Angela Cheng oral history interview and transcript
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Angela is a Brooklyn-based writer and filmmaker who spent her childhood performing Chinese stand up comedy in Houston, Texas. Since then, she's traded the stage for writing and directing movies. She spends most of her life obsessing about Asian-American identity, weird science, and how to perfect the noodle soup. Angela’s feature screenplay, Lucky Grandma, co-written with director Sasie Sealy, won the AT&T and Tribeca Film Festival’s 2018 Untold Stories $1 million filmmaking grant. The movie, starring the inimitable Tsai Chin (Joy Luck Club, Casino Royale) debuted at Tribeca Film Festival in April 2019 and will be making its European debut at the London Film Festival. Her screenplay Trouble to the Herd is also the winner of the 2019 AsianCinevision SAG-AFTRA Screenplay Award and is currently a finalist at this year’s Nashville Film Festival. Her short film Ten & Two - about a Chinese-American housewife who learns how to drive in order to leave her husband - was awarded NYU’s Wasserman Prize for Filmmaking. She’s been awarded the Sloan Foundation feature screenplay award for Sugar Water, a gothic drama about the strange discovery of insulin. Her work has been shown at SXSW, Palm Springs International Short Film Festival, Newfest, Outfest, and Los Angeles International Film Festival. Professionally, Angela has directed the stage for TED Talks, featuring brilliant speakers with “Ideas Worth Spreading.” She is currently the Creative Director of Format Development at TED, experimenting with and launching new forms of storytelling. She and her team are the creative force behind the video series Small Thing Big Idea and DIY Neuroscience - garnering millions of views online. She is also part of the editorial team behind WorkLife with Adam Grant - a popular podcast about how to make work not suck. She continues to develop short form video content as well as longform podcasts with a focus on exploring ideas that have the potential to make an impact on the world.
This recording and transcript form part of a collection of oral history interviews conducted by the Chao Center for Asian Studies at Rice University. This collection includes audio recordings and transcripts of interviews with Asian Americans native to or living in Houston.