Documentary by St. Louis  Filmmaker Debbie Lum Airs Nationally

in May on Independent Lens on Nine PBS

Lum’s Film, Seeking Asian Female, Won at 2012 St. Louis International Film Festival


St. Louis, MO — May 2, 2013 — Seeking Asian Female, an hour-long documentary by St. Louis-born filmmaker Debbie Lum, is the story of an Asian American filmmaker and her unlikely friendship with one of her worst nightmares: a 60-year-old white American man with a full-blown obsession for Asian women. It airs on the series Independent Lens on Nine PBS on Sunday, May 19 at 10:00 p.m.


Lum, who grew up in Creve Coeur and graduated from John Burroughs School, now lives in San Francisco. She entered Seeking Asian Female in the 2012 St. Louis International Film Festival, where it won two honors, an Alliance of Women Film Journalists’ EDA Award for best documentary feature and the Midrash St. Louis Film Award.


Funny, hopeful, and full of the mysteries of the human heart, Seeking Asian Female follows the surprising romance between Steven and Sandy—an aging white American man obsessed with marrying an Asian woman and the young Chinese woman he meets online. Debbie Lum intended to make a film exposé of his demeaning and racist attitudes about women. Instead, as events unfold, the film becomes the surprising story of love overcoming cross-cultural challenges, as Steven and Sandy’s romance leads to marriage. Lum is pulled into their lives, moving from observer to active participant in the relationship. When the couple enlists her as a translator during several of their frequent spats, Lum begins to question her role as objective filmmaker.


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The Nine Network of Public Media is a multifaceted public media organization creating a network of individuals and organizations empowered by public media to strengthen civic life. It is one of the nation’s most watched public television stations, currently ranked number one in prime time audience ratings. Nine offers the people of the St. Louis region multiple ways to explore the world and become engaged in civic life, including the Nine Center for Public Engagement, and four distinct broadcast channels (Nine PBS, Nine World, Nine Create and Nine Kids). Nine’s rich legacy of serving the community was launched in 1954 and continues through our mission of bringing St. Louis together as we connect our region to the world and the world to St. Louis.


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