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Monday, November 19, 2007

Asian female NYPD Officer film is a "complex look at race, gender and power"

Film About NYPD's First Asian Women Cops Wins Two Awards, Including Best US Documentary, at Queens International Film Festival
prweb.com - Astoria, NY
November 19, 2007
[EXCERTS] Ermena Vinluan's Tea & Justice -- a documentary about three petite immigrant Asian women defying stereotypes in the NYPD -- walked off with two awards at the 5th Annual Queens International Film Festival (QIFF). The film received the "Best Domestic Documentary" Award and Producer/Director Vinluan was honored for her "Outstanding Contribution to Filmmaking"... University of Toledo Law Professor David A Harris, author of Good Cops: The Case for Preventive Policing wrote: "Tea & Justice demonstrates, better than any research study, the critical importance of diversity and gender equity to successful police work that relies less on force and more on communication with citizens and respect for their rights"... Agnes Chan, a 20-year-old college student and immigrant daughter of a Chinatown garment factory worker, became NYPD's first Asian female officer in 1980. She was committed to building a bridge between the Asian community and the police. The milestone was memorialized in a photo in the New York Daily News. A native of Hong Kong, many of Chan's colleagues and superiors assumed she was under-qualified and hired merely to fulfill NYPD's minority and women quotas. She surprised them when they learned she scored 98% on her entrance exam. Christine Leung was born in Hong Kong. Both her parents were garment workers and strict traditionalists who fought her assimilation... Trish Ormsby was born in Japan to a Japanese mother and Irish-American father. After her father's death, her mother remarried a Japanese man and raised the family in a traditional household... In Tea & Justice, Ormsby, Chan and Leung share stories about their careers, their personal lives, the stereotypes they defied and how they persevered. The documentary includes interviews with ordinary New Yorkers, experts and anti-www.teaandjustice.com [police abuse activists -- some of whom believe that reducing police abuses requires hiring more women officers. The film's humorous cartoons, lively graphics and original music enhance the three women's stories and its complex look at race, gender and power... In honor of Tea & Justice, the Queens International Film Festival is making a donation to the New York Asian Women's Center's shelters for battered women and their children.
Their donation boosts the funds raised by the film's director and three stars, who autographed the film's souvenir posters sold at the festival. Tea & Justice (54 minutes) won the prestigious
Women in Film Foundation-General Motors international grant for 2007. The film's creative team includes Emmy-award winner, Keiko Tsuno (Director of Photography), Sandrine Isambert (picture editor at Witness, the human rights media group formed by legendary pop singer Peter Gabriel), and composer-jazz violinist Jason Hwang. To book an interview with the film's stars and/or director, contact Leslie Yerman, 212-327-2107. For more info visit, http://www.teaandjustice.com.

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