FIRST VOTE
Asian American voters in battleground states

FIRST VOTE

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"Must-watch" - IDA | OFFICIAL SELECTION - AFI DOCS | OFFICIAL SELECTION - Los Angeles Asian American Film Festival | OFFICIAL SELECTION - CAAMFest | OFFICIAL SELECTION - HIFF

Asian American Studies • Asian Diaspora Studies • Critical Race Theory • Political Science • Ethnic Studies • Racial Politics • American Studies • Immigration Studies • History

Date of Completion: 2020 | Run Time: 59 minutes​​ | Language: English, Mandarin Chinese with English Subtitles | Captions: Coming Soon - Transcript Available Director, Producer, & Cinematographer: Yi Chen | Editors: Yi Chen, Kristina Motwani & Bryan Chang | Composer: Ryan Blotnick

Following the stories of four politically engaged voters during the 2018 midterm elections, First Vote crafts an insightful look at Asian Americans' diverse experiences at the polls. Taking her camera on the road, Filmmaker Yi Chen introduces us to a diverse cross section of politically engaged Chinese Americans: an avid Trump supporter in Ohio; a Democratic podcaster whose views have alienated his wife’s conservative friends; a gun-toting, Tea Party-favorite in North Carolina; and a progressive University of North Carolina professor. Speaking with distinct political voices, they share the common goal of seeing Asian Americans take their rightful place in American political life.

IDA | Patricia Aufderheide, Professor of Communications Studies at American University in Washington, D.C. & Director
"Must-watch ... Yi Chen, herself a Chinese immigrant, gained unparalleled access and never loses the thread."

The Moveable Fest
"First Vote is rewarding because Chen opts to go after something far more complex and ambiguous that one would expect from the provocative hour-long documentary centered around the 2018 midterm elections, largely unconcerned with the end result, but fascinated with how a quartet of Asian-Americans plan to participate in the democratic process.

"Asian-Americans can't be seen as some monolithic voting bloc and as Chen illustrates vividly, a shared heritage can yield wildly different attitudes towards politics based on other personal predilections, an observation that is bound to become more prescient in the years to come not just specifically as it relates to Asian-Americans, but as the fastest growing minority group, the country as a whole."

AFI - American Film Institute
"This beguiling and refreshingly non-partisan political travelogue from Washington, DC-based filmmaker Yi Chen introduces us to a diverse cross section of politically engaged Chinese Americans determined to make a difference."

The Mercury News
"Eye-opening"

Berkeleyside
First Vote "emphatically proves there is no single Asian-American voting bloc"