APIA MN Film Collective

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Naomi Ko

Co-Founder, Program Director

Naomi is a writer, actor, filmmaker, and cultural producer. Her TV pilot, Nice, was an official selection at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival. Naomi created, wrote, and starred in the 1/2-hour pilot. Naomi also played Sungmi in the 2014 Sundance award-winning feature film, Dear White People, is a Moth StorySlam winner, and a featured performer for Mortified. You can see Naomi perform with Funny Asian Women Kollective (FAWK) around the country as well as see her comedic writing and performance in Episode 5 of The Mortified Guide, now available on Netflix. Naomi is also the co-founder of the APIA MN Film Collective and a McKnight Media Arts Fellow. Naomi is currently in pre-production for an upcoming short film which she will direct and is developing her feature film Good Genes

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Melissa Vang

Co-Founder, Operations Director

Kazua Melissa Vang is a filmmaker, visual artist, photographer, and production/stage manager based in Minnesota. She has stage managed for Hmong-Lao/Lao-Hmong Friendship Play with Lazy Hmong Woman Productions and is currently working on The Korean Drama Addict's Guide to Losing Your Virginity. Her most two most recent photography works were showcased at In Progress under the exhibit, “NEXUS: Honoring the Self-Taught Photographic Artist” (2016), and “Hmong Tattoo,”(2017). Her current photography project is taking portraits of Hmong refrigerators and freezers. From her collection “F R I D G E S,” a photograph from her collection was part of the 40th Anniversary We Are Hmong exhibit at the Minnesota History Center. Vang helped run the Qhia Dab Neeg Film Festival from 2015-2017, which features Hmong American films and filmmakers. Melissa produced Hmong Organization. She is currently developing her first short as a writer/director with the support from the Forecast Early Career Project Grant.