Introducing Jeremy Thao
A Hmong American screenwriter and film director, Jeremy was born and raised in Fresno, California and now calls Atlanta home. Jeremy is the winner of the 2021 Film Impact Georgia Filmmaking Grant and is currently in pre-production for his upcoming short film, "Wokman" with plans to film in summer 2022. One of Jeremy’s top objectives as a filmmaker is to create space and opportunities for underrepresented peoples to explore the world of filmmaking and to help share their stories on the silver screen.
What inspired you to start your community work/brand?
Attending film school and starting my career as a filmmaker really opened my eyes to the lack of diversity in the world of filmmaking. I was often (and still sometimes am) the only person of color on set and that has led me to become passionate about creating projects, space, and opportunities for voices, narratives, and people who have been silenced for too long.
Why is the work you do through your platform so important?
There are not many people of color in decision-making roles in filmmaking, making it difficult for young filmmakers of color to break into the industry. I've paid my dues as a filmmaker, starting as a production assistant and working my way up to first assistant director and now produce, write, and direct for a living, and I now have the ability to help usher in a new wave of filmmakers whose voices have been ignored by Hollywood for too long.
What is your favorite dish? Is there a story behind it?
My favorite dish is my mom's chicken curry and bamboo noodle soup called khao poon. If I'm not mistaken, it's a Lao recipe that has also traditionally been made by the Hmong. When I eat khao poon, I think of summertime hangouts at my grandma's house in Fresno, chilling with my cousins while the smell of chicken curry and bamboo soup permeated the house. My favorite memory is when my cousin Anthony and I watched "The Matrix" on VHS tape for the first time ever on a 14 inch TV while slurping down a huge bowl of khao poon and drinking cold Sunny Delight. That would be my last meal.
What does courage mean to you?
Courage is when you are scared and know you may lose and decide to move forward anyway.
Where can we expect to see you in the next few years?
I hope that in a few years I'll be making my directorial feature film debut and continuing to champion the inclusion of underrepresented peoples in the world of filmmaking.
Thank you so much Jeremy for sharing your story with us! Tuk Tuk Box is proud to exclusively feature Southeast Asian ingredients and include refugee, migrant, and generational stories in every box.
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