FIRST VOTE Feature Films Women and the Vote


Following the film, watch a recorded discussion with director Yi Chen and subjects Kaiser Kuo and Jennifer Ho.

Toward the end of Washington, DC-based filmmaker Yi Chen’s beguiling and refreshingly non-partisan FIRST VOTE, one of the film’s subjects posits, “The central question that I think all Asian Americans feel is, ‘Do we belong?’” Given that, as recently as 1952, federal law barred immigrants of Asian descent from becoming U.S. citizens and voting, it is a searing and inescapable reality faced by Asian Americans.

Taking her camera on the road during the 2018 midterm elections, Chen introduces us to a diverse cross section of politically engaged Chinese Americans: an avid Trump supporter in Ohio; a Democratic podcaster whose views have alienated his wife’s conservative friends; a gun-toting, Tea Party-favorite in North Carolina; and a progressive University of North Carolina professor. Speaking with distinct political voices, they share the common goal of seeing Asian Americans take their rightful place in American political life.
–Ken Jacobson

Yi Chen is a documentary filmmaker based in Washington, DC. Her work explores the intersection of race, identity, immigration and democracy. She is a Soros Equality Fellow and has received grants from the Ford Foundation JustFilms, Open Society Foundations, Center for Asian American Media, ITVS, DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, Kartemquin Films and Southern Documentary Fund. Chen holds an MFA in Film and Media Arts from American University.

Yi Chen
C35 Films
[email protected]


Country: USA

Year: 2020

Director: Yi Chen

Producer: Yi Chen

Director of Photography: Yi Chen

Editors: Yi Chen, Kristina Motwani, Bryan Chang

Music: Ryan Blotnick

Featuring: Jennifer Ho, Kaiser Kuo, Sue Googe, Lance Chen

Running Time (minutes): 59 MIN

Languges: English, Mandarin