Every Day Is a Holiday

documentary films


Please join me for the Black Maria Film Festival’s Hudson County Movie Tour – 2018.
Free Screening of Every Day Is a Holiday
Secaucus Public Library
1379 Paterson Plank Rd., Secaucus, NJ
Sunday afternoon, April 8th, 2018 at 1:00PM

Featuring the award-winning film, “Every Day is a Holiday”
Special guest – filmmaker Theresa Loong will be joining for a talk & Q & A
Students and teachers are welcome to attend – Admission is free

These programs are made possible through the generous support of the Hudson County Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs and Tourism

As written and delivered, Saturday, March 24, 2018, St. John the Apostle Roman Catholic Church, Linden, NJ, by Joseph Loong:

Many of you know the story of how my father came to the US and gained his citizenship. It’s a long one, with lots of dramatic twists and funny stories, and my sister Theresa does a much better job telling his story in her documentary film about his life, “Every Day Is a Holiday.”

That phrase comes from one of Dad’s sayings after his time as a prisoner of war: “Every day as a free man is a holiday.” I didn’t really, truly understand that until my sister, after years of prodding, finally got him to open up and share his story.

We can also see his story in the people who are here today to pay their respects, many who have traveled hundreds (even thousands) of miles, over journeys lasting many dozens of years: fellow veterans and members of the American Legion; classmates from Manhattan College and University of Bologna Medical School; colleagues from the East Orange VA; neighbors and friends from a long life well-lived.

And of course, his loving family.

As we honor Dr. Paul Yokwah Loong and say farewell to him, we remember many things about him: the pains he endured and the sacrifices he made; his kindness, care, and compassion for all those he helped; and most of all, his devotion to God; his steadfast patriotism for his country; and his tireless love for his family.

My father rarely had a problem falling asleep, and always slept well. He liked to say that the reason was simple: It was because he had a clear conscience.

Dad is at his eternal rest now, and I know he goes there with a clear conscience.

It’s been hard to talk since my dad passed away on March 19. Here are remarks I made at the funeral mass.

Sometimes, there are no words. There are no words to convey this sense of loss. I turn to prayer, poetry, memory and to you. But I will try.

Dad loved seeing us come home. He has a special silly welcome song for us – “Welcome, Welcome, Welcome!” waving his hands in the air, saying that he was so happy to see us. He would wait for us, sometimes for hours, sitting by the window. The reason, in addition to him truly wanting to see us, was that as a child my dad didn’t live with his father. One day, his father came to visit him, but my dad missed his visit, because he was away.

Dad was very loyal like that, and he had his stories. He let me follow him around when I made the documentary. In turn, he would talk to me when I was home, saying that I was his captive audience. He loved to talk, especially to the neighbors, so much so, that my mom said he got glued to the chair.

Dad was social glue. Over the years, he would ask me to make phone calls for him. He said it was easier for me to dial the phone. Through that, I was able to meet some of his friends from all over the country and all over the world.

Before we knew him, my dad loved playing soccer, and he loved watching it. I grew up with the Italian and Spanish sportcasters shouting goooallll long before that became a meme. We grew up playing soccer here.

He really taught me the value of kindness and love and I am grateful to see so many friends here today. He also had a lot of wisdom, reminding me to practice deep breathing exercises.

Daddy had quite a sense of humor – some of it off-color, so perhaps we can talk at lunch. He loved eating mangosteens while out traveling and the stinky durian fruit. We had some good adventures together and as a family, the most unique family trip to the prison camps in Japan.

He told me a story at when he was at the prison camp in Hitachi, a shell fell nearby and exploded. A big American cook fell on him and almost killed him. His theory from war: “No matter how big you are, you are just as scared as I am.”

Dad had a breadth and depth of knowledge about the world. He was learning Spanish over the past few years. It was fun to talk to him and compare cognates in Italian and Spanish. His favorite phrase was to tell other Spanish speakers (and sometimes even to people he knew didn’t speak Spanish) Vaya con Dios. Simply put, it means Go with God. A farewell and a benediction. Vaya con Dios, Daddy. Que le vaya bien.

“Every Day Is a Holiday” 2017 Highlights:

-Screened “Every Day Is a Holiday: The Coast Is Clear” with other Flaherty Fellows at the Flaherty Film Seminar in June
-Screened film and led storytelling workshop in Chinatown, NY at Wing On Wo & Co. with support from NYSCA and The ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes
-Debuted on the Seed&Spark streaming platform
-In discussions for international distribution

Theresa Loong at Wing On Wo & Co. Photo Credit: Eric Jenkins
Theresa Loong at Wing On Wo & Co. Photo Credit: Eric Jenkins

To donate and help with distribution, click on the special link below to Women Make Movies. WMM is the awesome non-profit that helps me bring my film and interactive projects to life: http://www.wmm.com/filmmakers/sponsored_projects.aspx?cmd=ae&id=1#473

I’ll be bringing the film to Secaucus, NJ in 2018.

Thank you and happy new year!

“Every Day Is a Holiday” is screening Thursday 11/9 from 7-8pm in the oldest store in Chinatown, Wing On Wo & Co, 26 Mott Street in NY, followed by a Q&A and storytelling workshop from 8-9pm. Screening fee is $5. Please come!

Tickets:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/wow-youth-series-every-day-is-a-holiday-screening-tickets-39422305176

FB Invite:
https://www.facebook.com/events/892236917624275/

Every Day Is a Holiday screening

“Every Day Is a Holiday” is now streaming on Seed and Spark:
https://www.seedandspark.com/watch/every-day-is-a-holiday

“Every Day Is a Holiday” received a starred review from the Library Journal:
“This uplifting documentary effectively intertwines excerpts from the diary, archival war footage, and intimate conversations to demonstrate how Paul Loong overcame the trauma of war and the many difficulties experienced as an immigrant to this country… VERDICT:
This beautifully made film is highly recommended for public and academic libraries”

“Every Day Is a Holiday” screened at the Bayonne Public Library in Bayonne, NJ on July 13, 2016 at 7:00pm – as part of the Black Maria Film Festival.

