World Premiere: New Asian American Doc “9-MAN” at IFF Boston, Somerville Theatre, Sun 4/27


BOSTON, APRIL 2014 — 9-Man is a story about
streetball battle in the heart of Chinatown featuring a

Chinese-only game played in parking lots and alleys since
1938. Pivoting between oil-spotted asphalt and jellyfish-filled
banquets, the film captures the spirit of nine-man as players gun
for a championship and fight to preserve a sport with deep history.
SYNOPSIS 9-Man is an independent feature documentary about an
isolated and exceptionally athletic Chinese-American* sport that’s
much more than a pastime. Since the 1930’s, young men have played
this gritty, streetball game competitively in the streets, alleys
and parking lots of Chinatown. When the community was a Bachelor
Society (men outnumbered women by huge percentages) at a time when
anti-Chinese sentiment and laws like the Chinese Exclusion Act
forced Chinese restaurant workers and laundrymen to socialize
exclusively amongst themselves, nine-man offered both escape and
fraternity to men who were separated from their families in China
and facing extreme discrimination and distrust. Today, some 80
years later, nine-man is a lasting connection to Chinatown for a
community of men who know a different, more integrated America and
it’s a game that has grown exponentially in athleticism. Nine-man
punctuates each summer with a vibrant, aggressive, exhausting
bragging-rights tournament that unites thousands of
Chinese-Americans and maintains traditional rules and
customs—sometimes to the malcontent of outsiders. 9-Man introduces
the history of the game and spotlights a chorus of modern-day
characters—from 6’7″ Olympian Kevin Wong to a 91-year-old
pioneer—combining direct cinema footage and interviews with
archival footage and photos sourced directly from the community.
The film follows teams in four main cities through the summer as
they prepare for the Labor Day championship in Boston. Pivoting
between oil-spotted Chinatown parking lots, jellyfish-filled
banquet scenes, sweat-drenched summer practices and intimate home
scenes, the film captures the spirit of nine-man and Asian-American
life as players not only battle for a trophy but struggle to
preserve a faded tradition in the face of a society rife with
change. ABOUT THE FILMMAKER URSULA LIANG (Director, Producer,
Cinematographer) is a journalist who has told stories in a wide
range of media. A former staff editor at T: The New York Times
Style Magazine and writer/reporter at ESPN The Magazine, Liang was
a host of the radio program Asia Pacific Forum on WBAI, associate
producer for the Emmy-nominated documentary, “Wo Ai Ni Mommy”,
producer for the Emmy-nominated Asian American TV show “Stir”, and
sports editor for the Asian-American magazine, Hyphen. She recently
produced for Fuel’s “UFC Countdown”, FX’s “UFC Primetime”, TNT’s
“Save Our Business” and the independent documentary “Tough Love”
with Stephanie Wang-Breal (world premiere: Full Frame 2014;
IFFBoston 2014). Liang also works as a senior publicist for the
film publicity company The 2050 Group which has represented
Oscar-nominated and festival-winning films and is a founding member
of the Filipino American Museum. She is in pre-production on a
feature documentary with Nadia Hallgren called “The Back Room.”
Liang grew up in Newton, MA and lives in The Bronx, NY. “9-Man” is
her debut as a director. EVENT INFORMATION – WORLD PREMIERE
Independent Film Festival of Boston Sunday, April 27 @ 1:00pm
Somerville Theatre @ 55 Davis Square, Somerville, MA EVENT LINK
_________________________________ :: Bing Wang 王冰
filmmaker/producer :: 917-940-2234 | | :: associate producer of 9-MAN: |

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