DIRECTOR – BIO
Gary San Angel is artist and founder of COMPONENTGEEK a site dedicated to the creation of films, reviews and tips of film gear and technology and its intersection with community based art work. Gary has recently created a new ukulele site called KoAloha Story – www.koalohastory.com dedicated to the KoAloha Story film series and an online video archive documenting KoAloha ukulele community stories and music.
SAN ANGEL is a Philadelphia based filmmaker, director, performance artist and songwriter whose work focuses on the unique stories of Asian American lives. He is a founding member of two companies, Peeling the Banana in New York and the Asian Men’s Writing and Performing Group in Los Angeles, as well as having played an instrumental role in forming Jook Songs at Yale University and GenerAsian Next and Something to Say at the Asian Arts Initiative in Philadelphia. Gary’s collaborative performance and film creations integrating visual art, theatre, music, words, and movement have been seen from London to San Francisco, including the BBC and the Smithsonian. He was the recipient of the prestigious Van Lier Fellowship in directing at the Second Stage Theatre in New York City and was also a touring artist with the National Performance Network (NPN). His work has won grant support from the School District of Philadelphia’s Office of Language and Equity Issues; the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, the NEA Creative Links program, and the Philadelphia Arts in Education Partnership (PAEP) which has enabled him to continue his autobiographical artwork and community building in Philadelphia. He has been an Artist-in-Residence at the Asian Arts Initiative and also a professor teaching Acting at the Community College of Philadelphia.
Gary continues to bring his own brand of story telling in the film world collaborating with artist Rocky Kev on the animated short film The KoAloha Ukulele Story which had its world premiere at the 1st Annual Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival and has received the Gold Kahuna Award from the Honolulu International Film Festival.
Gary continues to create impactful community based music videos including Taiyo Na’s “Lovely to Me (Immigrant Mother)” set in Philly’s own Chinatown and Love Park which has been an official selection at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival and has been shown at the Migrant World Film Festival in Korea. His music video collaboration with Rocky Kev, “Over the Valley” has been awarded top honors for the Pink Martini Music Video contest.
More recently, Gary completed his first full length feature film, “My KoAloha Story,” a documentary-music film that follows the story of the Okami family and their special brand of ukulele making and gift of aloha that has made KoAloha ukulele one of the most revered ukulele builders in the world.