According to the SEAA, this award goes to "the best work (film, video, audio, and multimedia) on any aspect of East Asian anthropology and/or East Asian anthropology's contribution to the broader field." It's a huge honor to have my film recognized by the section, and hopefully this will encourage more anthropologists to consider the possibilities of film and video making in anthropological research.
The 2013 committee wrote of my film:
This documentary explores the backstage efforts of locals in the world of ethnic tourism. Chio observes and documents interactions between locals and tourists with a focused yet easy rapport with members of local communities. A variety of perspectives, views and experiences are presented with appreciation for the dilemmas faced by individuals and groups who seek more stable income, material comfort and dignified living in ancestral villages. These concerns are situated against a backdrop of increased surplus disposable income and leisure time among China’s middle class....A kinder, gentler version of Dennis O’Rourke’s acerbic Cannibal Tours, Chio’s film shows how residents negotiate with visiting Han tourists and their idealized projections of ethnic minorities.
And now that this film finally feels like it is "done," I need to start thinking about what new projects are in store for me...