courage under bitter suffering” and can also describe the journey of its two filmmakers. Prior to producing KUKAN, Li Ling-Ai knew little about making movies and her director Rey Scott had never held a motion picture camera in his hands. They had no Hollywood or government backing and faced numerous obstacles. Yet KUKAN was screened for President Roosevelt at the White House, had long runs in theaters across the country and was editorialized in major newspapers before becoming the first of two documentary features ever given an Academy Award. Now after being lost for over 50 years, the world knows almost nothing about KUKAN or its two courageous filmmakers. When Robin Lung finally locates a badly damaged copy of KUKAN in a Georgia basement, she pieces together the incredible story behind the film and launches a quest to bring belated recognition to a pioneering female mediamaker.

FINDING KUKAN premieres at the 2016 DOC NYC on Tuesday, November 15, 2016- 5:30PM (PREMIERE) (Location: Cinepolis Chelsea-260 West 23 Street), and screens again on Wednesday, November 16, 2016- 12:45 PM (Location: IFC Center- 323 6 Avenue at West 3 Street).

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