Filmmaker S. Leo Chiang to visit UNI

Emmy-Award-nominated filmmaker S. Leo Chiang will visit UNI on Oct. 8, 9, and 10 to screen two of his films and give a public lecture.


Emmy-Award-nominated filmmaker S. Leo Chiang will visit UNI on Oct. 8, 9, and 10 to screen two of his films and give a public lecture.


The William and Stephanie Clohesy Documentary Film Series is bringing their sixth filmmaker to campus from Oct. 8 to 10.

Emmy Award-nominated filmmaker, S. Leo Chiang, will be visiting several classrooms at UNI and Hawkeye Community College, giving a public lecture and screening two of his documentaries.

“Oftentimes, documentary films and other films are available to be screened here, but very rarely is the filmmaker actually here to interact with students,” said David O’Shields, UNI’s documentary filmmaker- in-residence and director of the Clohesy Series. “We wanted to select the most accomplished documentary filmmakers, not just in the country but in the world, to bring to campus.”

Chiang is a native of Taiwan and has been living in the United States for a number of years. He holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical and computer engineering and received his Master of Fine Arts in film production from the University of Southern California. He has taught documentary production at several universities, is a co-founder of the Asian American Documentary network and previously was the co-chair of New Day Films.

According to O’Shields, students interested in pursuing a future in the filmmaking business would benefit greatly from hearing and experiencing what Chiang has to say. However, he added, Chiang’s story would also benefit anyone in any field because it proves that people can achieve what they set their mind to.

“I think it is very enriching to not only the students in communication studies, but also to various students around campus as well as the Cedar Falls community that they get to meet the filmmaker and see that for students that are interested in filmmaking, and especially documentary filmmaking, that this is something that can happen. It is attainable,” O’Shields said. “These people are not abstract; they are flesh-and-blood people who went through a lot of the same things that students are going through now and learning and thinking about pursuing.”

O’Shields said that the films themselves would appeal to anyone who is ready to listen.

Chiang’s newest film “Out Run” will be shown on Monday, Oct. 8 at 7 p.m. in Lang Hall Auditorium. The film follows the efforts of politicians to become part of the political discourse and help to govern the Philippines, a country with many taboos surrounding the LGBT lifestyle.

On Tuesday, Oct. 9 at 7 p.m., Chiang’s Emmy Award-nominated film “A Village Called Versailles” will be screened in the John Deere Auditorium in the Curris Business Building. The documentary records a New Orleans Vietnamese community coming together in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. It is a political story about human endurance and what people can do when they band together and challenge adversity.

Finally, Chiang will be giving a public lecture on Wednesday, Oct. 10, at 9 a.m. in Rod Library 301.

“Not only are these films an important part of their educational experience while they are university students, but it will broaden their horizons, and they get a chance to meet the filmmaker and participate in a question-and-answer section,” O’Shields said.

For more information about Chiang, students can visit