New Documentary of Aviation Pioneer Makes Seattle Premiere July 8

Katherine Sui Fun Cheung, photo courtesy of Ed Moy.
Katherine Sui Fun Cheung, photo courtesy of Ed Moy.
Katherine Sui Fun Cheung, photo courtesy of Ed Moy.

On July 8, The Museum hosts Seattle’s premiere of a new documentary about one of the most sensational women pilots of the 1930s. “Aviatrix: The Katherine Sui Fun Cheung Story” tells the story of the young Chinese immigrant who defied racial and gender bias to become a daredevil stunt pilot during the Golden Age of Aviation. The 2 p.m. screening will be introduced by the film’s director Ed Moy, and be followed by a discussion with Moy, Vincent Chin Hsiang Yao, Director General of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in Seattle, the film’s associate producer Jasmine Shih, and voice actress Katherine Park, who is featured in the documentary.

The documentary features archival newsreel from a 1935 women’s air show in Long Beach, Calif., where Katherine performed stunts with her biplane. Katherine’s story has been the inspiration for short films, stage performances, visual art pieces, and even a comic strip.

Several Asian American artists who created works based on Katherine’s story were interviewed for the documentary, including actresses Marilyn Tokuda (“Xanadu”), Karen Huie (“Wild Bill”), Jully Lee (“Jane the Virgin”), Leslie Ishii (“The Bold and the Beautiful”), and Katherine Park; additional interviews include artists May Sun and Colleen Quen; film director Barbara Beck and playwright Judy Soo Hoo; Congresswoman Judy Chu and Chinese-American Historian Judy Yung.

“Aviatrix: The Katherine Sui Fun Cheung Story” won the Audience Award for Short Film at the Marina del Rey Film Festival and was a Best Documentary Short Film Nominee in last year’s Long Beach Indie Film, Media, and Music Festival. The documentary also received a Most Inspirational Short Film Award from the Culver City Film Festival.

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