“Every Day Is a Holiday” screened at the City Hall Senior Center, 100 Gold Street, Lower Level, January 7, 2016 at 10:30am – free! With Special Guests.

“The Coast Is Clear” short screened at the New York Transit Museum on Wednesday, June 24, 2015, 6:30-8:30pm


(I asked Dad to point to the Platform event, but he was more interested in the mermaid).

Details:
http://nytransitmuseum.tumblr.com/post/87806700611/platform
https://www.facebook.com/events/834104480011612/

PAST EVENTS

-Lectured and screened in New Orleans at the American Defenders of Bataan & Corregidor Memorial Society Convention: Thursday, June 3

It was a fun panel discussion with fellow FilmShop members/alums Maxine Trump and Jillian Schlesinger at FilmShop Labs on Saturday, May 16 at Livestream Public. Remember to ask for help, don’t be penny-wise and pound foolish, and submit your film to festivals only when it’s good and ready.

-Every Day Is a Holiday screened on Memorial Day
(please check your local listings for the exact channel on your TV):
Monday, May 25 at 9pm

21.1 WKMUDT, WKPDDT – Paducah-Cape Girard
WKOHDT – Evansville, IN
WKGBDT – Bowling Green, OH

Monday, May 25 at 10pm

KET public television – KY
52.1 WKONDT – Lexington, KY
15.1 WKPCDT – LaGrange, KY
WKZTDT – Louisville, KY
WCVNDT – Cincinnati, OH
WKASDT – Charleston, WV
WKPIDT – Charleston, WV

Please join me: Every Day Is a Holiday is screening Saturday, January 3, at 9pm in the Parlor at Mohonk Mountain House’s Film Focus Weekend with the Black Maria Film and Video Festival. Other interesting films as well. Hiking/Grounds Pass/Dinner reservations can be made at 855-883-3798. Hope to see you!

http://www.mohonk.com/film-focus-weekend

Greetings.

Interactive project

Interactive version of Every Day Is a Holiday


Thank you for helping to make my work possible.

Contributions towards the making of Every Day Is a Holiday supported the creation of the documentary as well as continued outreach. This year, it included educational outreach programs designed to engage new and underserved audiences nationally and internationally.
 
In the past year alone, we brought Every Day Is a Holiday to Hong Kong, Pittsburgh, upstate New York, and other areas throughout the United States. It continues to touch more and more people each year.

I am asking you to continue supporting Every Day Is a Holiday today.

 
Your donation will help contribute to intergenerational outreach, as well as complete my efforts to create an interactive installation to mark the 70th Anniversary of the end of World War II.
 
You’ll also be making a tax-deductible contribution that supports our ongoing efforts across the country and around the world.
 
Thank you.

Sincerely,
Theresa
Director, Every Day Is a Holiday
http://www.wmm.com/filmmakers/sponsored_projects.aspx?cmd=ae&id=1#473

Every Day Is a Holiday is showing at Rhinebeck’s movie theater, Upstate Films, Thursday, October 2 at 8pm along with some other lovely shorts: 6415 Montgomery St, Rhinebeck, NY 12572.

Join me for a drink at the post-screening reception next door at Liberty of Rhinebeck, 6417 Montgomery St.

So nice to see you in Hoboken and Hong Kong. The TEDxWanchai conference was also amazing.

The film will be available for viewing via streaming this week for $8.88. It is also available for purchase via DVD.

If you don’t see a listing, or missed a broadcast, please contact your local public television station and request a screening.

To purchase a DVD for home or educational viewing. Stay up to date with occasional updates and sign up for our mailing list.

Every Day Is a Holiday will be previewed as part of the 33rd Black Maria Film Festival on Friday, February 7 at New Jersey City University at 7pm. For information, contact info@blackmariafilmfestival.org

The Black Maria Festival is named after the world’s first motion picture studio built by Thomas Edison, where he made all of his own short experimental films. Every Day Is a Holiday will screen for free at the Newark Museum 49 Washington St., Newark, NJ on Saturday, February 8 at 2pm.

On Sunday, February 9, at 2pm the film will be shown for free as part of the Silk Screen film series at Sewickley Academy in Sewickley, PA, near Pittsburgh.

Paul Loong and Theresa Loong at Manhattan College

Paul and Theresa Loong at Manhattan College. Photo: Corky Lee

My dad and I were at Manhattan College along with my mom in November for a Veterans Day screening of Every Day Is a Holiday. We presented the film and conducted a spirited Q&A session afterward. Students attended as well as members of the general public, including a couple celebrating their 30th anniversary and whose parents served in World War II.

Good news about the film! I am currently developing an educational screening kit for Every Day Is a Holiday.  It will consist of a DVD and curriculum guide for use in middle schools, high schools, and universities. Sewickley Academy, pre-K through 12, will screen the film and distribute the guide in Pittsburgh in February, 2014. It will be shown free of charge at the school. The public is welcome.

Also, I have been awarded a grant for $2250 from the ADBC Memorial Society because of my efforts to increase intergenerational dialogue and awareness of Allied POWs in the Pacific during World War II.  However, this does not cover the entire cost of the education screening kit.

If you are able to make a tax-deductible year-end contribution to help defray the costs of creating the educational guide of $50, $100 or more, I would greatly appreciate it. Credit card donations can be made here:
www.wmm.com/filmmakers/sponsored_projects.aspx?cmd=ae&id=1#473 

Thank you for your consideration and have a great holiday.

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