Every Day Is a Holiday

documentary films

Click Here to Launch the Archive of the Chat with Panelists: Ex-POW Dr. Paul Loong, Ex-POW, Eddie Fung, Professor Judy Yung, Director Theresa Loong and other special guests!

While growing up in suburban New Jersey, Chinese-American filmmaker Theresa Loong knew little about her father’s past. Then, one day she discovered his secret diary, written when he was a teenager and POW in a Japanese work camp during World War II. In it, he vowed to make “every day a holiday” if he ever survived. Told through her eyes, EVERY DAY IS A HOLIDAY tells the painful but life-affirming story of her father’s unlikely journey, from Chinese Malay teenager and Japanese POW, to merchant seaman, Veterans Affairs doctor and naturalized citizen of the country that liberated him: the United States. Using intimate conversations, rare archival footage and his wartime diary, the film traces how, through sheer strength of will, Paul Loong overcomes the horrors of war and obstacles as an immigrant, making “every day a holiday”.

Happy to discuss crowdfunding with the cARTwheel Initiative‘s founder Ashok Sinha, Natalia Duong (artistic director, Project Agent Orange), Joyce Manalo (founding curator, FABnyc ArtUp and ArtForward) and awesome moderator Matthew Deleget (founder, Minus Space).

Some takeaways: Think about emailing small groups of ten people and putting everyone’s email address in the To: field instead of blind copying to help with positive peer pressure about your campaign. Utilize Hoot Suite or other social media management tool (any suggestions?). Remember to use the telephone and reach out to your funders. Go to The Foundation Center and utilize their great resources.

I look forward to attending the crowdsourcing workshop. More information here:

Crowdfunding how-to here:

ITVS contracted with Every Day Is a Holiday! Here’s the link. Sachi Schuricht (who made a great documentary about speedcubing) interviewed me: http://beyondthebox.org/newly-contracted-itvs-announces-funding-for-every-day-is-a-holiday/

I’m so thrilled to have the support of ITVS and my station partner, Kentucky Educational Television (KET). Stay tuned for local and national television broadcast dates!

The only catch is that I still need to raise a remaining $23600, to close my funding gap. These funds are needed to cover expenses such as post-production (ex : sound design, graphic animation, color correction), archival licensing and promotion/outreach. You can help me bridge that gap in three ways:

1) make a tax-deductible charitable donation through this Women Make Movies link:

2) introduce me to friends or partners who could be interested in supporting the project

3) encourage people to like my page on FB

As you may know, this adventure has been going on for a number of years. I am in the “home stretch” and I am very grateful for your support and generosity.

Join our roster of donors!

Thank you.

In response to people asking me how I created my Kickstarter campaign, I offer you this Google Doc called “Raising Funds on Kickstarter”:

Quick background:
Last year, I was skeptical that anyone would be able to raise more than $10,000 on a crowdfunding site. My friend Ned Gubbins spoke with the folks at Touscoprod (a European version of Kickstarter and IndieGoGo) as well as a European representative of Facebook. The document includes his methodology and my edits, as well as advice from various people. Best of luck with your campaign!

Ned produced this film:
(No) Laughing Matter – the Film (Blagues à part)
Ned built the film’s FB fans to over 1000 during the course of the campaign
Raised: 25,370€
419 coproducers
Btw, Ned still needs help with distribution contacts here in the U.S.

Also I’m a member of a film collective called The FilmShop. We’ve raised about $140,000 for our individual projects on both KS and IndieGoGo thus far. See examples here:

Please share your success stories with me!

Every Day Is a Holiday received $11,445 in pledges from the Kickstarter campaign, which ended recently. Thanks so much for your generous support.

There is still time to donate to our overall campaign via our Support and Donate page. Help us unlock the matching funds from ITVS!

The palindrome has been vanquished!

As you know, the Independent Television Service (ITVS) has green-lit our film and will provide $79,000 towards the completion of the film if we can raise the revised number of $34,496. A big, big thank you to donors who provided an end-of-year push.

Now, we will be raising some of these funds through a crowd-sourcing web site called KICKSTARTER.

Help us meet the challenge! And score tickets to the premiere, an exclusive interview from the director, your name in the credits, and more!

And a big thanks to Annie Li! Annie is a student at Harvard and participated in this year’s January Experience program, since Harvard now has exams prior to winter break. She was instrumental in the launch of the Kickstarter campaign. Annie also created a documentary about the effects of the earthquake in Sichuan, China. Laura Wu is also helping with the campaign; I’ll introduce her in a later post.

I would like to share with you some great news about the film.

“Every Day Is a Holiday” has been greenlit by public television through the Independent Television Service (ITVS)! Once I raise $38,313, ITVS will provide an additional $79,120 towards completion of the film.

Please support my effort with a tax-deductible year-end gift.

As of today, I have $36,763 to go. As much as I like palindromes, make this one go away!

Please visit the Support and Donate and follow the instructions on that page.

Thank you for your support.

Every Day Is a Holiday - rough cut

I am showing a rough cut at the Chen Dance Center on Dec. 28, 2010. Optional dinner in Chinatown afterward at Old Sichuan; other possible activities include a visit to Apotheke or Winnie’s. Please do stop by if you can. Otherwise, here’s to a happy, healthy and prosperous 2011!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010 

Reception at 6:30pm 

Screening starts at 7:00pm (one hour)

Q&A following screening
Chen Dance Center 
70 Mulberry St, 2nd Floor 
New York, NY 10013
Free to the public; suggested donation 

Please RSVP by calling (212) 349-0126
“Every Day Is a Holiday” is made possible with generous assistance from the Chen Dance Center and the Manhattan Community Arts Fund.

I attended an art opening of “Drill Baby Drill” at gowanusedge.com on Thursday for Dan Ford and other artists in a group show.  One of the other artists was named Emily Auchincloss. I wasn’t going to ask her, but then decided, why not? It turns out that Emily is the great-granddaughter of Congressman Auchincloss, the man who sponsored a bill so that my dad could become a U.S. citizen. She had no idea her great-grandfather would do something like that.

It really is a small world. Many thanks to Christine Chen, who introduced me to Jocelyn Ford, who introduced me to Dan, and that’s how I met Emily. I was just working on an extended trailer that talks about Congressman Auchincloss.

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