Heather Elder Represents
Reps Journal

Doug Menuez' Documentary "Because of You, I Am" Wins Best Short Documentary at Silicon Valley Asian Pacific FilmFest

We are excited to share that Doug Menuez' documentary "Because of You, I Am" won "best short documentary" and the "Audience Award" at this year's Silicon Valley Asian Pacific FilmFest

The festival "celebrates the vibrant and diverse perspectives of Asian American filmmaking. As an annual showcase of breathtaking cinematography, compelling storytelling, and thought-provoking subjects, the festival serves as a platform to highlight the rich cultural tapestry and the unique experiences of Asian Americans on the silver screen."

All of the films a part of the festival are carefully curated so it is a high honor to not only be selected to be a part of it, but to receive best short documentary! 

“Because of You, I Am” follows the stories of PJ and Roy Hirabayashi, two Japanese-American artists who found the taiko drum as their identity and voice fifty years ago. Executive Producer of the film, Pear Urushima, has been a long-time collaborator with Doug since they first met on a project for Apple. Pear, who is a marketing guru and also a taiko player, thought of Doug to tell this story knowing his deep passion and understanding of artistry, working in tandem with his ability to share stories of humanity and art.

Pear produced PJ and Roy's website which celebrates their journey of taiko artistry, social activism and community building. From the start, this project was designed to be a multimedia production, requiring Doug to see the whole picture of the documentary film, stills, and publications while shooting. The entire crew worked together to merge all of these components, setting a captivating exploration of cultural exchange, mentorship, and the pursuit of artistic excellence.

Though Doug has directed several short documentaries and advertising spots in his career, this process with PJ and Roy reinvigorated his love of directing. So much so, that Doug has started a new project to build his directorial skills while on sabbatical in Portugal. Between the picturesque and dynamic landscapes and the vibrant culture, it provides the perfect inspiration and backdrop for Doug's newest project, still in the works. Collaborating is what he does best, and is eager to bring these skills to any client project you might have in mind.