In honor of Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month, JASGC hosted a film screening, live performance, and reception at the Pleasant Ridge Presbyterian Church in Cincinnati. A Thousand Pebbles on the Ground, a short film by Japanese Filmmaker Toko Shiiki, premiered on Wednesday, May 25th at 6:00 pm. We enjoyed light appetizers from Mei Japanese Restaurant during the event along with Asahi Super Dry.
The film explored the hardships during the Covid-19 pandemic. Roger ee, a medical lab technician working on the frontlines of the pandemic, shared the story of his family and their Chinese-American heritage, and how he dealt with rising anti-Asian sentiment during the pandemic.
Toko Shikii met Roger through her husband, Erik Santos — one of Roger’s childhood friends. When incidents of anti-Asian sentiment started to increase recently, Toko shared that she felt lonely and had few chances to talk about her feelings. Then she spoke with Roger and had a spark of creativity; she would share Roger’s story so that others would not feel as lonely during the pandemic’s isolation and struggle. After the screening, there was a short Q&A with the audience.
The second part of the event featured live music performed by Erik Santos, musician, composer, and Associate Professor of Composition and Performing Arts Technology at the University of Michigan. Erik shared his own music and his father, Rosendo Santos’ music and personal story of moving to the US from the Philippines. You can learn more about Rosendo Santos’ story here.
See our gallery of the event here.