Biography

S. Leo Chiang is an independent documentarian. His Emmy® Award-nominated film, A Village Called Versailles, about the rebuilding and transformation of the Vietnamese American community in post-Katrina New Orleans, picked up eight film festival awards, aired on PBS Independent Lens series, and has been acquired by more than 200 libraries. His most recent documentary, Out Run, which profiles the only LGBT political party in the world, premiered at the 2016 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival and won Best Cinematography at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival. His other films include Mr. Cao Goes to Washington (Inspiration Award 2012, PBS broadcast 2013), To You Sweetheart, Aloha (PBS broadcast 2006), One + One (CINE Golden Eagle Award 2002), and Safe Journey (PlanetOut.com Short Movie Award 2002).

Leo also collaborates with other filmmakers both as an editor (True-Hearted Vixen, POV 2001; Recalling Orange County, PBS/VOCES 2006) and as a cameraman (United in Anger, MoMA’s Documentary Fortnight 2012; Ask Not, Independent Lens 2009; The Tailenders, POV 2006).

Born in Taiwan and based in San Francisco, Leo holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical & computer engineering and received his MFA in film production from University of Southern California. He work has received support from funders such as Sundance, Tribeca, ITVS, & CAAM. He has taught documentary production at the University of California at Santa Cruz, Northwestern University, and the Communication University of China. He is a current co-Chair of New Day Films, the social-issue documentary distribution co-operative.

Filmography

WIP Ma Liang’s Time Machine, Producer
WIP Lai Lai, Producer
WIP If She Leaves, Producer
WIP Eye, Camera, Producer/Camera
2016 Out Run, Director/Producer/Camera
2014 Limited Partnerships, Co-Producer/Camera
2012 Mr. Cao Goes to Washington, Director/Producer/Camera
2012 Still Around: Tita, Director/Camera
2010 A Village Called Versailles, Director/Producer/Camera
2005 To You Sweetheart, Aloha, Director/Producer/Camera
2004 A Few Drops in Cambodia, Director/Camera
2002 Safe Journey, Writer/Director
2002 One + One, Director/Producer

Awards

OUT RUN

  • Best Cinematography, LA Asian Pacific Film Festival
  • Centerpiece Presentation, TWIST Seattle Queer Film Festival
  • Opening Film, &PROUD Yangon LGBT+ Film Festival

MR. CAO GOES TO WASHINGTON

  • Inspiration Award, Full Frame Documentary Film Festival
  • Audience Award, New Orleans Film Festival
  • Best Documentary & Opening Night Film, DC APA Film Festival
  • Best Documentary, Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival
  • Audience Choice Award, Vietnamese International Film Festival
  • Centerpiece Presentation, Boston Asian American Film Festival

A VILLAGE CALLED VERSAILLES

  • National Emmy®-Award nomination
  • Henry Hampton Award, Council on Foundations
  • Audience Award, New Orleans Film Festival
  • Audience Award, SF International Asian Am Film Festival
  • Audience Award & Call to Action Award, LA Asian Pacific Film Festival
  • Best Documentary, Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival
  • Best Documentary, Crossroads Film Festival
  • Third Eye Award, DisOrient Film Festival
  • Notable Video for Adults, American Library Association

TO YOU SWEETHEART, ALOHA

  • Audience Award, LA Asian Pacific Film Festival
  • Special Recognition Award, Silver Images Film Festival

ONE + ONE

  • CINE Golden Eagle Award
  • Cable Positive Award, Silver Lake Film Festival

Funding/Fellowships

2016 Sundance Documentary Film Program
Catapult Film Fund
Tribeca All Access Alumni Grant
2015 ITVS Open Call
Frameline Completion Fund
GAPA Foundation
Kenneth Rainin Foundation
2014 Artist-in-Residence, Northwestern University Kaplan Institute
2013 Sundance-Time Warner Fellow, Sundance Documentary Film Program
Sundance Documentary Fund
Lucius & Eva Eastman Fund
Francisco Foundation Bay Area Documentary Fund
2012 Tribeca All Access Alumni Grant
Center for Asian American Media Ready, Set, Pitch! Award
2011 ITVS Diversity Development Fund
2010 Center for Cultural Innovation Artistic Equipment & Tools Grant
2009 Fleishhacker Foundation Film Grant
Bay Area Video Coalition Mediamaker Award
2008 ITVS Open Call
Center for Asian American Media Completion Grants
Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities Grant
Pacific Pioneer Fund
2005 Center for Asian American Media Completion Grants
2003 Pacific Islands in Communications Development & Production Grants
2000 Yale School of Art Shenkin Fellowship