Parachute Kids is a first-person essay film exploring director S. Leo Chiang’s turbulent experience as an unaccompanied minor who moved to the US from Taiwan through an unusual, on-going East Asian immigration practice, examining his family’s peculiar, bittersweet version of the American Dream.
About the Filmmakers
S. Leo Chiang is a filmmaker based in Taipei & San Francisco. His most recent film, OUR TIME MACHINE, was nominated for the Gotham Awards, won Best Cinematography at Tribeca Film Festival, and played at over 75 film festivals worldwide. In 2020, he directed two episodes of the landmark 5-part PBS series, ASIAN AMERICANS. His previous films include the Emmy Award-nominated A VILLAGE CALLED VERSAILLES, OUT RUN, MR. CAO GOES TO WASHINGTON, and TO YOU SWEETHEART, ALOHA. Leo’s work has received support from the Sundance Documentary Fund, the Tribeca Film Institute, and ITVS. He has been a Sundance-Time Warner Fellow, a Rockwood JustFilms Fellow, and a Co-Chair of New Day Films. He has served as a mentor/trainer for the Hot Docs CrossCurrent Fellowship, the CNEX Chinese Documentary Forum, and the CAAM Fellowship. He is the co-founder of A-Doc, the Asian American Documentary Network, and a documentary branch member of the Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences.
Yvonne Welbon is Senior Creative Consultant at Chicken & Egg Pictures. She is an award-winning filmmaker and founder of the Chicago-based non-profit Sisters in Cinema. She has produced and distributed over 20 films including Living With Pride: Ruth Ellis @100, winner of ten best documentary awards and Sisters in Cinema, a documentary on the history of black women feature film directors. Her work has been broadcast on PBS, Starz/Encore, TV-ONE, IFC, Bravo, the Sundance Channel, BET, HBO, Netflix, iTunes and screened in over one hundred film festivals around the world. Her current projects include her forth-coming book Sisters in the Life: A History of Out African American Lesbian Media-Making (Duke University Press), an Untitled Project which focuses on the six-years she lived in Taiwan and The Roadwork Oral History and Documentary Project which focuses on a multi-racial women’s cultural movement. She has taught at University of Chicago, Northwestern University and chaired the Journalism & Media Studies Department at Bennett College. Welbon holds a B.A from Vassar College, an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, a Ph.D. from Northwestern University, and is a graduate of the American Film Institute’s Directing Workshop for Women.
Betsy Tsai recently produced CONFUCIAN DREAM (Special Jury Prize, Karlovy Vary 2019) and directed the short film ÉMIGRÉS (Doc Edge 2022). Her co-producing credits include Emmy nominee OUR TIME MACHINE (with dir. S. Leo Chiang) and HIDDEN LETTERS (Oscars® 2023 shortlist). From 2015-2020, she was a staff member of the Documentary Film Program at Sundance Institute, where she provided managerial and curatorial support for the Sundance Labs and the Sundance Documentary Fund. Her feature screenplay, GREEN ISLAND SERENADE, was a Los Angeles Chinese Film Festival Screenwriting Competition finalist. Betsy is a directing alumna from UCLA, where she also studied English Literature and International Conflict Resolution.
Mickey Luan is an independent filmmaker in Taiwan who focuses in exploring multicultural issues. He co-produced documentary NDAAN MPMADUK won the best documentary short film in Hualien film festival in 2021. In 2020, he worked as the making-of director for the feature film JANG-GAE: THE FOREIGNER. In 2018, he served as a cameraman for LOST BLACK CAT 35th SQUADRON. Mickey Luan's personal documentary film FAMILY LETTER has received support from the Taiwan National Cultural and Arts Foundation, it also won the award for Best Pitch Film at the GZDOC and Fresh Pitch.